Don’t miss the recent Redfin article I was featured in: “Embrace Color in Your Space! Glass Art Ideas to Elevate Your Home”
Published on July 15, 2021 by Alison Bentley
As you design your home’s interior, you’re likely looking for art pieces that speak to you and will make your home one of a kind. Maybe you’ve considered pottery or a custom painting, but there’s nothing quite like glass art. Anything from a collection of glass bowls as a centerpiece or an etched glass window will elevate your home whether you’re living in Palm Beach, FL, or Toronto, CA.
To help you get started, I, along with other glass artists shared our best advice for bringing and unique glass art pieces into your home. Check out what we had to say so you can start designing your home with glass art today!
Embrace Color in Your Space! Glass Art Ideas to Elevate Your Home
As you design your home’s interior, you’re likely looking for art pieces that speak to you and will make your home one of a kind. Maybe you’ve considered pottery or a custom painting, but there’s nothing quite like glass art. Whether that’s a collection of glass bowls displayed as a centerpiece or an etched glass window, there are countless glass art ideas to incorporate into your home.
If you’re looking for expert advice on bringing these colorful and unique art pieces into your home, look no further. We’ve reached out to glass artists from Palm Beach, FL to Toronto, CA for their expertise on how you can elevate your home’s style with glass art.
Incorporate organic elements of glass art. What is more innovative and breathtaking than the emanating natural qualities of stalactites, you ask? Organic elements of molten glass, carefully manipulated dynamic textures that combine spectrums of iridized opalescence hues. David Gappa’s glass chandeliers instantly convey creativity to the forefront of any home. – Vetro Glassblowing Studio & Fine Art Gallery
The right lighting will make your glass artwork stand out. Choreograph the light for glass artwork. During the day, glass sings in natural light. In the evening, it provides a playground for artificial light to dance. – Steven Ciezki, Ciezki Design LLC
Glass art lasts a lifetime. Adding a piece of decorative art glass to your home is an instant way to provide a burst of color, an inspirational conversation piece, and something that will bring joy to you and your family for a lifetime. My glassworks are small and great for adding color and conversation to a mantle, empty corner/coffee table, curio, window sill or bookshelf. If properly cared for, glass will be around for generations of enjoyment: Glass is the gift of 1,000 years. – Chris Sherwin, owner of Sherwin Art Glass
You can easily incorporate art glass into a home to create a pop of color and/or aesthetic visual interest. Simple forms do best against a clean background. Intricate and larger art pieces can become a focal point and provide off-the-wall artistic interest. Lighting is key for glass; look for places in your home where good backlighting exists (near a window, in front of a well-lit wall) so the glass will glow from behind. – David Patchen, David Patchen Handblown Glass
Glass is the ultimate material for transferring light through color. Use warm-colored glass for kitchen and dining areas, especially since the ubiquitous LED light bulbs tend to cast a blue-hued light. People and food look much better with an inviting glow — nobody appreciates looking like a zombie at the table. If we incorporate blue or green glass around a kitchen/dining space, we add warm tones to balance the light and metallic details for pop and sparkle. – Julie Conway, owner of ILLUMINATA ART GLASS DESIGN LLC
Embrace glass art as a centerpiece. Functional hand-blown objects look amazing when grouped together to create tabletop centerpieces. Your favorite serving pieces can do double duty as decor items by picking one common attribute between the items, such as complimenting colors, similar functions, similar styles by era, or similar techniques. I switch my dining table centerpieces frequently to freshen up my space, and to enjoy collections day to day rather than only on special occasions. My current favorite show pieces are a set of 3 nesting Aerie Bowls from my Esque Studio collection. I placed a small potted plant in the top bowl which changed the bowls function from serving bowls to unique creative planters. – Andi Kovel of Esque Studio
Let the colors shine with the right light. The secret to incorporating glass art into your home is lighting. For glass to appear truly stunning light needs to pass through it. Whether using natural light from windows or spot lights, the right lighting will throw a kaleidoscope of color throughout your space. – Edd Johannemann, Glass Chisel
Make sure you have the correct lighting to highlight glass art. Glass sculpture lights up your home unlike any other fine art medium. Installing the correct lighting though, is very important to ensure it will do just that. There are many different processes used to make glass art, and each one needs a different type of lighting setup to show the piece well. – Jay Scott, President of Habatat Galleries
Glass art extends to your dining room. Make your table pop when entertaining guests with these salad serving spoons adorned with brightly colored handcrafted glass beads. These unique pieces bring bold colors and the luscious texture of glass that will get your guests talking. Use these statement pieces to complement your dinnerware and brighten up your entire kitchen. – Holly Kenny, owner of Elsie Kaye Glassworks Art Studio & Boutique
Glass art changes your space throughout the day. The natural opulence and sheen of glass can bring in a modern and crisp feel to any environment. Glass art is dynamic and changes throughout the day as the natural light in the space changes. It is also a great way to introduce pops of color into a space. – Karo Martirosyan, Karo Studios
Embrace glass art in your outdoor space. One of my favorite ways to incorporate glass art in the home is displaying a unique sculptural piece in the garden. Pick something in colors you love and place it in a shade garden for an instant focal point. Or use a grouping of organic shapes along a pathway for instant curb appeal. Whether you choose a modern or whimsical style, a glass art garden piece should put a smile on your face each time you see it. – Glass Art by Margot
Glass is one of the most impressive finishes of the house if used to decorate the space. As an artist, I specialize in the design, development, and fabrication of decorative overhead glass systems such as domes and lay lights: beautiful ceilings that bring soft natural light into space and serve as a stunning focal point. Many homeowners are afraid to add colour to decorative glass projects as they don’t want to create a church-style feeling of their private secular space. In this case, using different combinations of clear textured glasses will create complex effects in glass and deliver soft light.
Highly textured glass with rough texture used in combination with almost transparent glass with a gentle texture work similar to coloured glass: different textures of glass pick background elements and transmit light in different ways creating an illusion of coloured glass. Using beveled glass and crystal jewels as visual accents – the elements that have the ability to refract light, add an extra layer of effects to the glass ceiling. A crystal or glass chandelier installed under the glass ceiling creates a deeper and continuous space filled with the light of different qualities. – Victoria Balva, Glass Artist at Crown Dome
Originally published by Redfin
"Find Your Center"
I started on the new glassblowing technique book a year and a half ago. The working title is "Find Your Center: Glassblowing Techniques". Since then, I've taught and researched in Australia, Japan, and the States. I found my home in Phoenix where the book will see completion. There's a lot more work to do. Enjoy some clips of the newest illustrations!
I started working on the advanced book. The following are some of my favorite process illustrations of rings, optics, etc. I was able to invest in an I-Pad Pro and Apple Pen...really, really excited about what's in store.
Thoughts from the Rails
I just got back after two months on the road.
and a bit of honesty...
How do you make it in the glass world? There's no one formula. There's not one right way. I think there's a right attitude, a work ethic, and a passion that gets you far in glass. It's a desire, a drive, and a skill. It's a willingness to learn from failure. It's patience.
Empty the break-off buckets. Sweep the floors. Open doors. Load pipes into the pipe warmer. Take out the garbage. Show up for shop clean up. Be on time. Charge the furnace. One of my jobs required me to clean the bathroom on occasion. I was working at a glass studio, and that's what mattered.
When working in the shop, I learn the most when I break glass or things don't go as planned. It always finds a way to humble me.
Work the glass on the edge of your skill level. That's where the magic happens.
Glassblowing is a constant decision making process towards a desired outcome. It's always different, never the same.
After you learn glass only then does it teach you, but only if you let it.
Every studio i've visited is unique and special.
Don't take the studio at your school or work for granted.
Apply for everything. Especially if its free! My rejection letters far surpass the acceptance ones.
The first two times I applied to the BFA program at Illinois State University, I got rejected. I can't thank the panel enough for this because I wasn't ready. It pushed me. I was accepted the third time. ISU is a big part of where I am today. John Miller's program is a big part of who I am today.
Photograph your work. Professionally pack it. Write an artist statement and biography. Start to build a resume. Build a website. Design business cards and hand them out. Someone will notice.
I got to see Lino and his team work in person. Epic.
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The journey continues...
See you at SOFA. Goodnight.
Practice Makes Better
Thank you Eoin at UW-River Falls, Kelly and Chad at FOCI, Rick at Anoka-Ramsey, Helen at UW-Madison, and all the other amazing faces along the way. Thank you for having me out to visit and teach.
I look forward to putting all this inspiration into the next book.
Taking a Breath
After three years, I returned to Neusole Glassworks as a visiting artist for one week. I went into it with seven new ideas and accomplished four of them. I produced eight finished pieces.
I met some good people. Thank you Alli, Nate, Trey, Adam, Sam, and John. I wouldn't have been able to pull this off without all of you. Glad we got to celebrate Taco Tuesday and play Exploding Kittens! I'm looking forward to when we will meet again.
Thank you Neusole! I was able to push my work to a new level.
I am down at ISU Thursday and Friday, up to UW-River Falls the following week, teaching a three day weekend class at FOCI, visiting artist at Anoka-Ramsey, and finally back down through UW-Madison.
The book tour continues...
Picking up the Pages
I started browsing through the first draft of Life on the Rails. It consists of 110 hand written pages. Forty four of those pages evolved into the intermediate book. Sixty six pages remain.
As the advanced book develops, it can very easily turn into two books.
I began illustrations on my new Wacom Bamboo Tablet (thanks to my aunt!). I hope these images will convey a more accurate understanding of the material. They are already doing that for me. =)
Next week starts my week long residency at Neusole Glassworks. Time to start getting these ideas out of the sketchbook!
Enjoy your weekend!
I took an analog photography class at Illinois State in 2009. After browsing the library's photography section, Lee Friedlander stood out among the rest. I liked his work.
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When I go out with my camera, my destination is rarely determined. The world around me controls my movement in space. I like to map out a place in my head before going to work. I analyze shapes in an environment on multiple grounds of depth to predict where things will line up. Relationships start to develop in my mind, so i go explore. Some work. Some don't. Most lead me to new ideas.
Sometimes fun little unintentional gems find their way into the shot. These are the best moments.
I enjoy the geometric basics of the world. Man made objects break down to simple shapes. Forced perspective is all around us. I've been referring to these moments as "Sweet Spots". There's always an adventure involved. I find it peaceful and fulfilling.
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Editing the photos is just as enjoyable, but on a different level.
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The following are a few of the photographs from an afternoon in Chicago, IL. I shoot digital on a Nikon D3300 with minimal editing in Photoshop.
Life on the Rails
Over 200 copies have been sold world wide to the U.K., Japan, Italy, Argentina, Turkey, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Australia, and of course the U.S.
I'm writing this blog on a plane to Seattle, WA. Saturday, July 22nd. My time in Washington will be spent assisting the wonderful Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell during their Monday/Tuesday residency at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. This is the first time I'm visiting the Museum of Glass! I don't know why it took me so long to visit, but this seems like the perfect moment. In between work at Tacoma, I will piggy back this trip with my book tour. I'll hit up a few local studios, book in hand, to continue to spread the knowledge.
The past two months were surreal. I turned my visit to the GAS Conference in Norfolk, VA into a two week road trip. I stopped through Flame Run in Louisville, KY, the Glass Spot in Richmond, VA, Cary, NC to visit a good friend, two days at StarWorks in NC, Penland School of Crafts to drop off books with Sallie at the store, back through Louisville to shoot arrows, and on to Calumet City, IL.
One week later, I jumped on a plane to Gent Glas in Belgium for a European book release of Life on the Rails. Gent Glas is two years young. John, Katrien, Momo and the rest of their crew created something special in the European glass community. The studio defines many aspects of what the American Studio Glass Movement and the Glass Art Society represent. Gent Glas has a contagious energy. One wall is lined with a display of glass art from local and past visiting international artists. Across from the gallery is a bar where you can sip on a selection of Belgian beer, Cava, coffee, or espresso (cheapest prices in the city!). Tables and chairs fill a central seating area where you can relax and be entertained by some of the finest local glass makers. If it's warm in the studio, step outside to the covered outdoor patio for a smoke. Don't worry about missing the glassmaking action! A projector displays a live feed on the outdoor wall. I would suggest a visit during their Friday Night Live Demonstration in the evening. Friday Night Demos do not run during the hottest summer months, but will re-open in September.
Gent Glas is the first time I had a large team of four to five people to make work. I'm accustomed to only one assistant in the studio. This opened doors and broke down barriers in my glass making process.
John, Katrien, Momo, Charlyn and I visited Leerdam, Holland. We went to an International glass exhibition in an old castle called the Fort. Each artist had their own room in the castle to create an installation of glass. I met some talented artists and glass makers. It was here, I watched a man with a home made furnace make a long neck bottle, swan, and flower. I wanted to talk with him and hear his story. There was a language barrier. I could only communicate with simple words. I showed him my book to communicate through glass making illustrations. I thought he would be interested in it, and he was! A lady standing nearby heard the difficulty in communication and offered to translate. She was talking to him earlier and told me he is a Syrian refugee with family still in Syria. After a bit more time, we parted ways. As I was walking away, I stopped, realized I had extra books in my backpack and took one out. I turned around and gave it to him. I wanted him to have it. It was the purest feeling I've had in a long time.
I spent two nights with the city of Gent taking photos of the evening lights. It's an inspiring city.
It's been just shy of 2 months since my last post.
The book tour is in full swing. I taught a class in Indianapolis, stopped at Flame Run in Louisville, the Glass Spot in Richmond, VA, Norfolk for the GAS Conference, down to Star Works, NC, Penland, NC, and back through Flame Run to Chicago, IL. I spent the last three weeks at Gent Glas in Belgium with a visit to Leerdam, Holland. In less than a week, I'll be in Tacoma, WA.
Every stop created a new memory.
I was raised in Calumet City, IL. My professional glassblowing career led me to Phoenix, AZ and the coast of Carlsbad, CA. where I was given the opportunity to teach glassblowing classes. Notes and chalk drawings of different techniques for the students resulted in my current book project.