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John Owen
Owner and Instructor:  Glass Blowing
Merrick Baird

Instructor:  Stained Glass & Etching

John is our ultimate success story, evolving from eager student to enthusiastic instructor and eventually to the enterprising owner of Aurora Borealis Glassworks. Since taking the reins in 2023, John Owen has been adding his own unique sparkle to the world.  


Beyond his vibrant glass blowing classes, he delves into a myriad of captivating pursuits. As an accomplished jeweler and seasoned hunting guide, John's diverse skills reflect his passion for adventure and craftsmanship.

Christele Merrick Baird is a leading stained glass artist based in Albuquerque, NM. For over 25 years, she has created stained glass for spaces anywhere from creative remodels to multi-million dollar residences.


Her windows have been recognized in several award winning homes. Furthermore, she has worked on a variety of commercial projects, including offices, restaurants, retail stores, churches, museums, and other public buildings.

Stephanie Baness
Fused Glass
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Stephanie Baness received her BFA from Mundelein College (Loyola University, Chicago) and her MLA from the University of Chicago. In 2012, she left her career to study glass for three years at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. After completing her studies, she relocated to New Jersey and started Moxie Sorbet Designs, her fused glass studio.


In 2022, she relocated her studio to Corrales, NM. In addition, she teaches fused glass classes at Creativity Warehouse and Aurora Borealis Glass in Albuquerque. Moxie Sorbet Designs specializes in fused glass furnishings, jewelry, and tabletop accessories for the home. The creations combine beauty with function using jewel tones and unusual shapes. Each piece is designed, hand-cut and fabricated by Stephanie. 

For more information, please visit




Jeffrey J. Schmitt (Smitty)
Founder and Previous Owner of Aurora Borealis Glassworks

Smitty is a third generation artist and has been involved in the glass arts since 1979.  He is self-taught, does commissioned pieces and displays work in galleries and shows throughout the Southwest.  Smitty has taught hundreds of students over the years.  His passion is glass.  He also works in the areas of glass fusing, slumping and casting.

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