Bandhu Dunham began to teach himself glassblowing in 1975—before it was cool—while still in high school. He was a nerdy kid with a big chemistry lab in his basement, and wanted to be a mad scientist. He thought blowing glass would enable him to make better Dr. Frankenstein apparatus. As a Princeton student, he received informal training from the University’s glassblower before studying with American and European masters at Urban Glass, the Pilchuck School and the Penland School of Crafts.
In the 1980s and 90s, Bandhu edited and published the nationally-distributed nonconformist zine, Attitude Problem—which Factsheet Five praised as “really cool.” It promoted creativity and unconventional thinking to skaters, street punks and other misfits for about seven years. In 1995, Bandhu redirected his publishing energies into his glassblowing books in the Contemporary Lampworking series. These books have come to be regarded as the “Bible” of lampwork/flamework glassblowers around the world, and helped spawn the explosion of the glass pipe industry. For this reason, Bandhu was regarded by many as an honorary pipemaker long before he started producing his heady pieces known as Xorplex Modules.
Now an internationally respected glass artist, author and teacher, Bandhu’s work is in the permanent collections of museums in the US and abroad. Museums preserving Bandhu’s legacy include the Corning Museum of Glass, The Museum of Arts and Design, Museum für Glaskunst (Germany) and Niijima Glass Art Center (Japan). He has spoken and given demonstrations at numerous international conferences including the Glass Art Society, Ausglass, the Kobe Festa and the International Festival of Glass. Bandhu has competed in numerous flameoffs and received many awards including First Place at the CHAMPS Glass Games. In 2014 he was a demonstrating artist as well as a judge at the DFO. Some of Bandhu's collaborations with other functional glass artists can be seen elsewhere on this site.
Today Bandhu produces a variety of glass creations in his Transdimensional Fabrication Chamber (studio). These include goblets, abstract forms, kinetic sculptures and Xorplex Modules. He regularly teaches workshops at craft schools and private studios around the United States and internationally. His Xorplex Modules are valued for their quirky transdimensional charm and intergalactic, shamanistic sense of humor.
To read an article about the BIG Galleria in Denver, 2014, which includes an interview with Bandhu, click HERE.
The June 30, 2014 issue of HQ magazine did a short feature on Bandhu and the philosophy behind his functional work. You can check out this little gem by clicking HERE.
For a blog post from The Cupboard, explaining the background of Bandhu's Cargo Cult series, click HERE.