Co-Founder & Creative Director
Ben Tullman is one of the founders of Ignite Glass Studios and is the Creative Director and Studio Manager. He first encountered glass at age 12 making glass beads. Over the past 16 years, Ben has honed his skillset studying with master glass artists such as Davide Salvadore, Karen Willenbrink-Johnson and Martin Janecky. The focus of his artwork is taking traditional techniques, pushing the limits of scale and developing new techniques through experimentation.
In his words, “I love the inherent unpredictability and mystery of glass. You have to be adaptive and flexible to work with it because it has a life of its own. Every time you work with glass it challenges you and gives you new opportunities to learn and grow.”
Director of Sales – Events
Bio coming soon
Director of Education
Joe Waropay joined the Ignite team in 2013 and is a resident artist and instructor at the studio. He is also the lead youth instructor for Ignite’s nonprofit partner, Ignition Community Glass, developing and implementing glassblowing programs for under-resourced youth in Chicago. In addition to his glassblowing skills, his capacity in sculpture and printmaking have brought a new dynamic to Ignite. His artwork reflects themes of Growth and Development and Memories into glass and mixed media conceptual sculpture.
Joe was born and raised in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, where he was active in sports throughout his youth. He attended Western Illinois University and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort as a Division-1 baseball player while also majoring in art and developed his passion for glass under John Miller at Illinois State University.
Bio coming soon!
Senior Artist & Hot Shop Technician
Charles Matz is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago (BA Photojournalism ’16). He discovered glass art through a chance encounter with a lamp worker in his sophomore year of college and he has pursued flame working ever since. Charlie is Ignite Glass Studios’ staff photographer, studio technician and manager of the newly developed flame working shop at Ignite.
Charlie’s photographic work focuses on numerous aspects of glass art, documenting the many types of glass artists and their studios, which vary greatly in size and capability. The potential for high detail in jewelry, marbles and other flame worked sculptural forms brings exciting new opportunities for Ignite and Charlie intends to continue exploring these possibilities in the foreseeable future.
CTO, Senior Artist
Arvin Makhsous is a multitalented artist in several mediums, including music, film, painting, sculpture, and glass. Arvin started his career in glass during his senior year of high school, doing mosaic, fusing, and flame working projects. Upon discovering his passion for glass art, he was introduced to a young Ignite Glass Studios by his peers. Shortly after, he started an apprenticeship under lead Ignite artist Ben Tullman, who trained him specifically in Italian techniques and larger scale blown glass art.
Arvin enjoys exploring new forms through creating abstract three-dimensional vessels and flat fusings through the use of murrine and canes. He also enjoys putting together large installations that require multiple components.
Artist, Instructor & Venue Liaison
About Eleanor Harvey
Artist & Instructor
Eleanor Victoria Harvey is a Chicago native who joined the Ignite Glass Studios team in 2019. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a minor in Anthropology in 2018 from Illinois State University.
Bio coming soon