brad turner smiling at camera
Brad Turner
Class of 2013
Toronto, ON

MFA Alum Heats Up Netflix

As a young glass artist, Brad Turner was familiar with Alfred University’s reputation as a top-notch educational institution for studio artists. That reputation was a big part of his coming to Alfred. "I knew a few other people who got their Master's degrees at Alfred. I liked their work.” Following graduating with his own Master's Degree in Fine Arts, Brad's career took some interesting turns; most recently, becoming a finalist in season two of the hit Netflix series Blown Away.

Alfred gave me the opportunity to branch out from glass. And I developed an appreciation for the physical context in which your work is placed.
Brad in the hot bshop working on glass sculpture

Brad received his MFA from Alfred University’s School of Art and Design in 2013 after two years of study, not only in glass blowing, but in additional studio arts that allowed him to expand his artistic range and giving him an edge in a competitive glass arts and glass sculpture industry. A craftsman since he was a teenager, Brad has showcased his work around the globe, with pieces making their way into exhibits in South Korea, Canada, Denmark, Belgium, and the US.

What got you interested in glass art? A combination of creativity and physicality.

Glass remains Brad’s artistic medium of choice, and his skill as a glass artist was recently recognized by the producers of Blown Away, the reality series on Netflix that pits ten professional glass blowing artists against each other in a ten-week competition. The winner receives a cash award of $60,000 and residency at the Corning Museum of Glass. Undoubtedly, his breadth of experience and education in glass sculpture and other dimensional art studies, and his innate talent for crafting original, functional glass pieces, landed Brad his spot in the competition.

glass vases

Brad resides in Toronto, Canada, just a short drive from Hamilton, where Blown Away was filmed in North America's largest hot shop. Among his peers, he's affectionately known as the "silent killer" of the hot shop, but at the end of the day, he's a craftsman, artist, and a stay-at-home dad to his young daughter, Zoe.

Read our press release about Brad, follow him on Instagram, and tune in to Blown Away to see him in action, turning his education and passion for glass blowing and craftsmanship into beautiful creations for the whole world to see and experience.

 

More Brad Turner Q&A

Why did you choose Alfred for your MFA? Reputation, speaking with other artists, admiring work of other artists who had studied at AU. Also financial assistance/tuition waiver. Convenient proximity to home in Toronto

Favorite things about Alfred University? Being able to work within a tight art community, meeting everyone and working with undergrads as well as grad students, especially in the glass group, which was a very welcoming group.

Favorite part of job? Having a degree of independence. Making my own hours, making a lot of my own decisions.

Any advice to prospective BFAs and MFAs? When you’re in the school, to be as open minded as possible regarding your work and the direction your work can go. At the same time, be your own advocate for your own goals. Try to maintain an open mind about direction you want to at the same time as advocating for yourself.