Get to know the team that bring Hot Sand glassblowing to you!
PAUL ELYSEEV: CO-FOUNDER
Paul Elyseev spent the last 40 summers in Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul received a BFA in Glass and Sculpture from Jacksonville University and continued his glassblowing education at Pilchuck Glass School and Penland School of Crafts. Paul also spent a year as a glass apprentice for Master Erwin Eisch — Eisch Factory in Germany and one month working at the Minden Glass Museum.
Paul's other full-time job is a project manager for LevelLine Build & Renovations, LLC, 6-time National Rowing Champion, Asbury Park lifeguard for 16 years, and volunteer fireman. He is a life-long summer resident of the Jersey Shore.
THOMAS K. STEVENS: CO-FOUNDER
Thomas Stevens moved to Asbury Park 13 years ago, after 7 years in Amsterdam, where he worked in graphic design. That's also where he began his love affair with hot glass. At van Tetterode Glasatelier, he completed his first glass blowing course and was hooked. After 2 years studying, he began supervising the studio and various workshops with Bibi Smit and Richard Price.
Back in the States, he's been working in various studios and selling his glass through APeX Gallery and Weber Fine Art (mike-weber.com). (He's also been a Fulbright Scholar and a NYC Public school teacher.)
NICOLAS EMERIC: HOT SHOP MANAGER
Over the last 11 years of exploring glass art, Nick’s career has taken him through many different channels of education. Going through the Corning Museum of Glass, as well as the Pilchuck Glass School his artwork has evolved in many ways. He has also earned his Associates in Fine Art in Glass from the Salem Community College in 2009. He also completed his BFA degree in Glass from Jacksonville University in 2012. Nick is currently intrigued with recreating inspiring scenes of nature by engraving imagery into the surface of a glass sculpture.
SAMANTHA DINGFELD: GLASSBLOWER
Samantha Dingfeld first learned about glassblowing at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she finished her BFA in Craft and Material Studies, with a concentration in Glass. Originally from New Jersey, Samantha returned home after college to work at Hot Sand where she continues to develop and create her artwork. When she isn’t blowing glass at Hot Sand, Samantha can be found working on glass sculptures in her private studio. She is also currently working towards her Associate's degree in Scientific Glassblowing from Salem Community College.
ARIELLE MAZZOLA: GLASSBLOWER
Arielle attended New England College and graduated in 2015. She dedicated her four years to charcoal drawings, printmaking and oil painting. Upon graduating she discovered a new world of art with borosilicate glass and is currently teaching herself how to lamp work. Arielle is attending Salem Community College for her Associate Degree in Scientific Glass Technology.
SCOTT STAATS: GLASSBLOWER
Scott Staats started his career in glass working as an apprentice to artist Robert Kuster; together they created and installed large scale chandeliers. Scott continued his education attending the Penland School of Crafts to study with renowned glass artists. Along the way he has worked with many different artist and designers helping them create their beautiful work. Scott’s personal body of work celebrates bright colors and borrows inspiration from artifacts and nature. In addition to being part of the Hot Sand Glassblowing team, Scott can be found at craft shows throughout New Jersey selling his own glass art.