Internationally known glassblower Robert Burch, whose training includes working with Team Chihuly Inc., will demonstrate his hand-blown glass skills in Leadville from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, July 14. Burch will bring his mobile glass shop to 601 Harrison Ave. as part of Leadville’s 321 Fridays summer art series.

Many local businesses are jumping onboard Friday to celebrate the arts with Burch along the historic Harrison Avenue.

Glass-blowing since he was 16, Burch sharpened his skills with several master glass artists, including Tadashi Torii in Georgia and Martin Blank in Seattle. There, he also worked for Team Chihuly Inc. Today, Burch is an independent freelancer whose glass work is exhibited internationally.

Burch spends his time between Carbondale and Salida, but he travels to North Carolina every year to create his glass pieces at a special shop fueled by methane from a landfill. “It’s the only eco-friendly glass shop in the country,” Burch says. “I spend about two months there, creating glass.” Then he returns to Colorado to work on the finishing, mounting and shipping of his glass, while also traveling, exhibiting, lecturing and participating in art walks.

“I am excited to be a part of the art walk scene in Leadville,” says Burch, who has family connections in the Leadville area. He enjoys the rock climbing and skate park in Leadville and says part of his philosophy is to give back to the community.

Recently, Burch has been working with glass and metal, an unusual and challenging combination of materials. During his 321 Friday demonstration he will be blowing cups and small vases, as his mobile shop is outfitted for small glass production only. Several of his unique, integrated pieces are on display inside Harperrose Studio, 601 Harrison Ave. To learn more about Burch, his works and upcoming events, visit his website, robertburchllc.com.

Leadville’s 321 Fridays – Meet the Artist summer series is presented by Harperrose Studios and the Leadville Arts Coalition. Light refreshments and wine will be available with donations going to the Kiddie Korral mural renewal project. Other Harrison Avenue businesses plan to stay open late Friday for this “Celebrate the Arts”  event.