The Art of the Personal Project: Eric Pohl

This post is by Suzanne Sease from A Photo Editor

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.


Today’s featured artist:  Eric Pohl

The art of glassblowing has fascinated me since the first time I saw a demonstration at a renaissance festival more than 10 years ago. The journey and transformation from a lump of molten glass in a sweltering workshop into a delicate, colorful fine art piece is truly magical — and a visual treasure trove for a photographer like me.

I love working with artisans and makers and wanted to create some storytelling imagery to use as portfolio/promo material. So, I approached artisan Tim de Jong of Wimberley Glassworks about setting up a shoot. Tim and his team were gracious enough to dedicate a half day to setting up and photographing their process.

After some trial and error, we were able to find a good balance with the lighting. I wanted the workshop dark enough to easily capture the glow of the molten glass, but also wanted to cast a directional, window-light feel on the subjects.

The first thing you notice when you get up close and personal with glassblowing is the heat. Not only are there multiple furnaces raging at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, but there’s heat radiating off the molten glass itself as the artist works it.

In the beginning stages, the glass looks like nothing more than a glowing mass on the end of a stick. Watching glass artisans work, you really get an appreciation for the vision they have to imagine the finished product.

There’s never a dull moment while the glass is taking form. Working quickly, Tim and his team roll, blow and swing the glass like a pendulum to shape it while in its molten state. Along the way, they carefully add colors and texture by dipping and rolling the hot glass into other colored glasses. Finally, they use a variety of tools — some unexpected — such as scissors, hammers, pliers, wooden boards and even rolls of wet newspaper to work the glass to its final shape and size.

It’s truly an awe-inspiring experience to watch glass come to life. Thank you to Tim de Jong and Wimberley Glassworks for the opportunity.

To see more of this project, click here


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.