Vitrix Tom Kelly
Founded in 1979 in Corning’s historic Market Street district, Vitrix Hot Glass Studio is regarded among America’s prominent contemporary glass studios. Glass Artist Thomas P. Kelly, owner of Vitrix; along with Robert Kelly, business manager; glassmakers Manny Quinones and Mort Klepacz, and a few dedicated others, are committed to uncompromising quality and craftsmanship.
When Tom went to work for Bob Rockwell in 1982 he had no idea that glass would end up playing such a major role in his life. Mr. Rockwell is the world’s leading collector of Carder-Steuben glass. Under the guidance of Mr. Rockwell, Tom had the opportunity to handle and examine the work of Frederick Carder. After working for Mr. Rockwell for three years, Tom’s attention was drawn down the street to the glass studios of Alex Brand and Thomas Buechner. After much persistence, he was offered part time employment at both studios where he had the opportunity to learn from two distinctly different artists each having their own unique talents. Eventually, Tom found himself blowing glass full time with Thomas Buechner III at Vitrix Hot Glass Studio. At Vitrix, visiting artists such as Lino Tagliapietra and Fritz Dreisbach educated and influenced him.
Over the next ten years, Tom’s glass working skills and aesthetic sensitivity continued to develop. When Buechner made the decision to leave glass to grow in another direction, Tom was ready to take over ownership of Vitrix. Hot glass challenges me constantly says Tom, I don’t think I really control the molten glass, I just influence it. My team and I work together, we’re all involved in the creation of new pieces we start with an idea and work the glass until it gives us something back.
Museum collections include the Corning Museum of Glass, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum fur Kunst and Gewerbe, High Museum of Art, and others.