Husband and wife share passion for glass creation


Olivia Swenson-Hultz

Randy Turner with a metal pipe during his glass blowing workshop on Saturday in Paris.

Olivia Swenson-Hultz, Staff Reporter

Randy and Joy Turner demonstrated one of their shared passions on Saturday at Lakefield Glass, in the farmland outside of Paris.

Randy Turner creates blown glass sculptures with the help of his wife at his glass blowing studio.

He offers monthly workshops to share his productions.

The glass blowing process begins as Randy dips a metal pipe into hot glass to start his creations.

This causes a bubble-like inflation to occur.

The blown glass then sits in a heater for 16 hours at 750-660 degree temperatures.

The finished production is an iridescent, blown glass structure, appearing in many shapes, and sizes.

Randy and Joy met in graduate School at Oklahoma State, where Randy was attending for engineering.

Here they developed an ambition for glass blowing. They graduated in 1998 and continued pursuing their interests.

They reside on a farm, where Randy has designated a shed as his glass blowing studio.

They have monthly open houses, where they demonstrate the glass blowing process.

Past art is also on exhibit and available for purchase.

Joy contributes to the collective effort of glass blowing as an assistant during the glass blowing process and “business manager.”

Joy helps to find festivals to sell the art, and sends out email lists.

Randy says that the two attend markets “around the state” where the art is sold.

These include The Urbana farmer’s market, and The Honey Bee Festival in Paris.

Randy’s art has also been sold online, including through his Facebook page.

His art has been bought and displayed in various countries such as Germany, Australia, England and India.

More locally, Randy has his creations displayed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, after being purchased at an open house.

When he’s not working in the studio, Randy makes a living as a mechanical engineer at Grain Systems Inc. in Paris.


Olivia Swenson-Hultz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]