An eclectic, contemporary art gallery in the heart of Bozeman, Montana
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Artist Bios: Glass
Molly Barnes creates ephemeral hand blown glass bowls and vases that showcase her talent in the medium of blown glass. Her pieces are reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, yet modern and quietly bold. Although abstract in design, the patterns in each piece are beautifully evocative of nature’s splendor. Whether used to display a bouquet of flowers or to simply be admired in the light, Molly’s pieces fit their setting – whether it is a Craftsman bungalow home, a modern loft or a corporate setting. Molly is a native of Portland, Oregon and started blowing glass in 1995. Molly learned to blow glass in a small, open to the public studio in Troutdale, Oregon. She also worked at Bullseye Glass and Uroboros Glass in Portland for several years. After assisting many local glass blowers, including John and Heather Fields, Molly built her own studio in 1999.
LaBrecque Glassworks is the small, family-run studio of glass artist Ben LaBrecque. For almost ten years, Ben has practiced a technique of glass blowing called flameworking. This process utilizes a high temperature torch to heat the glass until it reaches a molten state. Once hot enough, glass can be shaped and blown into nearly any form imaginable! Ben lives and works in beautiful Teton Valley, Idaho with his muse and manager, Erin, and their spirited and spunky young daughter, Harriet. Ben is dedicated to making high quality, unique, affordable, and functional glass pieces inspired by the natural world.
Ben received formal training in Fine Art at Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. Ben has studied glass at Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, Washington with renowned glass artist, educator, and author, Bandu Dunham. Ben also attended the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY under the tutorship of Italian glass artists Emilio Santini, a world-renowned Italian goblet maker and instructor, and Simone Crestani, a glassblowing master and contemporary artist. When not making glass, Ben can be found backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and chasing after his tiny daughter.
Carol creates fused glass art for the casual admirer to the most avid collector from her studio in Bozeman Montana. She began working in traditional stained glass almost 20 years ago and shortly thereafter, moved her focus to warm glass. Her work is unique in the quality and attention to detail evident in every design. Through experimentation, fabrication and exploration, she developed her relationship with glass. She finds that the properties of transparency, refraction, and magnification set glass apart from other art mediums. Her work has been described as innovative, fresh, happy and even exquisite. Carol’s work reflects the dynamic play of color, tone and nature of the Northwest where she has resided for over 30 years.
Artist Statement “Art has always been a part of my soul, forever exploring new and different techniques.”
Living in Bozeman Montana, I’m surrounded by inspiration which stimulates my yearning to interpret what I see into what I create. I see fleeting shadows, shapes, textures and color combinations in my surroundings, drawing me to themes found in nature. Vibrant colors, unusual arrangements, sensuous curves and clean, visual layouts define my approach. I strive to incorporate unusual details that break the so-called rules of color and design. I’m continually enchanted by the almost magical aspect of transforming glass from individual sharp pieces into alluring design elements that plead to be touched. I like to imagine that every piece I make reflects the energy and pleasure I experience during its creation.
It is not a simple task to branch out from an established medium and create something new. Late night hours, artist wages, and ramen noodles join the blood, sweat, and tears of growing a new art concept from a classic medium. But all of the hard work and long hours can pay off when combined with a vision for telling stories in enameled wall art. Houston Llew started his venture inside a hot garage in Atlanta in the summer of 2008- at the depths of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
A combined vision for art and an eternal optimism turned a dreary economic situation into an opportunity as Spiritiles deliver a beautifully handmade art product to a market looking for affordable pieces to show their fine art collectors. Today, Houston no longer makes Spiritiles out of a garage -“Llewtopia,” as he calls it, is an expanding art studio near downtown Atlanta employing ten full-time artists and artisans as of October 2013.
Each Spiritile is carefully handmade using a series of intricate stencil techniques. From the beginning, Houston’s vision for his enameled artworks drew from the beauty of simplicity. He sought after an imagistic theme for his work rather than pursuing the abstract often seen in other enameled wall art. The image is just the beginning - each piece is paired with a quote sgraffitoed around the sides to create an inspiring story through words and images in glass.