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Austin glass-blowing artist makes a name for himself with work on McConaughey's shelves

Jared F. Rosenacker makes drinkware from scratch that been used by celebrities. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Even in the middle of summer, you can find Jared F. Rosenacker working in his studio, surrounded by 2,150-degree furnaces under the hot Texas sun.

Rosenacker has lived and worked all over the world but after only three years in Austin, he has love for the Capital City. He's found success in his move, and his hand-blown glass company, JFR Glass, can be found in select local shops like Prima Dora, Art for the People and The Austin Shaker.

His glasses have also made it to the homes of some major celebrities, like Austin's own Matthew McConaughey, as part of Longbranch Bourbon's "All Things Austin" promotion. Rosenacker says success is all about having manifestation and having a positive mindset.

"I believe a lot in the power of attraction or manifestation. I don't think anyone who's ever done anything great in this world ever said, 'I don't believe in myself,'" Rosenacker said. "And it happened much, much, much, much faster than I thought it would. I'm in the homes of people like Ed Helms, Courtney Cox and Jessica Alba, just to name a few."

A Cincinnati, Ohio, native, Rosenacker started college at Bowling Green State University as a film major. On a whim, he decided to take a glass-blowing class he learned about through a friend.

Day one of the course was packed but by the second day, half the students had dropped. Glass blowing is a game of speed and endurance in the scorching heat, and Rosenacker said it was the daunting nature and instant creative gratification of working with glass that led him to switch to an art major.

Rosenacker's assistant, Grisha Khutoryan, blows a bubble in the glass. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

"You don't make anything nice right away, you make these blobs that only your mother loves," Rosenacker said. "It's intimidating. There's nothing you do in daily life in comparison and you use all sorts of different muscles and you work with it unlike anything else."

After graduating college and a brief stint honing his craft in Seattle, Washington, Rosenacker worked in an outreach program for the Corning Museum of Glass, showcasing his skills by doing live work for guests on cruise ships.

The experience allowed him to visit 40 different countries but when he returned, he said he was looking for a supportive art community like the one he had been part of in Seattle and heard about in Austin.

"(Seattle) is a big, gigantic glass community, the biggest glass community in the world, also a big art scene," Rosenacker said. "But it just does not, did not and probably still does not have the friendly community and support that Austin does. I feel like Austin attracts a certain high-level kind of vibrating, good person."

Rosenacker sells his finished drinkware in stores like Prima Dora on South Congress. (JFR Glass)

Until he gets a proper studio set up in Austin, Rosenacker drives out of town to work from a little silo studio in Bastrop. Though he has a diverse portfolio, his main focus is on creating drinking glasses—an apt fit for the impromptu mixologists that emerged during the pandemic.

"It's just one of those things that's functional, everybody uses and something you (use) every day," Rosenacker said. "A glass of wine is going to taste better when it's around friends and a good setting, so that's just a way to bring more to those everyday moments."

As his business grows, Rosenackers hopes to expand on his drinkware line and even get into some public art projects with some of his fellow artists in the community. For now, know that every JFR glass is made by hand, just a few miles away.


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