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Glass blowers heating up art scene

Artists Stephen Cornett and Scott Carlson, co-owners of The Gathering Glass Studio, are carving out their niche in Ashland's art scene.

Stephen Cornett, a laid back, easy-going type, is nonchalant about his work, but the bright colors and ideas displayed in the studio speak for themselves. A brightly colored martini glass lamp is just one example of some of the more unique pieces the two concoct.

"We do a lot of custom work, lighting, and more functional pieces such as vases, bowls, figurines, and bottle stoppers," said Cornett.

Bathroom sinks will also be added soon to the list.

The idea for a shop on A Street started to take place before either Cornett or Carlson moved to town. It was a group effort between the two and with the help of Carlson's sister, Stacy Carlson.

Stacy Carlson used the idea of a glass blowing shop on A Street for her public relations marketing strategy senior project at Southern Oregon University.

"[Cornett and Carlson] pretty much used every thing I did," said Stacy Carlson. "They didn't change much."

Cornett and Carlson first got their start with a small studio in the A St. Market, but had little visibility and not much space to work with.

"That was just a temporary solution," said Cornett.

The two have since relocated just across the street on Pioneer St. Gathering Glass Studio opened its doors on Oct. 18, 2003 and has been well received in Ashland.

"We've gotten a great response from people," said Cornett. "Word's gotten out."

Because the studio opened after the peak tourist season, Cornett credits most of his success to locals.The studio also teaches a variety of classes open to the public and through SOU's extended class program.

"I want to keep going with classes and expand them," said Cornett. "I'd like to do some stained glass work and we're starting to do more shows."