Looking on from behind a glass pane at the front of Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks on a bright Wednesday morning, manager Wil Sideman watched as two glassblowers twirled a sphere of molten glass on the end of a long pole.

Glassmith Rob Phillips. — Ray Ewing

Mr. Sideman oversees the work produced in the studio every day, and on this day the shop was busy pumping out its seasonal bestseller — glass pumpkins by the boxful.

Mr. Sideman has been working as the gallery manager since early last year, collaborating with owners Susan and Andrew Magdanz to oversee daily operations, from designing and producing work to curating individual pieces from local artists for the shop’s two showrooms.

With the pandemic afoot, Mr. Sideman has also been busy formatting the gallery to meet social distancing guidelines and working with company artists like Joey Huang, Robert Phillips and Russel Carson on the shop’s new pandemic-safe method of glassblowing, using compressed air.

“It’s been a little bit like learning to ride a bicycle with your hands,” he said with a laugh.

A glassblowing veteran, Mr. Sideman’s passion for the medium dates back to his childhood in central Maine, when he took an introductory glass-working class.

“I grew up on a farm so metalworking and woodworking were things that I could wrap my head around, but the first time I saw glassmaking was really shocking to me,” Mr. Sideman said. “I really didn’t have any concept of what I wanted to do or pursue at that point and when I saw glass, it kind of caught my eye.”

Gallery manager Wil Sideman is a glassblowing veteran. — Ray Ewing

After studying glasswork and sculpture at the undergraduate and graduate level, Mr. Sideman went on to hold residencies at various schools across the country and the world, including The Northlands Creative Glass center in Lybster, Scotland and The China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China. His experiences as a visiting artist have influenced his work and technique significantly, he said.

But beyond artistic experience, the fast-paced work required of the medium has also instilled invaluable lessons, Mr. Sideman said.

“To work with glass, you have to be patient and you have to be able to follow a kind of processes,” he said. “It’s very easy to see the fire and the excitement of the material and be captivated by that, but it’s very important to be on time it’s very important to be paying attention. I learned a lot of those lessons in the glass shop.”

At the gallery, Mr. Sideman hopes to share those lessons with the Island community through glassblowing classes that he plans to host for students and other interested Island residents. He hopes to work specifically with high schoolers, sharing the joys of the glassmaking process that so intrigued him as a student.

“We’d like to talk about offering educational components to the business, whether that be with the high school or with other arts organizations on the Island,” he said. “I want to share the material and the processes and that kind of early excitement that I had with the community.”

He pointed to the rich history of glassmaking in the Cape and Islands region.

A seasonal favorite. — Ray Ewing

“Dating back to the very early glass production in America, the Cape and Boston have always been high up there producers of glass objects,” he said. “Just historically, it’s a material that was always made in the area and so we’re happy to continue doing that here.”

Mr. Sideman also produces larger-scale sculptural glass pieces out of his own studio in Vineyard Haven. Many of his sculptures are showcased in the Glassworks higher-end showroom, like a cast glass oar that currently hangs by the window in the upstairs portion of the gallery.

He also hopes to incorporate his experience fabricating architectural glasswork and light fixtures for builders and designers into his work at the gallery, incorporating larger-scale commission-based projects into the gallery’s repertoire.

For the moment, however, he is glad to be sharing his love of glasswork with the community.

At the gallery last Wednesday, customers streamed in to browse the shop’s selection of colorful bowls and vases.

“My hope is that we can just have an open space, more community friendly space, where people feel comfortable coming, asking questions, learning about the work,” he said.

More pictures.