For more than 12 years, John A. Longo has operated an expanding commercial and fine art glass studio in Phoenix after many other ventures that, while they may have allowed him some creativity, did not feed the growing artistic passion he developed after working with hot glass for the first time. “Hot glass has a vitality that cannot be matched. It’s like shaping a living entity, it speaks to you,” he writes in his artist statement. “It moves you and grows in your hand like nothing else.” Having been an artist of many mediums for over 30 years he once believed that the skills to produce art did not make one an artist, instead he thought that the ability to conceive art was what made one an artist. Longo came to understand later that conceptualization itself is not the true and final creative experience but the completion of a piece and then the audience’s experience with it is what really counts toward artistry.


Glass Sculpture
Glass Sculpture

“When you are able to create a piece that can evoke feelings differently in every individual who sees it, you have indeed created art,” he says. One look at Longo’s studio and you can see how metal, wood and other objects can be added to molten glass for amazing and custom affect.

Circle 6 Studios has new digs near downtown on Thomas and 20th Street with a spacious gallery and an industrial looking glass kitchen, I would call it. There for just over 3 months, the business has already leased additional space just down from their bright red door behind a shopping plaza.

Industrial glass kitchen
Circle 6 Studios in Phoenix (writer’s photo)

Longo and his helpful staff offer a variety of workshops, happy hours and exhibits all year. The action is literally HOT, so careful guidelines are spelled out before each workshop and instructors guide students through the relatively quick process of some of their beginning classes.  Attendees are able to enjoy a bit of glass working for reasonable prices and gain a glimmer of knowledge in the infinite variety of glass art. Novice or growing expert alike, anyone who pays for a workshop can pick up their beautiful ornament the next day after it has slowly cooled overnight in a special box. It’s something interesting to talk about at the office and in my opinion, Circle 6 Studio functions make for an excellent date night, so check out their extensive list of things to do – like their Cinco de Mayo ‘Hot Glass Cold Beer’ tasting – online by clicking the link above.

John Longo with beginner student
John Longo with beginner student (writer’s photo)

With this much fun going on at Circle 6 it takes a tremendous amount of maintenance and power to keep the ovens fired up. Longo tells ArtBeat that the furnace containing the liquid glass substance, or “specially formulated batch mixture of silica and several different fluxes to assist in the melting process”, is kept at 2050 degrees Fahrenheit 24/7. The reheating oven is even hotter.  Longo says that it would take 10 day to reheat the furnaces if, for any reason, they go cold. Thankfully, the Studios share the power grid with a major children’s hospital across the street, so an electrical outage is a little less likely, he tells me.

Circle 6 Studios is open every day except Sunday and only then for private classes. Longo’s love for and extensive experience in glass is shared with customers in how he approaches his business. Besides all the workshops and fun glass parties, fine and custom art is also available in house. The team works hard to make each piece the most uniquely enchanting it can be. For instance, do you need a chandelier or an exceptionally beautiful entrance for your home? Replacing or repairing antique glass? Fancy an original public art piece for the lobby of your high-rise?  For just about any commercial glass necessity or to plan a great night-out, view the online gallery and calendar today. So many surprising things in store at Circle 6.