Lake Superior Art Glass Showcases A Luminous World of Color and Light

Lake Superior Art Glass

Glass creation evokes images of blowing giant bubbles and having them “magically” turn into colorful shapes and objects. At Lake Superior Art Glass (LSAG), a glass-blowing studio and gallery in Duluth’s Canal Park, their artisans share the mysteries of creating objects in glass with demonstrations and classes.

These handmade glass flowers shine brightly with the colors of the rainbow. They are available for sale, or a class will teach customers how to make their own. Photo submitted.

For those looking for colorful gifts, the LSAG gallery is filled with shimmering pieces from over 60 artists, each with a unique take on both decorative and functional items.

Amber Nichols, LSAG's General Manager, noted that the company has 20 employees, including gallery and support staff and glass blowers.

“We all love our Canal Park location with lots of foot traffic. We tend to see more tourists in the summer and more locals for classes and shopping the rest of the year,” Nichols said.

The building has space for the studios, the gallery, and for people to watch what the in-house glass blowers are creating.

Amber Nichols is General Manager of Lake Superior Art Gallery. Photo submitted.

Shopping for Treasures

Whether looking for a gorgeous piece of jewelry, that stunning decorator piece, or a variety of beautiful and functional glassware items, shoppers find that LSAG offers something for every interest and taste.

Their gallery showcases an immense collection of curated glass artistry, featuring works from their talented in-house artists, independent artisans, and world-renowned glass artists.

Jewelry items include pendant necklaces with leaf shapes, water images, and Lake Superior-related pieces, including lake freighters, lighthouses, the Aerial Lift Bridge, waves, anchors, the BWCA, and more. Some of their earrings include leaf shapes, optic icicles, hearts, and colorful glass earring studs.

Numerous pieces have a Lake Superior theme. Photo submitted

Other gallery favorites are their colorful glass flowers, hummingbird feeders, and kaleidoscopes

Functional items are popular for gifts or for people to buy for themselves. Some options are stemless wave glasses, glass straws, swizzle sticks, martini glasses, wine goblets, blue glassware, and bottle stoppers,

Hummingbird feeders come in an array of colors. Photo submitted.

Their collectible items are a veritable menagerie of animals, birds, and fish. They also have specialty items for every holiday on the calendar.

Custom Unity Glassware

Unity Glass can be either sculptural or functional with each piece handmade and unique. Photo submitted.

Unity glassware is a unique process most often used by wedding couples. The Unity Ceremony involves blending pieces of colored glass (frits). Every Unity piece is handmade and unique. An engaged couple individually chooses their own color and then blends them together during the wedding ceremony.

Afterward, they bring the colored glass back to LSAG, and their artists use the special blend in the sculptural or functional glass items of the couple’s choice. The pieces can vary from wine glasses to vases and much more.

Make It Yourself!

Having the chance to create a beautiful glass piece and the bragging rights to say, “I made that,” draws people to LSAG for a variety of classes seven days a week.

Taking a glass-blowing class at Lake Superior Art Glass will create memories and mementos for people of all ages.

“We offer mostly beginners’ classes that do not require prior experience with glass, but people who are interested in learning more can take intermediate and advanced classes as well,” added Nichols.

Jacob Speich, LSAG studio manager and instructor, makes a Unity sculpture. Photo submitted.

Customers’ glass creations are cooled slowly in a kiln overnight and are available for pick up the next morning or can be shipped.

Kids (ages 4-13)  can make jewelry pendants. People (14+) can take classes in the flamework or hot shop studios to make a variety of glass items, such as decorative paperweights, glass flowers, and blown ornaments.

Private and group classes are perfect for bachelorette parties, Girl Scouts’ gatherings, corporate events, birthday parties, and couples’ classes for special occasions.

Artist and Entrepreneur Dan Neff

From the moment Dan Neff first started blowing glass at age 17, he was hooked. He started working informally as an apprentice to learn the basics.

Dan Neff showing several cases of his amazing vortex marbles. Photo submitted.

All through college at UMD, Neff would look for housing where he could have a glass-blowing studio in the garage or basement. In 2006, he started selling his glass objects at craft fairs, shows, and bazaars.

“I was finding out what people liked, getting feedback,” he said. “In 2011, working with the Entrepreneur Fund, I started Lake Superior Art Glass LLC. In 2012, I opened my gallery and studio at the corner of 2nd Ave. East and Superior Street.”

Dan Neff’s mesmerizing vortex marbles are incredible optical illusions of light and color. Photo submitted.

He added, “It was a great location! I loved working in the window where people could go by and watch the process.”

Neff continued to hone his craft spending time working with world famous glass masters from whom he learned some of the techniques he uses today.

In 2019, he moved the business to Canal Park. “I love having a garage door in front where we can open up, to have people see what is going on inside.”

Artist and entrepreneur Dan Neff stands proudly in front of his Lake Superior Art Glass studio and gallery. Photo submitted.

Neff’s signature items are his gorgeous vortex marbles, what he calls a “modern-day paperweight.” He, however, makes them in a perfect sphere so they can be looked at from 360 degrees. as a one of a kind piece of art.

“I love being challenged in deciding what I want to make and what I need for each marble. Everything, colors, tools, must be planned out in advance, so I have to envision a project and all the the steps to get there,” he explained.

“It is all about the process and my vision for each marble,” he added. “I enjoy watching people looking at the optical illusion inside each marble and seeing it from so many different vantage points.”

The staff at LSAG invites people to “Dive into an array of unique finds that speak to the soul, and functional favorites that marry beauty with everyday utility. Let each piece whisk you away on a journey of discovery, celebrating the timeless allure of glass art.”

For an extensive online shopping gallery, class offerings, and more information on Lake Superior Art Glass, visit their website at














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