Owner | Artist
Hey! Thanks for stopping by!
My name is Mark Picozza. I am the owner and artist here at Venture Glass. I started lampworking in October of 2013. After teaching myself as much as possible through youtube videos, I became fortunate enough to learn from some of the best lampworkers in the game.
Glass has been as much a therapy for me as it has been a hobby and a business. Although, due to a car accident, I can’t spend half as much time in front of my torch as I used to, I still push through when I can so I can continue to share my passion with you.
Thank you for taking the time to support my glass journey. I hope you find something you love. And if you can’t, let’s chat and see what we can do!
How It All Started
Bringing Venture Glass to life was a long and tedious process. Glass isn’t exactly the easiest medium to learn. But it also doesn’t take much to get hooked on this beautiful art form either.
October of 2013, I had graduated high school 2 years prior. I had “left” college and entered the work force. At this point in my life, I was quite the heavy smoker and always had an obsession with functional glass.
I bought myself this beautiful clear glass flower tube. Cost me several hundred dollars at my local shop. I used that tube quite heavily for about 36 hours… before my cat thought it was too pretty to have a place on my shelf. The lil feller knocked that flower tube over and watched it shatter as it hit the floor. I’ll never forget the satisfied look he had on his face when he looked up at me.
That night I stumbled across a video on youtube. It was a lampworker making a squid. It was absolutely incredible. The next day, I went online, did several hours of research and bought myself everything I needed to start lampworking at my house.
Time To Get Hooked
I can’t even put into words how excited I was, to be able to begin my journey in the glass world. It was so new to me. So many incredible things to learn. So many, that I knew I would never stop actually learning.
Now that I had my new torch, it was time to set it up and dig through the wonderful youtube machine and see what I could find!
It took me a while, but I collected probably close to 100 videos of a variety of different techniques. I started small with marbles and just learning to control the glass. I very quickly learned that gravity… well gravity is both your best friend and your worse nightmare.
After I figured out how to make marbles, I moved into color. I started learning to pull consistent strings and add color to my clear marbles. This shit was absolutely exhilerating!
Me being who I am, got hooked on lampworking immediately and before I knew it, I had spent every penny I had on upgrading my studio. I crushed through probably every video on youtube. I managed to find time in between 2 full time jobs to melt glass, I was so hooked on it.
I never thought for a second in my life that I was going to spend the beginning of my 20s learning how to blow glass. But I couldn’t stop learning and I couldn’t be happier.
Learning In Murano, Venice
I couldn’t be any more thankful to have the incredibly supportive parents that I have. They blessed me with the opportunity to pursue my dream and have supported my efforts every step of the way. After about a year of melting glass, they had seen my passion for glass and blew me away with a week long lampworking course in Murano, Italy.
We were on our way over to Italy for a family members wedding and it worked out very well to say the least. This was just the most incredible experience I could have ever asked for.
I was taking a course at a renowned studio in the glass capital of the world… can’t really ask for any more than that at this point in my glass career! Needless to say, considering this was my first actual course with a trained lampworker.
We worked with soft glass which was out of my element. But I learned a lot of sculpting techniques I never would have without taking this course. It was an incredibly humbling experience walking the halls of the studio and watching some 50+ year maestros create sculptures worth 100s of thousands of dollars.
After taking this course in Murano, I learned how important it was for me to try to find some experienced glass artists to learn from. I am a quick learner and I can teach myself quite a bit, but true knowledge comes from experience. And experience is exactly what I was looking for.
Finding My Way
1.5 years into the trade and at this point, I needed to find my way. I needed to find someone who could teach me all of the things I wanted to learn. I found this in an artist who’s name I am choosing to leave out.
This dude was easily one of the most talented glassblowers I have ever seen in my nearly 7 year long glass career. He was capable of doing pretty much anything. He was younger than me, but who the hell cares about age when you’re working to develop a new skill.
He was capable of pretty much anything on a lathe. I mean, I saw this dude think of something or see a picture and by the end of the day, he would have a near perfect replica/prototype.
He also knew tons of more artistic techniques as well. He was very well rounded. He was also open to welcoming me into his studio. I couldn’t be more thankful for him welcoming me into this world and giving me some guidance.
I moved into his studio and began to blow glass with several other artists and my skills developed rapidly. As great as it was, and as much as I was learning, I made the decision to move back to my garage. It just became a place I didn’t want to spend my time anymore.
I wish the best for this dude and still can’t ever thank him enough for making me feel so welcome in what was about to become my world. I met my first glass friends!