Rick Eggert can take the heat. During his daily labors in front of a 2,400-degree furnace, he gathers wads of molten glass on a metal rod in order to stretch, cut, and bend the glowing silica into eye-catching forms. Eggert received his BFA in glass sculpture over a decade ago, and has since traveled from his native New York to Tahiti, New Zealand, Thailand, and finally Florida, where he founded Lotus Design Group. There, he oversees a small production line where he practices both centuries-old Venetian techniques and more modern approaches to the form to create pieces both for commercial sale and to fulfill his own artistic inspiration. Additionally, Eggert leads a variety of classes that explore these techniques through a hands-on approach, where students learn to craft their own bowls, vases, and stone-proof glass houses.