Percy Echols II
Public Glass DemonstrationDuring the Month of February 2023 Alfred University School of Art and Design (SOAD) will host glass artists who hail from the afro diaspora. Each week an artist working with glass will lead workshops and lecture on their work and experience.
Percy Echols II is a Pittsburgh-based Artist, Alchemist, and Educator who pioneers the development of Neon and Plasma Light Art at the Pittsburgh Glass Center and is the creator and host of the Podcast Taming Lightning.
He began working in glass in 2011 when he took his first Glassblowing Class at Illinois State University, although his interest in plasma began in 2014 at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. Here he was introduced to the medium of plasma light sculpture through furnace glassblowing in a class taught by Patrick Collentine and gained a friend and mentor. He continued working in plasma while pursuing his BFA in Studio Glass at Illinois State University. After graduating he moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 for a year-long apprenticeship at the Pittsburgh Glass Center which quickly became his new home.
Here he was gifted with an opportunity to make use of donated neon equipment and a growing network of artists, where he studied, built, and developed studio equipment and programming. This allowed him to not only make his artwork, but to allow PGC to provide workshops, classes, and private lessons, as well as allow for commissions, services, and collaborations for Plasma and Neon.
Percy currently pursues the goal of formalizing methods and knowledge he has put into practice for plasma and sharing them with the greater community of interested artists, makers, and engineers and encouraging accessibility through public art institutions
In 2021 Alfred University student Adeye Jean-Baptiste proposed an artist series with glass artists who hail from the afro diaspora. Finding support from the SOAD, the Sculpture Dimensional Studio Division, and from the local artists and community with a successful fundraising auction in the fall of 22.
The series is also supported by Olympic Color, a glassblowing supply company in Seattle, WA, who provided materials for the artists by Olympic Color.