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Art of the Inn: Boise Art Glass

Filip Vogelpohl of Boise Art Glass has been commissioned to create over 200 hand blown glass pieces to adorn the Inn at 500 Capitol. Custom lighting glass bowls and clusters will hang throughout the public areas and meeting spaces in the hotel, as well as lighting sconces outside each room. Additionally, two guestrooms will be themed as ‘glass rooms’ featuring Boise Art Glass décor in the nooks above the beds.

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“It’s great to be part of such a large scale commercial project and to be a part of the hotel,” says Filip, who opened Boise Art Glass over 12 years ago. Humble in his craft, Filip admits he never planned on being an artist … or even knew that he was one. He describes his profession as doing what he loves and feeling ultimately thankful that people want to buy his artwork. “No one needs it,” he says. “So when they buy it, I know they appreciate the work.”

A refugee, born in Prague, Czech Republic, he fled to the United States at ten years old. Filip grew up in Boise and took art classes throughout school. Post graduation, he visited Eugene, Oregon, where he began glassblowing. He spent two intense years learning the art of flameworking, then took classes while he traveled. Filip studied with Robert Mickelson, Kevin O’Grady in Colorado, and Casare Toffolo in Murano, Italy.

Filip now raises his family here. “Boise is home,” says Filip, father of two. “I love it here. I like the people of Boise and the community is overwhelmingly supportive of my business.” When he isn’t glassblowing, he spends time outdoors swimming, biking, hiking or camping.


While the work Filip is creating for the Inn at 500 Capitol is still in the conceptualizing phase, production will soon begin. Perfecting the samples has been an in-depth process including assessing samples for the right shapes and colors to match the overall style of the hotel.

Filip attributes his passion for glassblowing to seeking the constant challenge. “You can never really master it,” he says. “You get better and more consistent the more you do it, but even after a lifetime, you will have cracks and breaks.” He feels accomplishment bringing someone else’s vision to life. “People push you into different directions than you would normally take. It’s exciting to see their visions take shape.”

His favorite creation to date is the renowned light fixture hanging in the Barbacoa restaurant, downtown Boise. The size alone is astounding, with a 15 foot diameter, but Filip is most proud of the clean, classy style.

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Barbacoa Restaurant Chandelier
by Filip Vogelpohl

Boise Art Glass offers classes so others can learn the trade. One of Filip’s favorite parts of teaching is the student’s appreciation as they learn the process. Once they create something, “people are literally glowing because they are so stoked,” he attests.

Happiness is at the heart of Boise Art Glass and Filip. When asked if he has a motto for life, he paused before replying, “Laugh a lot. If you can’t laugh everyday … life would suck. You have to enjoy life.”

Inn at 500 Capitol is highly anticipating receiving the glasswork of Boise Art Glass to display as permanent fixtures of the hotel. For more information about Boise Art Class, click here.

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