As he creates these pitchers, artist Cal Breed seeks out a sensitive balance that results in functional elegance. The elongated spouts follow a gentle curve that he echos when shaping the handle. Working with the proper finesse, he persuades the glass to follow long graceful lines. Therefore, the profile line drawn from the tip of the spout, across the full waist, and to the base is watched very closely as to maintain a beautiful curve. All of these elements in his pitchers cause them to serve their purpose, to pour well, while also giving them a strong presence as they stand-alone. (Pictured: Purple and Blue)
About Cal Breed
In 1972, Cal Breed was born to an artist and an engineer. This combination of the expressive and the critical laid the framework for a life coursed by grasping to bridge the seemingly dichotomous. After years of studying the beauty of the ocean, and its life, and almost finishing a degree in Marine Biology at Auburn University, Cal’s heart was burdened with the need to be expressive with his hands. Bowing to that burden, he began to study the arts. Having such a quiet demeanor he sought for a material that inherently spoke boldly and clearly. In 1994 Cal found glass—first in assembling stained glass windows, and finally to glassblowing.
Cal spent six months apprenticing under Cam Langley, one of the South’s few hot glass artists. During this time Cal became entranced by both the medium of glass and the process by which it is made. From there, Cal went to Haystack to study with Paul Cunningham who pushed Cal to finish his BFA degree at Ohio State University under Ruth King. Upon graduation from Ohio State in 1997, Cal did some Graduate work with Jack Wax at Illinois State University which opened many doors to the possibilities with glass as an art medium. He also continued honing design and technical skills by studying with Dante Marioni, Dick Marquis, Lino Tagliapietra, Benjamin Moore and Richard Royal at both The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Pilchuck Glass School.
In 2003 Cal opened his personal studio, Orbix Hot Glass on the edge of Little River Canyon National Preserve in North Alabama. Today, Orbix creates a Studio Series and a Signature Series that adhere to Cal’s original purpose of marrying the engineer and artist within him. All of the designs pay close attention to proportion, color, purity and form. Each is chosen with specific intention to accentuate details particularly innate to glass. The Studio Designs use simple overlapping techniques to create optical distortions, and highlight contrasts of rich and vague color. The Signature Designs, mainly defined by multiple transparent incalmo bands, employ color gradients and optical density to express breathtaking arrangements.
Since the opening of his studio, Cal has received numerous awards and honors including, the Alabama State Council of Arts Individual Artist Grant for 2005, the 2004 Niche Award, full and half scholarships to Pilchuck Glass School and Haystack Mtn. School. Most recently, Cal was given the prestigious 2007 Corning Foundation Award from Pilchuck Glass School. This award is one of Pilchuck’s highest awards and recognizes its most outstanding student from its summer courses.