By day, Kiva Ford is the scientific glassblower at the University of Notre Dame. By night, he is an incredibly talented artist who has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and in numerous art blogs and vlogs.
“SCC was paramount in starting my career as a glassblower. Without SCC, I would not be where I am today,” said Kiva, a 2004 graduate in scientific glass technology.
Kiva’s artist statement explains that his “passion with glass began early in life, and was anchored with his college degree in Scientific Glassblowing. Through years of work creating complex glass instruments for scientist's use, he has perfected his precision and technique in manipulating glass. Beyond the scientific community, Kiva is more commonly known for his exquisite glass goblets, bottles, pendants and vessels. Kiva's artistic work is influenced by his interests in history, mythology, and the natural world.”
Kiva will return to SCC to demonstrate on Saturday, March 21 at the 20th annual International Flameworking Conference (IFC). He’ll undoubtedly receive rock-star treatment. “We have several students who were inspired to enroll at SCC as a result of their admiration of Kiva,” said Kristin Deady, Glass Education Administrator.
“I'm honored to be one of the featured artists in the fantastic lineup of glassblowers for this year’s IFC,” said Kiva. “I am mostly looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and checking out the new Samuel and Jean Jones Glass Education Center.”
Like thousands of other SCC success stories, Kiva benefitted from personalized attention from faculty and staff. “My scientific glass instructor, Daryl Smith, provided me with a strong foundation in glass-making and taught me how to do things the right way,” said Kiva, who came to SCC from Milford, N.J. (Hunterdon County). “The glass art teacher, Paul DeMarco, noticed my passion for glass during open-lab time and helped me learn various artistic glass-making techniques.”
Kiva’s proudest moment at SCC came when he earned his degree in scientific glass technology. He went on to work at Roche Pharmaceuticals in its custom scientific glass shop.
For over six years, he has managed the custom scientific glassblowing shop at Notre Dame. After hours, he creates glass art that has received international attention.
While earning great respect from his glass peers, Kiva maintains a refreshing outlook. When asked what he looks forward to the most each day, he responded, “I am grateful for another day to practice my craft.”
His advice to prospective and current students at SCC is also succinct and memorable: “Be willing to work harder than anyone else.”