Story of a… Glass Artist

Life behind a torch has an unbreakable hold on David Sandidge, 51.

Roberto Gonazlez

He looked up to his big brother. “I actually followed my brother Drew into the business. I thought it was the neatest thing watching him make these little things out of glass, so when I was old enough, I went to work at the same factory. I worked there every day after school and then part-time through college.”

His first career choice: commercial pilot. Sandidge had wanted to be a pilot since he was a boy. “After I graduated college with an education in aviation, I decided that glass was really more my thing than flying airplanes.”

Thirty-six years later . . . “I feel pretty blessed to have found something that I love at such an early age. After becoming a pilot and looking into that as a career, I’ve come to realize my passion is in glass, and it always has been.”

He surrounds himself with glass artists. His wife, Dixie, makes glass jewelry sold at his store, International Hot Glass in Artegon Marketplace, launched last fall with fellow glass artist Brandon Price. “There are pieces he makes solo and pieces I make solo. Some of the work at the gallery is a collaborative effort.” Six of the store’s eight employees are glass artists.

The Disney years. “I spent 20 years blowing glass at Disney—in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and California. One of the most notable pieces that I did was presented by Bob Iger [CEO of The Walt Disney Company] to Nancy Reagan at the opening of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library.”

Designs often come to him while he creates. “Anytime I turn on the torch without putting a whole lot of thought into what I’m about to make, I just start creating things. I think there’s a kind of bank of images and designs in my head. Sometimes I’m driving into work and I see something like a beautiful horse in a field, and it inspires me to come in and make a horse.”

Yes, it’s dangerous. “Burns and cuts happen on a daily basis. There’s an area on my hand that’s burn upon cut and scar upon scar. Fortunately, I’ve never injured myself very badly. If my hand were to get into that flame at 3,000 degrees, it would be devastating. It would keep me out of work for weeks or more. But my hand has never gone into the flame.”

Grabby customers are his nemesis. “It makes me very nervous.” When children handle his glass, “I don’t even bother going to the parents. I go right to the kids and say, ‘You want to put that down.’ ”

He’s found his happy place. “The most natural place for me is to sit behind this torch. When I feel stressed and under pressure, I come to the torch, and I start making glass.”

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

2019 Premier Veterinarians

The 2019 Central Florida List is OUT! Each year Orlando Magazine publishes the Premier Veterinarians List. Take a look at the full list now.

2018 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.

Premier Realtors 2019

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Retirement Living 2019

This feature highlights several great retirement communities that Central Florida has to offer.

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2019

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2019

Our annual list featuring 220 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2019

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Focus On With Dr. Sadek: Women’s Health and Epilepsy

Did you know women face additional challenges with epilepsy due to hormones?

Health Hub: Why Are Flu Shots Important?

Fall has arrived, and with it, the start of flu season. While you can get the flu at any time, cases typically rise in October and hit their peak around the holidays. Learn why it's important to get your flu shot!

Special Olympics Florida Celebrates Its Annual Champions Gala

This annual exclusive event honors community leaders and fundraises for statewide athletics!

Taste! Central Florida Giveaway

We've partnered with Taste! Central Florida for their 30th Anniversary to give 3 lucky couples two tickets to this amazing annual event!

Health Hub: Robotic-Assisted Spine Surgery

When back pain is almost as common as a cold, feel confident in finding the right option for you!
Edit Module