My path of glass began at the California State University of Chico where I took my first dip into molten, red-hot, gooey honey glass from a 2000°F blazing hot furnace. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art with an emphasis in Studio Glass. I currently live in San Jose, CA and work out a hot shop glass studio in Oakland, CA.
In my life, I have always loved art. So, it was only appropriate that I fell in love at first sight when I stepped into the glassblowing studio in college. The fluidity, motion, movement, and outcome of transforming something clear and liquid into something beautiful and solid, all attributed to my immediate fondness of the art form. When I drew my first gather, dipping the cold steel rod into the molten, red-hot, honey-like, 2000°F blazing hot furnace, it was a beautiful experience. To create something beautiful from my bare hands, metal tools, blazing fire, and notebook drawings or an image in my mind, out of clear, formless, melted sand is incredible to me. I know that this love of mine for the involvement and process of creating in glass, drives and inspires me to make my art glass creations. I love creating; I get to make people happy with beautiful, bright colors and fun shapes from a medium that is 4,000-years-old. I simply love the beauty of the medium.
Each piece that I make is the evolution of the process and my personal journey in glass. All of my artwork signifies and represents the dedicated effort that I’ve put into my skills as a glass artist over the past 15 years. I learn something new about the glass every time that I work with it. I absorb the world around me and take the bits and pieces that I want to take and put it into my artwork. For example, the beautiful colors I see around me on a daily basis in Mother Nature, like in the sunset, the colors in it can vary anywhere from monochromatic gray and black to the most colorful rainbow you can imagine of oranges, yellows blues, and purples. I don’t expect to make anything as beautiful as Mother Nature can, but all I can do is try.
The history of glassblowing and the fact that it has hardly changed over the past 2,000 years is what I respect and admire. The only thing that has changed is technology and how we achieve our heat. Glassblowing is an art form that not anybody can do at any time. You cannot go to the art supply store and buy the equipment and materials needed to create a beautiful piece of glass and begin tonight. It is a relationship that you build and nurture over a lifetime in a very uninviting and intimidating environment.
What is beautiful and captivating is the way the glass and light interact with each other. This harmonious interaction is something that you cannot achieve in any other medium. This process is such a personal interaction between medium and artist that no two glass artists can create anything in the same way, shape, or feeling of expression. Almost like an interpretive dance, everybody has their own way of expressing their individual “olé!” that is different from everyone else. It is not necessarily better or worse, just different so you just have to go with what appeals to you.
What I love most about blowing glass is the fleeting commitment and instant gratification. I make a commitment to my creation, to see it through from being a glowing, clear glob to its bright, beautiful, aesthetic completion whether it takes 20 minutes or a few hours, or whether I get it on the first try or the 100th try. There isn’t time to stop, take a break, and come back later to finish it. I have to do it, and I have to do it now. I have to persist until I succeed at creating a complete work of art and love. What I get to do on a daily basis, to survive, to be able to create beautiful objects that bring happiness to others, gives me fulfillment and satisfaction that I have not been able to reproduce in doing anything else. That is what captures me and drives me in my relationship with glass.
(Photos courtesy of Megan Tsang Studio)