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Artist of the Month
September 2016

Artist of the Month

Sharon Owens

Sharon Owens began a long-term love affair with glass in 1979.  Her first glass-blowing experience was at Purdue University in the chemistry lab. From there she studied with masters in Florida, Seattle, North Carolina and abroad. Sharon draws her inspiration from nature. Driven to share her passion, she opened Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery in 2002 in Lafayette, Indiana, where the public can experience flameworking, fusing and furnace glass blowing.  

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Sharon Owens

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

I am intrigued by some of the intricacies and the relationships within nature, whether it’s branching corals or the branching limbs of a winter’s tree. I am excited about the interconnections and the overall wonder that is presented before me. I strive to capture my version of these impressions with the fluid nature of glass because I am seeing the world around me in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors and patterns. The repetition of these patterns I find exhilarating. Color has always intrigued me from memories as a 3-year-old standing on the beach with a golden brown tan and blonde hair to what seems as some of colors’ purest forms in glass, playing with swimming transparencies of translucent and various opacities of layers in color.

In my childhood, I remember experiences of going to Blenko, Pilgrim, and Fenton glass factories in West Virginia and seeing the glassblowers in the mall work with this incredible material. With this new fascination, this exciting medium has led me to interpret my travels in layers of colors, patterns, and depth. Whether a sculptural form or vessel format, I enjoy exploring both the whimsical and joyful aspects of the nature around me.

About Sharon Owens

Sharon Owens grew up in Lafayette, Indiana, where she lives today. Chemistry glass blowing at Purdue University was her first hands-on experience with glass after studying art at Indiana University, where she had a double major in ceramics and printmaking. From there, she apprenticed in Florida for three years with Jean Boutz. She learned cross-fires, using a neon set-up and lead crystal. When the opportunity arose, she took as many classes as possible from different masters. She has studied with Bill Carlson, Paul Stankard, Richard Ritter, Mark Peiser, Marc Petrovic, Joel Philip Myers, Lucio Bubacco, Cesare Toffolo, and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen.

Sharon opened Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery in 2002 in Lafayette. She was the first to offer public instruction in flameworking in the area with a facility to accommodate a large class. Since she’s had the opportunity to study with some of the best known glass masters, she is thrilled to be able to pass her knowledge along to her local community. After 15 years, with the recent addition of the hot shop, Inspired Fire now offers flameworking, fusing, cold and hot casting, and glass blowing.  An attached gallery space features the work of local artists as well as highlights of some of Shaton’s instructors. Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery allows her to share her passion and inspire others to see into the world of glass, whether it be making or collecting it.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Inspired Fire Glass Studio and Gallery, Lafayette, Indiana, for providing the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.