Newt Grover — from ‘well-directed pyromaniac’ to acclaimed glass artist
When your mother describes you as a “well-directed pyromaniac” you only have a couple of ways to go in life. Become a criminal, a firefighter, or an artist. Scottsdale native Newt Grover of Newt Glass decided he would take the artistic path.
Grover was recently featured in a short documentary produced by Peter Fuhrman of Plant Pop. In the piece Grover speaks of his passion for art and his process.
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Grover has been an artist in the Scottsdale area for the past 30 years. His specialty is artistic blown glass pieces that have been focal points in businesses and events across the United States. Maestro’s Steakhouse, Wildflower Bread Company, Helios Educational Foundation and Butterfly Wonderland are Arizona staples that have featured Grover’s work..
Grover’s passion for creating glass art began at Coronado High School in Scottsdale, as a jewelry maker at age 15. He forged a successful career with it and eventually taught himself how to make neon. His passion and talent grew from there.
Later in life, Grover realized he wanted to make a career change into glassblowing.
“I saw glassblowing on a PBS program, and I told my wife, ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, and I have to do it’,” Grover said. “I looked around and there weren’t any places to learn how to blow glass in the Phoenix area, so I built my own studio so I could learn. It was initially going to be a hobby, but it morphed into a career.”
The style of art Newt creates is hard to describe by his own definition. He creates pieces for commercial, residential and art gallery installments. His biggest inspirations come from working with others throughout the entire process.
“Some of the best pieces that I’ve ever done involve a client or a designer,” he said “I will ask them what they want and then I put my own spin on it. I use my talent to bring their vision to life to some extent.”
Newt Grover said this is the best process for him because he wants to create something beautiful and unique, but it is important to always keep the client’s vision in mind because they are the ones who must look at the piece every day.
“I want them to have something they are going to love for years to come,” Grover said.
Working with clients closely is part of Newt’s process. Instead of getting an idea from a client and running with it, Newt likes to keep in touch with clients to bring the best product to the people at the end of the day.
“I don’t feel like I need to make a statement with my art,” he said. “I like parameters and by these parameters clients give me it helps to center my mind and get the client something they are going to love.”
Grover installs each piece himself and seeing his clients happy is what makes all the work he puts into the pieces worth it, he said.
“I never want to put up a piece and see that look where it is something they didn’t expect,” Grover said. “My goal is when I install a piece, I want to see a smile on their face.”
Over the years Grover has realized much of his time creating art involved fire in one form or another.
“I don’t know where the fire came into my life with making art,” he said. “Everything I’ve done in my life has revolved around fire and art.”
My mother always saw that passion in me, Newt said. There’s no wonder when looking at his craft that his mother described him as a well-directed pyromaniac he said.
Author: Joey Hancock is a freelance writer in Phoenix, Arizona. He is an experienced journalist having covered politics, business, education, entertainment and sports for multiple publications. Joey received his Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from Arizona State University. He then received a Master of Divinity and Master of Arts from Liberty University.