Featured Artist

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Apr 02, 2019

For the past 13 years, Prohaska has been shaping molten glass into colorful odes to earthly landscapes and seascapes.

In the world of blown glass art, glossy colorful bowls and vases spring to mind. So, at first blush, it’s not surprising that artist and horticulturist Nolan Prohaska’s matte looking and boldly colored anthropomorphic-like flowering plants are often mistaken for ceramics. However, it’s precisely this distinctive look of his glass artworks that have catapulted him to “Featured Artist” status this year at the 14th annual Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival. 

Ever since he was a child, Prohaska’s family nurtured his love for nature. In high school, he experimented with ceramics and really liked the artform, but didn’t really see it as a viable career for himself—working as an artist. When he entered the University of Wisconsin (River Falls) in the late 1990s, he took an elective introductory course on glass. To his surprise, he had a natural talent for it, and, as a horticulturist major, his pieces naturally leaned toward the natural world. Soon, however, his glass making hobby turned into his full-time career, and for the past 20 years Prohaska has been shaping molten glass into colorful odes to earthly landscapes and seascapes. He utilizes both blown and solid working glass techniques to create vessels and sculptures in a variety of shapes.

Prohaska explains, “All of the work I create starts out as molten glass inside of a 2000-degree furnace. The glass is gathered onto the end of a blowpipe or solid punty rod, depending on the piece to be made. Colored glass is added in layers depending on the desired outcome. Successive heating and shaping occurs until the piece is finished. The glass then cools down slowly in an annealing oven. After the pieces are removed from the oven, each is finished with grinding and polishing. Sculptural work is sand-blasted and acid-etched.”

This is Prohaska’s 3rd year attending The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival and he has quickly become a huge fan of The Woodlands. 

“I love starting each day in The Woodlands with a walk across the Waterway to The Koi Fish Pond Park,” smiles Prohaska. “I love the serene setting and it reminds me of my own 15 koi fish pond at home in northern Wisconsin—albeit smaller in size and much colder in the winter!”

As the “Featured Artist” Prohaska receives the largest white tent and primo placement in the middle of Town Green Park, the epicenter of the festival, to display and sell his art.

Come meet glass artist Nolan Prohaska and marvel at his fantastic work at The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival April 13th-14th. Tickets are $15 online and $18 at the door. Children 12 and under are free! For tickets and to learn more, CLICK HERE.