"Magicians Doing Magical Work:" Glassblowing at the Poignon Project

October 27, 2020

The magical art of glassblowing is alive and well at the Poignon Project, an art studio and gallery at 227 E. Perry Street in Tiffin.

Ryan Poignon, owner and founder of the Poignon project, said he got into the glass blowing field after being inspired by his grandmother’s glass collection, along with Tiffin’s local glass history. He started in watercolor painting, then shifted to mixed media work.

“I always looked to glass blowers as magicians doing magical work,” Poignon said.

When Poignon and his wife moved back to Tiffin, they opened the Retro Rabbit in order to save up for the Poignon Project.

In 2011, he and his wife moved back to Tiffin, reselling antiques at flea markets before opening Retro Rabbit in 2012 with an art studio in the rear. Eventually, he closed the shop, auctioned everything off, in order to open the Poignon Project in 2015.

His specialization comes in glassblowing, which he does on site, along with other mixed media art projects. As he has progressed in his art, he has gotten national attention, specifically for his heroin awareness sculpture, which has been seen by people around the country. Currently, the sculpture is at the Tiffin Brewery for the five-year anniversary.

His focus on the community and bringing art to those who don’t usually get to experience it is a priority to Poignon. With his demonstrations and classes, he tries to get kids excited about glass. With that focus on arts advocacy, he hopes to enact change and help kids who don’t have the same artistic opportunities as some in larger communities.

“After the Tiffin Glass factory closed, excitement about glass missed a generation, but we can bring it back,” he said.

Poignon also offers glassblowing classes, where students can take home a piece of glass that they have blown themselves. He also organized artist markets within the community, partnering with the Tiffin Brewery to bring vendors and artists to a space where they can sell and display their projects.

He also said he is working on trying to bring artwork to the blank spaces in the community.

“Why did the skills have to be lost?” Poignon said.

Even with the current state of the world, he said sales are up, and he will be starting on his Christmas ornaments soon.

“2020 is looking strong. It’s the best year we’ve had,” Poignon said. “If I can do it in Tiffin, and Tiffin accepts it, Tiffin will want more of it.”

The Poignon Project is open Monday, Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hours may vary; check Facebook or Instagram, or call  419-618-6429.

 View a glassblowing demonstration on our Facebook.

 Founder and owner Ryan Poignon demonstrating glass blowing of a Christmas ornament.

Visit The Poignon Project to purchase your Christmas ornaments for the holiday season!

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