Hello. My name is John M/Circle, the owner and creator behind Mobius. I’ve been a full-time glassblower for 20 years. Mobius has been my sole focus for the past 11.
Maybe it's a deep desire to learn, maybe it's because I want things done a particular way, maybe it's because in the end I'm more creative with a broad base of knowledge and experience, maybe it's because of my introverted wiring, maybe I just have control issues... However it may be, I have a "from scratch" mentality that permeates everything I do.
A little over a decade ago, before Mobius, I decided to figure out how to use a glass lathe to make a "scientific style" water pipe. By that point I'd already made hand-pipes for 10 years, but I knew lathe work was a completely different skill, and it intrigued me. I dove in head first. My initial attempts were terrible, but I persisted. At the time, I'd never actually seen a "scientific" glass pipe made in person, so I decided I would have to figure it out.
The decision to teach myself lathe-work presented many challenges.... how to blend the innovative bench made color techniques I'd been using to make handmade pipes, into the tight tolerances of scientific work. This lead to exploring product design, sandblasting, glass beveling, furnace work, shop design, graphic design, photography, video, website, and my biggest challenge to date, borosilicate color making.
Making "things" for a living is deeply rewarding. There is nothing like the feeling of designing an object on paper and then assembling it out of clear glass, to hold in three-dimensional space. But to then….
Crush clear quality-control rejects into tiny pieces of glass with a hammer, blend existing colors and mixing raw metal oxides into the crushed glass to then cook it all down in a furnace to create a completely unique color. Next, pull the liquid colored glass out of the furnace into hollow tubing, cut that tubing down and chuck it into my lathe to melt with torches to form into a full colored pipe. Design sandblasting logos within Adobe Illustrator, print negatives out and expose photo-resistive film to then etch the item. Photograph, edit and then share the photos. And finally, box up the item and send it off to its new home.
These are unique objects made from scratch with great care.
For years, I have done my best to remain private in the connected world we all live in. Even within the tightly knit "pipe industry" I pretty much kept my head down and did my own thing. I am quiet and simple, and the internet is neither of those things. Now I feel it is time for me to tell a bit of my story, add a little context about Mobius and present my company in a way that reflects the way I approach my work. Thank you for poking around my website. And thank you for your support.
- John M / Circle