After leaving his hometown of St. Louis and enlisting in the Unites States Marine Corps, Doug served in Iraq in 2003. When his tour of duty ended, his search for a civilian career began. A glassblowing class at Sonoran Glass Art Academy in his newly-adopted hometown of Tucson, AZ set him on his path to becoming an internationally-recognized glass artist.
Doug was captivated with the artistry and creativity of working with glass, and his natural ability quickly garnered him a coveted spot learning his craft from a true American master. His first mentor was Fritz Dreisbach, who along with Dale Chihuly, is considered one of the founders of the American Art Studio Glass Movement. Doug also studied with Tom Philabaum — one of the country’s preeminent glass artists who founded the Sonoran Glass Institute — honing his craft by producing Philbaum’s lines of paperweights and ornaments for three years.
After training in Tucson, Doug moved to Columbus, OH to be near family as he ventured out on his own. In 2005, he founded Doug Frates Glass, the company that allows him to continue to pursue his passion. Moving to Springfield, OH in 2010 has given Doug the opportunity to grow his business and play a pivotal role in the revitalization of the city’s downtown arts community.