Rob Levin, artist in glass

An an art form, says Rob Levin, glass is “wonderful, mysterious, miraculous.” Levin has been living and working in the North Carolina mountains for nearly all of his 40-year career, and he’s known for his inspiring use of color and form.

Christine Rucker and I met Rob last summer, as part of our work for a series on crafts artists who belong to Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., a Winston-Salem based guild, and a guiding light for the arts-and-crafts revival of the past 50 years. Each of them inspires me in a different way, and yet they share a few common traits: determination, passion, and a true, deep sense that they are creating meaning in the world by making art. At some point or another, each of these artists faced the wolf at the door, and each of them found a way to keep making a living through making art. In this material- and security-obsessed world, I’m grateful to have met a few of the risk-takers and the dreamers who offer the rest of us another view of how to live.