Glassblower Creates Art for Over 40 Years


“Each time I would go and pick up my Wife Ruthann at her Uncle Dick’s glass shop in Disneyland, I enjoyed watching him create the glass pieces in the fire with two glass rods. Since Dick needed someone to work Friday and Saturday night at Disneyland, he offered to show me how to blow glass in exchange for me working both nights at Disneyland in his glass shop,” explained James Gould, co-owner of Glass Blower.                                                             

Blowing off-hand and lamp-working are the two forms of glass blowing. James Gould mainly uses the method lampworking which is the process of fashioning objects from glass tubing and cane softened to workability over the flame of a small lamp and for making figures.

Each design is unique, and takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to create. Jim and his wife run the glass blowing shop in Knott’s Berry Farm, and he noted that glassblowing is a skill that has been passed on for eight generations, according to “I used to have to use glass tubing to make my glass sculptures until 1949 when solid glass rods were made, this had enabled us to make a larger variety  of items,” stated Gould.

“Dick showed me all of the safety factors to avoid getting burnt with the two glass rods. I practiced making my muscles stronger so I was able to sit up straight all day, and hold my arms up in the proper position to be able to blow the glass. The next step I learned to do was the process of working the glass,” stated Gould.

Glass shops Gould worked at included Japanese Village and Deer Park, Olvera Street, and Sea World. James said,” Over the years James has worked in lots of glass shops starting at Disneyland on Main Street. Then he started working at different glass shops giving the glass blowers days off and vacations. Him and his wife took over the family business at Japanese Village and Deer Park until the park closed. In 1974 Gould went to work for his father-in-law Louis Lang at Knott’s Berry Farm, and has worked there ever since.

“Even after 40 years as a glassblower Gould still finds his career rewarding. “My wife and I have spent many years together working in a place that we love doing what we do best,”added James Gould.