Focus: Glass

Focus: Glass

Courtesy of Handmade Business

Susan Nachtrab discusses the evolution of her and Jim Nachtrab’s "Shades of Blue," 18 by 15 inches. It originated from her penchant for a circle/bowl. "I started with a rolled length of zinc, with an inner curved length of zinc for structure. From there, I just wanted to play with shades of blue! I wanted this piece to be smaller, but to still have a good variety of bevels, jewels, cabochons, a star, and twisted wire. 'Earrings' were added." ( Photo Credit: Paul Foster

Warner Whitfield and Beatriz Kelemen work with borosilicate glass and fire to create sculptures that are inspired by nature and movement. Their goal is to capture light and simplistic flowing forms. According to Whitfield, "Our sculptures are created without the use of any molds or castings. They are formed by melting the glass into a taffy-like texture. With the aid of heat and gravity, the glass is gathered, stretched, and blown into shape." ( Photo Credit: Stewart Stokes

"The Mbola pieces are the direction that my newer pieces are going," states Carrie Gustafson. "These pieces have been a real breakthrough for me. They have pushed me in technical capacities, as well as creatively. They have also allowed me to work with fellow artist Mark Nantz, who is crafting the stunning stands." Shown here, "Bird of Paradise," hand-blown glass, sandblasted and wheel cut, with a custom steel stand fabricated by Mark Nantz. ( Photo Credit: Mark Nantz Photography

Jennifer Daggs created the 11-inch "Summer Geisha" by utilizing the copper foil stained-glass method and silver-based/lead-free solder. "This sculpture is based on my own design after I did a great deal of research into the proper attire for a geisha, including her hairstyle. Much of my work is jewelry, but I’m finding sculptural work more interesting," Daggs states. "I keep trying to stretch the restraints that the stained-glass method presents and see how much further I can push it. I continue to search for that ultimate creative 'sweet spot.'" (

"This jewelry is not for the faint of heart," Joy Scott remarks about her new line of Coastal Art Glass creations. "It's for those who want to make a statement. The technique that we use brings out the dimension, depth, and movement of the glass. With multiple firings, individually placing shards of glass, and hand sculpting, we can create small pieces of wearable art. I love the organic nature of each pendant in the colors used and the texture in the glass that we achieved." (

The "Virginia Bowl" was created by Catherine Randolph Hamilton, using Glassline pens, with the smaller metal tips, and a paintbrush. Streaky blue Bullseye glass formed the foundation, with the snow and the mountains sponged onto it. Hamilton reverse-painted the cardinal and the tree on the clear top layer. She scratched away the black of the tree and the red of the cardinal to add the snow and shadows. "My fascination with glass evolved from a love of oil painting," the artist says. "Light and the resulting reflections, glowing highlights, shadows and complex patterns--they all become a part of the work, defining its innate beauty." (

Katya Wittenstein’s "Vertigo Rings" embody the artist’s creative method: "The richly colored stones in my jewelry are handmade using a process called fused glass. Careful to preserve the bubbles, ripples, and delicate shade variations that are inevitable in hand-blown glass, I use them as design elements. I use as many as eight pieces of glass of various hues, densities, and transparencies to create a single stone. Each raw glass piece is cut into a specific shape, then together they are fired in a kiln at 1600 degrees Fahrenheit. The pieces are then ground by hand and heat polished." (

"A sign in my studio reads, 'Please fondle the glass'!" declares Elizabeth Robinson. "I love watching the excitement in the eyes of a guest as he or she picks up a glass bird, moves it across the light, and watches the color change, seeing the transition from transparent to opaque, and then lowers it to rub the smooth surface." Her "Wedding Bands" sculpture, 12-inch diameter by 1-inch depth, was kiln formed and cold worked. It was created for Mississippi HeARTS Against AIDS. ( Photo credit: Tom Joynt Photography