Meet the Maker: Joey Trankina

Multi-Talented Mohawk Valley Maker, Joey Trankina

“Collaboration is one of my favorite aspects of making.”

We’re excited to have Joey as part of our MVMMF media contributors. As an accomplished maker, he’ll be exhibiting as well as demonstrating his creative craft at the first annual Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire, April 16th!

A sneak peak into the mind of a maker..


Tell us what you make!

JT: I’m an artistic lampworker, or flameworker, that works with borosilicate glass. My best friend, Caleb Siegler, introduced me to lampworking in late 2010.  It didn’t take long for the medium consume my thoughts and time. Now five years into the craft, working with hot glass is now intertwined with my identity. In my free time I’ve been practicing photography and graphic design.

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“I make colorful little alien-looking characters out of glass under the moniker Goofball. I call them goofballs, too. They’re all self-portraits.”

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What brought you to the Mohawk Valley?

JT: In 2014 I moved from Tempe, Arizona to Utica to attend university and get closer to family in New York. Currently I’m a senior at SUNY Poly  majoring in Computer Science. Before making the move to Upstate New York, I earned an AAS in Web Design and an AAS in Web Development from Scottsdale Community College. I’ve been employed as a part-time instructor at the Mesa Arts Center, Arizona’s largest art center, since 2011. Any time I have a chance to visit the area I schedule a couple of workshops.

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JT: SUNY Poly was the school of choice because I wanted to be near the Adirondacks. I love it here – it’s quiet and serene. The population here is diverse, friendly, and welcoming. It goes without mentioning, but of course the food around here is fantastic. (Agreed!)

How does the Mohawk Valley maker culture compare to your home base?

JT: Makers are seemingly more tucked away up here. It appears that’s starting to change with places like thINCubator and events like MVMMF. It’s exciting to witness and be a part of it!

What will you exhibit at MVMMF?

JT: I’m going to spark my torch and demonstrate how I make goofballs or anything else that comes to mind. I’m most excited being surrounded by other makers and people who interested in the movement — I’m looking forward to talking to and hanging out with everyone who attends.

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What kinds of makers would you like to connect with?

JT: I’d like to work with anyone who loves what they do. If our mediums can be integrated in some unique way, all the better.

Life is more fun when surrounded by enthusiastic, creative, and passionate people. I find those people most often in the maker culture. Collaboration is one of my favorite aspects of making.

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Join us as we celebrate the creative spirit of making in the Mohawk Valley and beyond! At the Mohawk Valley Mini Maker Faire, April 16 @ SUNY Polytechnic.

Create, Share, Inspire, Connect, MAKE!

“Maker gatherings are inspiring and invigorating. As a maker, I personally wouldn’t miss this event and I’d feel left out if I didn’t exhibit. It’s a great opportunity to share your talent.”

Check out more of Joey’s work on Instagram, you’ll want to see this.. @goofballglass


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