Rob Elliott of the Blank Canvas Project and Jason Mack of Mack Glass, come from a trades background and know the importance hard work and a positive attitude have when it comes to tackling projects. Even more important is having those traits when you’re out to set records! We’re inspired and excited to see their latest installment of the team’s World’s Tallest Glass Tree this December. Learn more about how these two educate, raise awareness, create art, and bring community together. We’re always proud when the quality of the people representing our boots is second to none.
Name: Rob Elliott & Jason Mack
Champaign, IL - Jason
"I am currently based out of Milwaukee, WI, but split time between there and Williams Bay, WI, for work for my organization." - Rob www.theblankcanvasproject.com.
My name is Rob Elliott and my partner, glass artist Jason Mack and I are building the World's Tallest Glass Tree at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin over a period of three weekends in December 2022. At this free event, the community is invited to bring their green and clear bottle glass to help 'grow' the tree to a height of 35.5ft. The glass is then crushed and shoveled into the furnace to be melted at 2200F. Once the glass is the consistency of honey it is dripped and drizzled around a 31 foot tall spinning steel structure until it is completely covered in glass. The event also hosts live glass blowing demos, steel working, and a Winter Maker Market where you can find handmade wares and fine art. This year we are also featuring a special guest sculptor “Netflix Star Rae Ripple” to do some collaborative demos with the glass team. The event is free to the public and creates lifelong family memories and inspires children and adults alike. The Event takes place the first three weekends in December Friday 4-8 and Saturday Sunday 12-7. www.worldstallestglasstree.com for more information.
Style of Boot
"I switch between my 8" American Heritage Moc Toe Wedge and my Wellingtons. Everyday is a Thorogood Day!" -Rob
"Since 2020 I have been loving the 1957 SERIES – FLYWAY WATERPROOF 6″ BRIAR PITSTOP. Living in the Midwest, working outside building the glass tree through all kinds of weather, 12-15 hours per day, this boot keeps my feet dry and warm." - Jason
The whole idea behind the event is to bring the community together to build something amazing. When you can look at the faces of a 5 year old and an 85 year old and they both have the same look of wonder and inspiration on their face, is truly is what it is all about. Educating people on the infinite recyclability of glass, and the importance of keeping it out of the landfills.
Mostly to have fun and bring the community together.
The glass tree is more than just a holiday Installation, It brings people together, educates, and inspires. We have visions of creating an entire Glass Forest where people can come to learn create, and have fun for generations to come.
"Thorogood boots provide not only great comfort and support, but also provide rad styles that translate both on and off the job site. Being able to pull on my boot and have it fit like a glove is what has kept me coming back to Thorogood for years. They are my go to boot, and they come with me everywhere I go." - Rob
"The strength and support of the boot is a key feature. In 2018, I shattered my right heal and cracked my cuboid bone (middle of foot) in a bike accident. Most people think the heel is a very strong bone, but what I learned from the surgeon is that it's actually soft inside, so when it breaks "it cracks like an egg". One plate, 7 screws, a staple and 5 months later and I was walking on it again. Unfortunately, it will never be quite the same as I have trauma induced arthritis in two major joints in my foot. So there will always be a degree of pain and discomfort. Wearing the highest quality boots is essential to minimizing it. My 1957 series boots are one of my most valuable tools." - Jason
How Did I Get Started
"I started working with glass in high school after Jason took a bead making class with his mom one day, He came home, showed me how it works, and we built a shop in his basement that following week. I have been messing around with glass ever since, and Jason and I have had many shops and studios that we have created together over the years as our projects grew larger and larger." - Rob
"Everyone has struggles, naysayers, and negative people can be a tough one. Discipline, staying positive and creating solutions is how I get beyond those issues. I am truly fueled by people telling me I can’t do something. In the back of my mind I usually say, ok watch me, and then I get after it!" - Rob
"We both come from working in the trades. Before the art projects were paying the bills I did HVAC and commercial maintenance and Rob started a construction company. The biggest obstacle in the transition from more traditional jobs to creating large-scale glass art events is organizing all the moving parts. Between the custom-built equipment needed, finding publicly accessible locations with facilities and infrastructure, raising funds and the marketing/publicity, just to name a few of the moving parts, there is a lot to organize. Moving the tree project to Yerkes Observatory has already opened a lot of doors and we've created some valuable relationships in the process. Including with Thorogood!" - Jason
I would say, go after whatever that dream you are afraid to chase is. Take a step in that direction, and each day take another step, keep working towards it, and before you know it, you will be there, that goes for anything. If you are interested in glass particularly, reach out to us at www.mackglass.com and we will get you signed up for a class.
*For more information on Rob's organization, their glass business, or the Worlds Tallest Glass Tree event, click the buttons below: