By Megan Miller
Above all else, Joseph Pecoraro, co-owner of Long Island Glass, is an artist.
“To me, being an artist is more than just creation,” Pecoraro said. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s obsession over what you’re trying to do – your craft.”
Pecoraro developed a penchant for metal sculpture as a child, and the skills he gained using materials such as cutting torches and welding torches translated well to glass blowing.
“I’ve been a sculptor my whole life,” Pecoraro explained. “I love making things pretty much out of anything I can get my hands on.”
His infatuation with the art began 20 years ago during a visit to Portland, Oregon. It was there that he saw glass move for the first time – from then, his pursuit to create within that medium did not cease.
“When I first saw glass move in person, I was just so obsessed with it,” Pecoraro said. “The possibilities would keep me up at night thinking of all the things I could make.”
The idea for Long Island Glass was born out of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue where Pecoraro performed live glass blowing demonstrations while his partner, Brian Gonzales a store owner in the town, would sell the creations. One particular demonstration led to their vital realization.
“The primal fascination of fire and the awe of creation right in front of you – it just mesmerized people,” said Pecoraro. “We both looked at each other and were like, ‘Wow. They need this here.’”
Pecoraro and Gonzales then decided that by building Long Island Glass, the sole existence of a studio devoted to the medium would be enough to attract interest on Long Island. They were right.
“We had a lady from Israel come here a few months ago that sold a chandelier in Manhattan and it broke on the way,” Pecoraro said. “She used our facility, fixed it, [and] brought it to the gallery.”
Once Gonzales and Pecoraro settled on a building location for Long Island Glass in Holtsville, Pecoraro said he built the interior from scratch. That resulted in having enough space and materials for fifteen people to work comfortably and safely.
“Building this place was just really the first stake in the ground, “ said Pecoraro. “Now there really is a scene being built around it.”