It is a love affair that began in college.

"I started at Washington University as just an elective taking glass classes," explains Sam Stang.

A relationship that heated up rather quickly and the flame has never really burned out. Sam picked up his first blow pipe in 1981 and his life started to take shape.

"Most of these pieces are one of a kind or very limited."

In the mid 80's he and two other University City kids opened Ibex Glass Studio and their work immediately impressed.

"All the buyers knew that we were dummies. We had reasonably nice work way too cheap."

But it put them on the map and into galleries around the country.

"We did well except we didn't make much money."

In the early 90's he went out on his own and turned the old Augusta Garage into Augusta Glass Studio.

"These tools are made out of cherry wood and all the rest of these are all steel tools and they're all very simple and kind of ancient in design," he points out.

They are tools that help him create stunning works of art. Colorful glass pieces with intricate patterns.

The method is quite meticulous and starts with a rather heavy hunk of glass. A pitcher, on the other hand, starts with a hot glob.

"It's just a ball of goo right and suddenly it's a bubble," he says.

And then a dance with constant twirling and spinning takes place.

"I mean if I stop you can see what happens."

Every edge, every curve is deliberate.

"There's a lot of time spent designing it and testing colors and finding what will even work," he goes on to say.

It is as much a science as it is an art.

"If you cool it too fast it will just crack apart."

The process is almost as beautiful as the finished product and getting just a glimpse of it allows you to understand why this fire continues to burn.

You can purchase Sam's beautiful work this weekend a the Saint Louis Art Fair in the heart of Clayton. To learn more about Sam go to