Gina “Boots” Gaffner

Gina “Boots” Gaffner

Lampworker Gina Gaffner loves to garden, and glass collectors are enjoying the fruits and vegetables of her labor.  


“I’m inspired by bright colors, and fruits and vegetables are vibrant and fresh, and they make you feel really good,” says Gaffner, better known as “Boots” to her 25,000 Instagram followers. “It’s amazing how little seeds turn into flowers and fruit, and I have a lot of fun figuring out how to translate that transformation with glass. They’re some of the most basic shapes, but also challenging to get exactly right because you don’t want people to mistake an apple for a tomato.” 


Based in Austin, Texas, Gaffner was looking for a career change, after waiting tables for many years, when she saw a Craigslist posting for a flameworking job. The job description didn’t implicitly state that it would be about making pipes, but Gaffner landed what turned out to be a paid apprenticeship at a local glass studio. Over the next eight months she learned how to how use the torch, spin glass, and the fundamentals of functional glass art. With her newfound experience, she built a studio with some glass artist friends, and they made and sold pipes to shops in the local area. 
The fruits and veggie idea sprouted organically. Gaffner was chilling in front of the television one day, watching the cooking channel, when a carrot came on the screen. If you can use an apple as a pipe, she thought, why not a carrot.  
“I made a huge glass carrot; bigger than anything you’d find in the produce section at the grocery store,” she says. “It was challenging to perfect the color because back then orange wasn’t a color you really worked with — I had to experiment with putting white frit inside of amber white and pulling it down to lighten it up.” 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Luckily, Gaffner quickly realized that fruits and vegetables come in a cornucopia of colors. 

Smoke shops gobbled up the carrots (no pun intended) and before long requests were coming in for apples, peppers, turnips, beets, radishes, avocados, strawberries, zucchini, squash, kiwis, watermelon and even leafy greens.  


“I’ve had a farmer’s market of glass ever since,” she says. 


Some of Gaffner’s most unique pieces feature cross sections, such as a bell pepper where you can see the seeds inside or a lemon slice revealing the juicy wedges. 
“I’ve only scratched the surface with cutting up the fruits and vegetables,” Gaffner says. “I was so excited when I figured out how to do a banana slice! I left a banana sitting on my bench and would look at it every day to see how it was aging so that I could make a set of bananas all the way from green to brown.” 


When it comes to snacking, strawberries are Gaffner’s favorite fruit, and in the vegetable category, it’s a tie between Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. Every visit to the farmer’s market yields a harvest of flavors and ideas. 


“There are so many directions to go. . . I have a whole buffet from which to pick.” 



Instagram @glassbyboots 


Dan Longden

Dan Longden In flameworking, everything old is new again, and there are no techniques much older than linework. Whether wig wag, chip stack, or incalmo (where

Read More »

Casey Ferran Space Case Glass

Previous Next Casey Ferran makes some trippy glass art. His niche is magic mushrooms, a perfect connection to the experimental, consciousness-expanding nature of the counterculture

Read More »

Gina “Boots” Gaffner

Gina “Boots” Gaffner Lampworker Gina Gaffner loves to garden, and glass collectors are enjoying the fruits and vegetables of her labor. “I’m inspired by bright

Read More »

Blossom Glass Previous Next It’s only fitting that an artist named Blossom would create functional glass pieces embellished with flowers. “A lot of times, art isn’t necessarily feminine or

Read More »

Dan Foster

Dan Foster Some artists draw inspiration from pop culture, others are captivated by sea life and the mysteries of the deep. Dan Foster finds inspiration in trees.

Read More »

Brandon Spencer 

Amorphous Symphony Glass Who hasn’t dreamed of seeing a dinosaur? Unfortunately, dinosaurs vanished from the planet some 65 million years ago, and if you’ve watched

Read More »

Dellene Peralta

Dellene Peralta It’s no secret – women love shoes. Dellene Peralta has a passion for footwear, but her stylish stilettos are made of glass and designed to

Read More »

Hugh Salkind

Previous Next       With all the fantastic glass pieces being created these days, there’s ostensibly no going backwards with the craft. But where Hugh Salkind in

Read More »

Seth W.P. Nicols

Seth W.P. Nicols has a story to tell. The year is 2847 A.D. and a swarm of nanobots designed to bond with humans has taken over, and

Read More »

For more information on this special



when you sign up for a 3 month agreement

Offer between June 15, 2020 thru JUNE 30, 2020.

A customer service rep will contact you with your email.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: HQ Magazine, 9901 Acoma Rd SE, Albuquerque, NM, 87123. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact