Water Street Glassworks Team


We have one thing in common, a passion for the glass and metal fire arts and the love of sharing it with others. We are artists, instructors, marketers, and as they say "wear many hats" (sometimes they are festive!). But most of all, we believe in the mission of Water Street Glassworks, and that common bond drives us to create new classes, programs, experiences, product designs, and events. Our primary goal is to provide our students, patrons, artists, and community with the best experience possible. We always welcome suggestions and comments so feel free to contact us!

WSG Jamie Bingaman

Jamie Bingaman,
Executive Director

"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” 

– Marianne Williamson 

Although I was not born and raised in Southwest Michigan, it is where my heart is. It is my community. It is my home. After earning my Bachelors of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, I settled in St. Joseph where my husband, Marty and I have raised our two sons. 

I wholeheartedly believe that most anything can be achieved by a community working together. My passion for community-based nonprofits and volunteerism extends back many years and is one that is strongly shared by my family. 

I am proud to be a member of the Water Street Glassworks community - a gathering of gifted artists that exemplify the power of giving - not only by sharing the stunning art that they themselves create, but in the joy and healing that comes with teaching others how to create their own beautiful works of art.



Eli Zilke Water Street Glassworks

Eli Zilke,
Instructor, Production Designer

I began my glass journey at Water Street Glassworks at the age of 12 when I joined the Fired-Up! Program. It was love at first “gather” and really became more of an obsession. After a couple years in the program I started training as a studio technician and eventually a teaching assistant under Jerry Catania. In 2013 I departed Water Street Glassworks to Co-Found Hot Shop Valpo a production glass studio in Northwest Indiana.

During this time HSV installed several large architectural installations and supplied over a dozen galleries across the region. In 2018 I returned to Water Street to assume the position of Studio Manager/Production Designer as well as the core glassblowing instructor. I hope to launch the passions of new generations of glassblower for years to come.

Sarah Church

Sarah Church,
Instructor, Studio Coordinator

I’ve been visiting Water Street Glassworks since before I can remember. Weekend trips to visit my grandparents always involved a trip to the gallery! It sparked my love of blown glass and my interest in the art. 
I started working with glass my first semester at Iowa State University as part of the Gaffer’s Guild, and I immediately caught the glass bug. I spent as much time as physically possible in the studio. After a year of spending more time on glass than my studies, I finally realized I didn’t want to spend my life doing anything else. I later reached out to Water Street and was offered my dream job. 
Educationally, I’ve been gifted the opportunity to take classes at the Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School, as well as work with several artists that have appeared on Netflix’s “Blown Away.” I’m looking forward to expanding my knowledge and skill as a glass artist and bringing more people into the glass community through teaching a variety of classes. 
Thank you always to the WSG family!
Lexi Ziebarth

Lexi Ziebarth
Instructor, Studio Assistant

Lexi Ziebarth has been with WSG since she was first able to take classes at 12 years old! She continued her glass work through our fired up program during her high school years and is now enrolled at Grand Valley State University to study ceramics. Altogether that is 10 years of fusing experience and five years working in the blowing shop. She has come back to work around the shop and teach in our glass blowing and fusing studios. Now Lexi runs our SPARK volunteer program and helps stock our gallery with blown and fused art works. 



Gina Edwards

Gina Edwards,
Instructor, Cardea Beads

For as long as she can remember Gina Edwards has liked to create things.  It wasn't until she discovered the joy of melting glass that she finally felt she could be an artist.   "Glass is such a satisfying and unique media to work with," she says. "There is always a new technique to try, or I'll see something that sparks an idea.  I've been working with glass for 18 years and it continues to inspire and challenge me." Gina has been teaching at Water Street Glassworks for several years.  She has a relaxed and enthusiastic teaching style that she hopes conveys her passion to her students.  "Working with the torches and molten glass can be intimidating at first. I believe my relaxed style helps the student get past that so they can focus on the glass and experience the joy that comes with working with it." Gina has been experimenting with mixed media art pieces - creating with re-purposed wood, metal, paper, and fiber.  She believes that anything has the potential to be an art supply. "But," she says with a laugh, "it almost always comes back to glass."

Gina lives in Sodus with her husband.  She has a glass art studio where she meets with people by appointment. 



Jordan Rose

Jordan Rose,
Instructor, Fired Up! Coordinator, Studio Assistant

Jordan Rose grew up in Saint Joseph, MI and earned her BFA in Crafts with a focus on glass from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. Before joining Water Street Glassworks as an instructor and artist Jordan blew glass for the Glass Academy based in Dearborn, MI, and for the Henry Ford Museum as a member of their hot shop. One of the highlights of her time at the Henry Ford was the opportunity to work with artists Janusz Pozniak, Mark Petrovic, and Paul Stankard. Sharing her enthusiasm for glass blowing is one of Jordan’s favorite parts of teaching glassblowing classes and experiences at WSG. She loves that every encounter in the hot shop is a new opportunity to create beautiful art and fall in love with blowing glass.



Patrice Rose 2

Patrice Rose,

Patrice joined Water Street Glassworks in February 2023 and came to us having worked in the non-profit sector for more than 30 years, with an extensive background in administration, banking and management. She attended both Lake Michigan College and Kalamazoo Valley College.  Patrice has a unique perspective on many aspects of our operations at WSG due to her diverse background in various non-profits. Patrice is also the St. Joseph Township Clerk and a lifelong resident of the area.  She resides in St. Joseph with her husband Nick.



Becky Wehmer

Becky Wehmer,

Becky Wehmer is an artist, teacher and cook, who moved to Southwest Michigan in 1999, six years after her first glass class at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists Residency, with Kathy and Jerry Catania. Becky discovered an Ox-Bow catalog while attending The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and noticed they offered glass blowing classes. Becky had been mesmerized by glass art since an early age when her grandparents took her to the Corning Museum of glass each summer, and the opportunity to learn the craft herself felt predestined. Wehmer became a regular at Ox-Bow, returning each summer for classes and volunteer jobs. During that time, her love of glass, Michigan, and The Catania’s vision for what would be Water Street Glassworks grew, so she moved here to be part of it. She learned along the way, and was given the opportunity to teach as well as administrate. “In the beginning, we all kinda did everything”, says Wehmer. Becky’s art practice now includes glass as well as ceramics to make mostly functional work, and she is grateful to still be involved in the evolved school that WSG has become.