We had the good fortune of connecting with Seth Fairweather and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Seth, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started out with every intention of a medical path. I spent my high school years pursuing science and taking college level science electives. When I actually got to college, I found myself feeling a bit lost. I had an art requirement to fulfill, and the school had a glassblowing program. I enrolled because it sounded interesting and I had always been a bit of a firebug. I was hooked the first time I pulled glass out of a furnace. It changed the entire direction of my life. I turned away from science and medicine and transferred to an art school known for their glass program. In the many lean years after that decision, I would sometimes wonder if it was the right choice. Ultimately though, it was clear that despite having to struggle at times, this was the only path that could really give me the sense of completion and happiness that I enjoy.Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Getting to where I am now was a long journey, both metaphorically as well as in actual miles. After school, I took any job that would teach me more about what I needed to know to be able to make my work. I moved back and forth across the country a dozen times, always chasing the next bit of knowledge or new technique. I lived in my car in New Orleans while working as a studio technician at a glass studio. I followed a job to rural North Carolina to learn more about building my own equipment. I built stained glass windows in Salt Lake City, and blew glass in the Pacific Northwest. I built exhibits at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Nowhere was too far or too inconvenient if it got me closer to where I wanted to be. Today my work is mostly glass and metal, fabricated in my own studio in Arizona. I draw from my travels, and my early interests in science and medicine and try to find bridges to a poetic or whimsical structure. I find a lot of satisfaction in the engineering of new pieces, building structures to help tell a story within a piece.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Honestly, this is a hard question for me. I like exploring new places, mostly in the desert and the mountains. In town I don’t go out much. I don’t do much outside of my family and my studio practice. I would recommend getting out into some of the more wild parts of Arizona, and exploring as many places in the desert as possible.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give recognition to my parents first and foremost. I turned my back on the financial security of being a doctor to chase after blowing glass. They were behind me the entire time, believing in me and cheering me on. I also need to recognize the program at Alfred University, where I got my BFA. It gave me the foundation to be able to make anything I could dream up. Technically and in terms of confidence.