Glassblower starts fundraiser for new studio Chester's Kekic starts over in BF after September fire

Following a fire at his Chester studio last fall that caused extensive damage to both the building and his equipment, glass artist Nick Kekic has begun to rebuild in a new location—in the arts community housed at 33 Bridge St. in Bellows Falls.

Assistant Fire Chief Ben Whalen explains the actions of firefighters to Kekic and his daughter as they knock down a fire at his studio last September. Telegraph file photo.

He chose this location both for the opportunity to work in a community of artists and because it allows him to convert from propane to an electric furnace powered by the renewable energy generated by the nearby dam on the Connecticut River.

Kekic has already begun the necessary renovations on the new space. It needed additional walls, sheet rock, paint, fresh water plumbing and drains, gas line, ventilation, and an additional 200 AMP service to run the planned electric furnace.

To offset the cost of the new furnace and other electric equipment he has launched a Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing fundraising tool that requires projects to reach or exceed their goal within 30 days.

Tsuga Studio art glass

An award winning glass blower who has been working at his craft for more than 25 years, Kekic says, “I love what I do as I’ve done it in the past. But if I could produce my glasswork more responsibly and sustainably using green, renewable energy, while also participating in the growing creative community in the town of Bellows Falls, I see more clearly an exciting and long-term path for my glasswork and my future career.

Each supporter will be able to select rewards based on the size of their contribution. These rewards range from a limited edition T-shirt designed by Kekic to Kekic’s expertly crafted tumblers, stemware, wine decanters, large bowls and lighting features to a weekend getaway for up to six that includes lodging and hands on experience in the new studio under Kekic’s instruction.

Kekic will be hosting a live backer event as part of the Third Friday Art Walk on April 20th with an opportunity to meet the artist, see samples of his work, and visit the new studio. The Kickstarter project will run until April 26.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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