Joshua Cocozza has been a maker his whole life.He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and traveled frequently as a child, exposing him to many experiences that stirred his creativity. Josh was first introduced to glass when he was 8 years old, after wandering into the hot shop at the Henry Ford Museum.He was so enthralled by the glassblowing demonstration that his mom had to practically pull him out of there!Among their many family roadtrips, this moment was undoubtedly the highlight of his childhood adventures.
In 1999, Josh migrated to Florida and made a living as a cook and print shop technician; careers that fed his desire to create things from scratch. He likens these experiences to making glass, sharing a common course that begins with raw materials and results in a polished final product for others to enjoy.
It wasn’t until Josh moved to St. Petersburg in 2013 when he found glass anew and pursued it as a career. Learning of the St. Pete Hot Glass shop founded by Duncan McClellan, Josh visited one day in search of work and agreed to trade labor for time in the hot shop. Under the mentorship ofDuncan and hot shop Director Jacob Stout, Josh began developing his skillset as a glassblower and continues to expand them. Working with the Duncan McClellan Gallery for the past five years and as St. Pete Hot Glass’ Shop Technician for the past two years has afforded Josh the opportunity to assist world renowned and local glassblowers alike, continually challenging him to think beyond the horizon. He also leads the DMG Team, Duncan McClellan’s educational nonprofit program, as Lead Gaffer for DMG mobile glass lab, sparking the curiosities of children and adults just as he was inspired as a child.
I consider myself a maker first and foremost. I enjoy working with my hands, inspired by the process of creating objects from scratch, starting with the raw, molten material and seeing it through to a polished finish.While I have dabbled with most art media over the years, nothing has captured me the way that glass does. With glass there’s no ceiling, it’s never boring, always presenting limitless opportunities to learn and manipulate it. It’s a living medium-it’s got energy. It continues to challenge me, and that is what drives me.