J Ring History
The idea that grew into J. Ring Glass Studio began several years ago in 1972, when Joe
Ring left his home in St. Paul, Minnesota to work as an apprentice for the New York City
firm of Leo Popper & Sons, one of the last of the old schools of stained glass studios to
offer a regimented hands-on training program in stained glass window construction. By
the time Joe came back to Minnesota to start his own studio in 1975, he knew that his
love of glass would become a lifelong passion.
He was joined in 1977 by Susan Thrash, who became his partner, and together they
built a successful commission studio in decorative art glass. Among their specialties
were residential, church and restaurant stained glass, etched glass, both hand and
machine beveling, glass bending (specifically for antique lamp restoration), traditional
stained glass painting, mirror resilvering, and all types of window restoration. The
studio also sold supplies and taught classes.
By the late 1990’s, the sales of supplies had grown beyond the original projections, which led the two owners to believe that the Upper Midwest was in need of an expanded source of supplies for glass artists and crafters, with a resource center offering professional instruction in all areas of glass craft and design. So they closed down the fabrication and custom glass work shop, and focused on developing a new educational and supply facility. In 2017 they downsized and moved to a new location at 1902 Minnehaha Ave West in St. Paul where we continue to sell products and provide classes.
Today the focus of J. Ring Glass Studio has evolved around kiln-worked glass. Both Joe and Susan view hot glass as a dynamic, versatile medium, and it is especially gratifying that now they are able to devote time developing their own styles of kiln-worked glass. You can see examples of their work from time to time in the Gallery Section of this web site. Or you can stop by the studio and see for yourself.
J Ring Philosopy
At J. Ring Glass Studio we believe that creativity begins with a solid understanding of technique. It is our objective to offer classes with the very best instruction available so that students will be introduced to new and traditional methods of glass working at the professional level. Our educational program is backed by over 30 years of experience.
We view art glass as a vibrant, exciting medium, and we feel that glass workers and artists should have a large selection of quality products and tools to choose from. With that in mind, we have filled our 14,000 square foot warehouse with a vast array of beautiful and useful objects, and are continually adding new items as the industry advances.
Joe Ring and Susan Thrash.
Susan Thrash performing restoration work on painted
gold leaf and etched mirror for the old Forum Cafeteria,
Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1982.