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Toraason Glass

A plan to major in Business took an unexpected turn when an art elective became Hiram Toraason's life calling.

in Arts, Illinois Makers
December 15, 2016

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After graduating from Southern Illinois University, Toraason followed his passion for glassblowing to Costa Rica and North Carolina.

But as Hiram says, “Once you leave Illinois, you realize why you love it so much.” So in 2003, he returned to Peoria where he immersed himself in a burgeoning arts scene.

Today you’ll find Hiram toiling away in his studio, located in the Old Town North neighborhood, shaping molten glass into modern works of art. He now apprentices fellow glassblowing enthusiasts—another testament to his “for the common good” approach of helping others that includes crafting brilliant glass installations for the local hospital and handcrafting charitable ornaments for organizations such Easter Seals.

In his glassblowing studio, a converted machine shop from the 1920s, you’ll return to a simpler, more exquisite era of American history. There you’ll find 3500 degree furnaces, giving life to everything from exquisite vases and one-of-a-kind glass plates (in Hiram’s trademark blue) to a prestigious award designed for Peoria’s very own Caterpillar. Not bad for a business major who walked into that glass studio so many years ago and stepped out “forever changed.”

Discover more Illinois artisans at Illinois Made.


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