Christian Thirion, Glassmaker

Taking on the family tradition, Christian Thirion became a pastry chef at the age of 14 in Belfort, France. However, the taste for glass was never far from his mind. As a small boy, while on family vacations to Barcelona and Venice, Thirion was captivated by the art of glassmaking.

In 1979 Thirion decided to move to the United States, and in 1980 he opened a restau-rant in California. In 1987 he hung up his chef’s coat and took a glassmaking class at a city college in Santa Barbara. Thirion had no doubt that this was what he wanted to do. The love for glass naturally flowed through his veins.

Thirion spent a few years on the West Coast learning the art of glassmaking. In 1992, he was drawn eastward to the Finger Lakes area. With the Corning Museum of Glass only half an hour away, Millport was a great place for Thirion to establish his studio. He has converted Millport’s 1930 elementary school into a hot-shop where he continues to create and learn about glassmaking.

Thirion’s style can be identified by his Wave Series vessels (image above left). Each piece has a long stemmed stopper that creates movement within the piece. His teapots are extremely sculptural (image above right). Most consist of an elaborate handle, a delicate spout and are topped with a whimsical hat for the lid. He designs with a variety of eclectic colors and a sense of pure elegance.

Thirion owns the Glassart, Inc. Gallery and Studio in Watkins Glen. He features his own pieces as well as glasswork from around the world. Call 607-535-0535 or 607-739-3939 for gallery hours.