Glassblower Alex Dixon at work at the glass studio at Cal State Fullerton.

Alex Dixon at work at Cal State Fullerton’s glass studio.

While coronavirus has forced all students to head home and continue their studies online, the challenges are perhaps most felt by those who major in hands-on arts disciplines, such as glassblowing.

Alex Dixon ’20, a Cal State Fullerton glassblowing student and graphic design student assistant for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, has been adapting to our new virtual existence by focusing on a book project that highlights his glasswork achievements while awaiting the reopening of the Cal State Fullerton Glass Program, a club for students pursuing glass blowing as a hobby and career.

“Many of us in the glass program come from different backgrounds and various fields in art, so most of us have switched mediums to keep the creative flow going. I myself am a 3-D artist and a designer, so I’ve been spending more time working on designing a book of my inspiration and photography,” says Dixon. “Although we can’t blow or sculpt glass at the moment, this gives us time to think and conceptualize ideas for new bodies of work.”

Glass creations made by Alex Dixon, a glassblower at Cal State Fullerton.

Two of the Alex Dixon’s glass creations: a vessel made to appear like fine linen (left) and a glass imitation of a seashell (right).

Coronavirus:  The Bad – And Good – For the Arts World

While art work requiring teamwork and professional studios is suffering during the coronavirus shutdown, conditions are much brighter for more solitary projects, such as drawing, painting and other visual arts.

“For people who draw or paint, this definitely gives them more time to focus on their work,” says Dixon. “But for people like me who need a specific studio space, the restricted access makes it hard to build work. So for now, we plan out our ideas.”

Dixon encourages fellow artisans – and students of all majors – to take this quarantine period a day at a time, balancing productivity with mental and physical wellbeing.

“Some days you will have more motivation than other days, and that is OK,” he says. “We are facing a worldwide pandemic, and your mental and physical health is most important. Find something you like and spend a few minutes a day doing something ‘productive’ and you will slowly build more motivation. Don’t force yourself to do things if you are not in the right head space.”

To the Future

After graduating later this year, Dixon looks forward to further studies – and eventually teaching – in the arts space, using his dual experiences in the Cal State Fullerton Glass Program and graphic design work to his advantage.

“I see myself in grad school for glass and sculpture. I also see myself teaching art in the future. Whether I will be teaching glass or not is still up in the air, but it is definitely a career path I think I will pursue. Hopefully in the near future I can establish a name for myself and display my work in various museums and collections,” he says.

Interested in some of Dixon’s art? Currently, the senior sells to a private interior design company, but he plans to set up an online storefront soon.

Check out his Instagram account at @manofsubtlety or watch his YouTube video on the art of glassblowing.