About the Founders

Jeff Ballard earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass art from the University of Illinois in 2000. Following his academic journey, he refined his artistic skills in diverse production glass studios across the United States. In 2006, Jeff relocated to his current home in Eugene, Oregon, where he embarked on a solo career. His passion for sharing his expertise led him to teach and showcase his works globally, with exhibitions and classes spanning Denmark, Turkey, Germany, Australia, South Korea, and the United States. In 2017, Jeff made a deliberate shift from the realm of fine art to focus on functional glass art, adopting the moniker of Soft Serve Glass.

Joe Tsoulfas embarked on a more traditional path within the glass
industry, apprenticing under esteemed flame workers in Oregon during the mid-90s. Simultaneously, he earned a degree in Environmental Ecology with the emphasis in Botany from Southern Oregon University, all while honing his glass skills behind the torch. Around 2005, Joe's fascination with furnace working, also known as soft glass, took root and became an obsession. Developing his skills in
glassmaking, he attended glass schools such as; Pilchuck Glass
School, Penland School of Crafts, and Corning Museum of Glass as a
student and instructor.  Ten years later, Joe established Big Spin Glass studio, which has evolved into the headquarters for Bright Block Studios and all other glass ventures for both Joe and Jeff.

In 2019, amidst the multifaceted trajectories of their glass careers,
Jeff and Joe decided to breathe life into a long-cherished concept—an
idea of salvaged lighting that had simmered on the back burner for
quite some time. Originally named Bright Side Lighting, the duo completed a substantial commercial project and a handful of private commissions. However, it wasn't until 2023 that they took a decisive step to formalize the enterprise, rebranding it as Bright Block Studios LLC. With a more committed investment of both time and resources. They're passionately realizing their vision of crafting elegant and sophisticated, eco-conscious glass lighting solutions.


In crafting our lighting collections, we diverge from conventional recycled glass practices. Unlike others, we don't crush and melt the glass in a 2200-degree furnace. Instead, we honor and exploit the inherent qualities of the blocks. Carefully heated in an oven, we transfer them to a metal pipe for reshaping. We then breath new life into them, adding a completely unique range of forms while preserving their innate textural characteristics.

After the transformative hot work is complete and the glass is cooled
slowly to avoid stress, we carefully hand assemble all the customized high-quality brass and ceramic hardware, avoiding all use of plastics.

Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond aesthetics. Most glass studios melt glass called "cullet" which is formulated and melted elsewhere, usually abroad, then shipped to the US and re-melted at extremely high temperatures in furnaces that run 24 hours a day 7 days a week. At Bright Block, we intervene in the life cycle of glass destined for the landfill. This simple yet imperative aspect allows us to eliminate the largest energy consuming piece of equipment in the studio, the furnace. At Bright Block we use around 40% less energy than traditional glass blowing studios. All while offering the materials a second, more vibrant and aesthetic life.

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