Hans Godo Fräbel was born in 1941 in Jena, Germany, the third of five children. Events in the tumultuous post WWII years in Europe resulted in the exodus of Fräbel’s family to Wertheim City in West Germany. There Hans’ father and a colleague founded a scientific glass factory. Subsequently, Hans’ father became the controller at the well-known Jena Glaswerke in Mainz West Germany and there he encouraged Hans to begin a Lehransbildung Program as a scientific glassblower. Within three years, at the age of 18, young Hans received his Gzhilfenbrief, a rigorous apprenticeship diploma awarded for mastery in the trade of scientific glass blowing. Among his professors and peers at Jena Glaswerke, he was called ‘Mr. Fast Hands’ for his extraordinary command of technique and artistry with flame and glass.
In 1965 Hans Godo Fräbel traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States where he took a position in the scientific glass blowing laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology. There, he began to further expand his creative education and to fulfill his own artistic expression. He studied art at both Emory University and Georgia State University. His creative glass gained a following among professors, colleagues and friends. Thus an expanding circle of recognition began for Fräbel Glass Art.
Encouraged and affirmed by positive responses and economic success, Hans established the Fräbel Glass Art Studio in 1968. It is instructive to note that in the mid-20th Century flame or torch glass was disdained as a valid or ‘serious’ medium for creative or Fine Art. Fräbel’s persistent endeavors and successful experimentation helped to change this narrow bias. Today Hans Godo Fräbel is known as one of the Founding Fathers of Contemporary flame glass art.
In 1979, Fräbel’s ‘Pop Art’ sculpture “Hammer and Nails” was exhibited as the feature work in the internationally acclaimed New Glass Art Exhibition. This exhibit then traveled to major museums throughout the world. This international exhibition recognized Hans Godo Fräbel as one of the founding fathers of modern torch work in the world of art.