Water Street Glassworks Team

MEET THE TEAM

Who are we? 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.

 

Elisa Broihier

Elisa Broihier
Office Manager

"It's so enjoyable to work at a place filled with beauty! I love coming into the WSG Gallery every morning!"

Elisa became involved with WSG in 2009 by offering to design the class catalogs, print promotions and Facebook graphics pro bono. She later served on the Board of Directors for one year as a marketing advisor. Elisa was also instrumental in developing the brand identity for New Territory Arts District, now Benton Harbor Arts District, of which WSG is a cornerstone member. She came on board as WSG's Office Manager in December, 2021. 

 

Eli Zilke Water Street Glassworks

Eli Zilke
Instructor, Studio Manager, 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.

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. All together that is 10 years of fusing experience and 5 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, 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!

 

Diana Mitchell

Diana Mitchell
Fired Up! Coordinator

Diana is an alumnus of the Fired Up! program and was Eli’s glassblowing classmate, We are excited to welcome her to the team.

It feels so amazing being back at Water Street Glassworks. The moment I walk through those doors I instantly get that warm feeling that I had at 13 watching glass blowers works their magic for the very first time, that feeling never goes away. My Intention Is to be able to give back just as much as I was given if not more. I enjoy spending my time at Water street from helping in the gallery or being part of the Fired Up! team. Thank you for the opportunity.

 

Becky Wehmer

Becky Wehmer
Instructor