April Wagner, owner of Pontiac’s Epiphany Glass Studio, partnered with Miami-based design firm Britto Charette, to craft an award-winning glass vessel. The piece is designed by Jay Britto and former Detroiter David Charette. Called Puquios, it won one of Interior Design magazine’s 2016 Best of Year awards. More than 2000 entrants from 38 countries vied for the coveted title. The award honors home products and interior design projects.

The Collaboration

The glass design, first introduced in June of 2016, is a collaboration between glassblower and designers. Wagner is the magician who transforms sand into an amorphous solid.

“April is a tremendous talent and we are excited to be collaborating with her,” says Britto. “Glass is a new material for us. We needed an expert—an artist who could help us realize our design.”

Michigan Artist April Wagner

Born in Muskegon, Wagner naturally grew up enjoying many summers on sandy white beaches. That is where her interest in form, color, and line were also born. After years of studying ceramics she developed a passion for blowing glass while in college, and in 1997 launched Epiphany Glass Studio where she is not only owner, but principle glassblower.

Her work is shown in over 300 galleries worldwide and is featured in numerous public, private, and corporate collections including those of General Motors, Pfizer, and Strategic Staffing Solutions, as well as Vladimir Putin, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson.

Britto Charette Design Firm

“Our pieces tell a story, and working with April, someone who has built a very successful woman-owned business in the Detroit area, helps us tell a broader story,” says Charette, himself a former resident of Detroit and graduate of the University of Detroit. “Winning the Best of Year award is an honor and it’s an affirmation of our collaboration and our quest to design really beautiful, unique pieces.”

Epiphany Glass Studio

Located in Pontiac, Epiphany is a state-of-the-art, 4,000 sq. ft. glassblowing studio and gallery. Furnaces are running there 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Due to the intensity of the work, the studio is not open to the public without an appointment.

However, there are 2 open studio events each year: the first weekend in May and the first weekend in December. Interested parties may contact the studio to be placed on a mailing list. There will also be a Valentine’s Day Workshop from 4pm-8pm on February 14, for aspiring artists who want to experience the thrill of working with liquid glass, and making a paperweight of their own. Registration is $50 per person.

Author: Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, business consultant, avid traveler, and founder of The Catalyst Company, LLC, Michigan Positivity Project, and Buy Michigan Now.