If you’re trekking through the woods near Sylvania Georgia, you might stumble across Sean Hegeman and Sylvie Zazou, a couple of old school glass blowers. doing what amounts to a live demo right under their carport, which for the moment doubles as a make-do studio.
Sean and Sylvie have been together since their teen years in Florida, in fact, Sean was Silvie’s first boyfriend when she was 13. They had recent plans to get married, but with the summer heat and humidity taking hold, and the horseflies and gnats becoming a blood sucking nuisance, they decided money was better spent moving their studio inside where they could have air-conditioning and be comfortable while they create (they’re currently still outside, so if you want to send them an engagement gift, they’re registered at Home Depot).
Glassblowing has been part of their lives for over twenty years. Silvie, who learned the craft while working at Darkstar in Florida, taught Sean to make pipes while they were living in Colorado.
“I was mesmerized by the fact that you could turn a solid into a liquid and shape it however you wanted,” Sean says. “I was always into doing my own thing with cannabis rather than being into mainstream culture, and glassblowing has allowed me to make a lifestyle for myself and a living without being part of corporate America.”
“Being able to work together is amazing as is being able to do something that we’re so passionate about,” adds Silvie.
Production has been Sean and Silvie’s calling card over the years. That doesn’t mean there’s a lack of creativity in traditional spoons, hammers, bubblers and carb caps, as they work in many classic techniques. Sean is known for wig wag and pulling horns, while Silvie loves to incorporate mushroom marbles into her pieces.
“We come from an era when inside outs, double reverses, and donuts were new techniques — I call it ‘sexy chic” and people still want that because it’s so detailed and cool,” Silvie says.
Many of the pieces from East Koast Glass have an organic flow to their form. As Sean explains, that comes from not forcing the glass into an exact shape.
“Having to draw something out gives me a creative block, but if I just start working with the glass, I can better envision where I want it to go,” he says. “I don’t use a ton of tools when I blow things out. I want the glass to do what it wants to do. Even though it might be considered production, I look at each piece as something unique.”
Sylvie loves metallics and will sometimes lay a blue moon or turbo cobalt over silver or gold fume to give a piece a sparkling pop.
“I love combinations of colors that look really cool together like a vibrant yellow with a peacock blue in between so that when you twist it up, it turns into something that people have never seen before,” she says. “With fuming, I love the fade you can achieve going from silver to gold that almost becomes a rainbow with the right layering. Each piece has its own story to tell.”
And people are listening — and looking. Sean and Silvie regularly go live on TikTok and draw thousands of viewers. While they take an occasional custom order, they prefer to have their creations on display (and for sale) in smoke shops. They recently connected with Waldos Wonders, Smokey Mountain Glass, and The Glass Enthusiast to distribute their work.
“I like having our art in the shops because we come from the old school, and those guys were the heart of the industry years ago when there was no internet,” Sean says. “I remember traveling the country, just trying to find a college town with a local head shop. That’s what kept the career going in the early in the early days.”
“For me, being such a huge cannabis advocate, I know for a fact that cannabis makes people happy,” Sylvie says, “So it’s cool to be able to make beautiful things for people to smoke out of and make their day that much brighter.”
EAST KOAST GLASS