Robert has been working in blown glass since 1971, while maintaining a broad production line he is increasing his focus on one-of-a-kind and commission work. His glasswork consists of vases, perfume bottles, paperweights and sculptural pieces, with his current specialty being works that incorporate veiled silver glass with delicate bubble patterns. Since 1977 Robert’s works have been shown in numerous shows across the country. “Most of my inspiration comes from my natural surroundings, and is further enhanced by the beauty of the glass in its molten state. I am fortunate to have found work that I love and that allows me to be creative.”
Robert found glass in the late 1960’s when glassblowing was still new as a re-emerging craft. While visiting at Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Burch ventured out for an evening walk in the surrounding North Carolina woods. “I came upon a little cabin with a roar coming out of it and a strange glow in its windows. I looked in the door, and there was this guy blowing glass. I was stunned! The magic, the sensuality, the energy of that moving, molten glass! From that moment on, my purpose was to get as close to glass as I could.”
And so he has. A chance opportunity to simultaneously learn and teach glassblowing at Goddard College led the former production potter from clay to glass. By 1978, Burch had moved his first glassblowing studio in Plainfield, Vermont to its current home in a 200-year old Putney barn.
Watching Burch in action explains his conscious choice not to further expand his thriving business. Clearly it’s a venture or perhaps a dance in which Burch and glass are the closest of partners. His every muscle keeps pace with the fiery substance he cajoles into shape. A twist here, a light touch there, a breath, a moment’s rest. A master is at work here, following the lead offered by glass heated to over 2,000 degrees.