I think I was destined to be a glassmaker. My father worked for Corning Glass and is also an excellent writer and painter. My mother is an artist too, and because of them I grew up with the idea that making objects and painting is very important.
I have always liked hard physical activity and one summer I got a chance to work for a glassblower. I really enjoyed it because it was creative but also physical, like a sport. Glassblowing is art, craft and sport all rolled into one. Even now, 20 years later, I still get a thrill out of making a really nice piece of glass.
At Thames Glass I design and make the prototypes, build the equipment, train the glassmakers, and supervise the production. When we make more difficult pieces I work on the glassblowing team as the gaffer (head glassmaker).
My goal for Thames Glass is to produce the highest possible quality glass and also make sure that the process is a source of pride and pleasure for everyone involved. I want our customers to enjoy our glass and know that it was made by someone, not pumped out by a machine. Years of time and practice have gone into everything we make and that dedication enables us to make beautiful, well-crafted glass that we hope you will enjoy.
Matthew Buechner grew up in Corning, New York with his parents who were artists. His father was also director of the Corning Museum of Glass and later, president of Steuben. Matthew started blowing glass in a local glass studio when he was eighteen. He went on to study glassblowing and ceramics at Hartwick College and later went to Germany to work as a bit gatherer/apprentice making stemware at the Glasshutte Eisch in Fraunau, Germany. In 1981, Matthew moved to Newport and established Thames Glass with his wife Adrian.
Matthew has participated in workshops at Haystack Mountain School, New York Experimental Glass Workshop, Rhode Island School of Design, and Penland School of Crafts. He has taught glassblowing at the Bild-Werk arts program in Fraunau, Germany. Matthew’s glass is exhibited and sold internationally and is included in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass and Fraunau Museum of Glass. It has been featured in the Smithsonian Mail Order Catalogue as well as in numerous other publications.