Judson Guérard was born in North Carolina. He has two degrees in philosophy, one from UNC-Chapel Hill, and the other from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After becoming interested in glass in Denver, he furthered his studies at Penland School of Crafts by studying first with Finn Lyngaard & Tchai Munch, and then Paul Marioni, Richard Ritter, Jane Bruce, Will Dexter, Tom Buechner, Hugh Jenkins, and especially Bill and Sally Worcester. Some of Judson’s work is inspired by the tranquility and enduring beauty of the North Toe River where his studio and home are located
Husband and wife, JJ and Simona, live in the mountains of
Western North Carolina where they own and operate Fyreglas Studio. Working together they create both decorative and functional kilnformed glass art.
Starting with an extensive palette of sheet glass, their work begins by creating kilncast “pattern bars”. Pattern bars are built by stacking or laying vibrant, multihued glass into molds made of high temperature materials. These molds are then fired in a kiln, at temperatures approaching 1600 degrees, creating solid glass bars of interesting and unusual design. Slices of these bars, cut with a wet diamond saw, become "parts" which are included in the designs of flat panels and fired again creating the unique, intricate patterns found within their work. The final work may be flat panels which can be displayed on tables, shelves or walls. With an additional firing into ceramic molds, panels can become more “functional” pieces such as plates and bowls.
As a result of this process, no two works are exactly alike.
JJ, a retired fire chief from Miami, Florida, moved to Bakersville,North Carolina in 2001 and built his glass studio.
Simona, after meeting JJ in 2006, retired from her career in health care in Pensacola, Florida and relocated to the mountains.
JJ and Simona were married in Hot Springs, NC in the fall of 2007.
Simona received her BFA in Fine Arts and Art Education from The University of South Florida and has studied glass atPenland School of Crafts.
JJ has studied glass at The University of Miami, The Studio at Corning, Pilchuck Glass School and Penland School of Crafts.