Exploring themes of birth, death, animal-human relationships and parallel worlds suggests that Christina Bothwell is a magical realist. Her work conjures scenes from fables or children’s stories in which something impossible is happening quite naturally and spontaneously.
Bothwell says: “Since I was very young, I have been fascinated with the concept of the Soul… the idea that the physical body represents only a small part of our beingness. I am always interested in trying to express that we are more than just our bodies, and my ongoing spiritual interests and pursuits have run parallel to the narrative in my pieces.”
Bothwell studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia before teaching herself how to work with ceramics and cast glass. The artist lived and worked in Manhattan until 1994 when she and husband, artist Robert Bender, relocated to rural Pennsylvania – along with their three young children, eight pets, plus a snake named Lucy. Nature, the main source of inspiration for her work, helps Bothwell maintain an awareness of the interconnectedness that exists among all of life.
By the late 1990s, Bothwell was having some success making doll-like figures out of clay, found objects and cloth. But a perceived “disturbing quality” sometimes made the work a tough sell. A 1999 glassmaking workshop at the Corning Museum of Glass provided the breakthrough she needed. Realizing glass could do all the same things as clay but with an added element of delicacy and lightness, Bothwell has been combining the two materials ever since – a pairing that has become her aesthetic signature.
Since those early days, Bothwell has won numerous scholarships and grants including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a Virginia A. Groot Foundation award for excellence in sculpture. Additional awards and honors include the 2018 Artist of the Future Award for Most Compassionate Artist, Imagine Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL; The Haven Foundation grant, Brewer, ME; and the Craft Emergency Relief Foundation grant, Montpelier, VT, to offset damages and loss of artwork caused by a devastating studio fire Bothwell and Bender suffered in August 2018.
Bothwell’s work is held in permanent public collections such as the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; Shanghai Museum of Glass Art, Shanghai, China; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, CA and the Alexander Tutsek – Stiftung foundation, Munich, Germany. She is represented by Heller Gallery, NY; Habatat Gallery, Royal Oak, MI; and Austin Art Projects, Palm Desert, CA.
With an exhibition at Heller Gallery scheduled in February 2021, Bothwell contemplates new work. “My subject matter includes babies, animals, and children as they embody the essence of vulnerability that is the underlying theme in my work. Currently I am exploring metamorphosis as a topic, and have been incorporating figures within figures in my pieces. Within each glass figure there is a smaller figure seen through the surface of the glass. I think of these pieces as souls, each being pregnant with their own potential, giving birth to new, improved versions of themselves.”
In this special AMA (Ask Me Anything) episode of Talking Out Your Glass podcast, patron and co-producer Anthony Cowan participates in interviewing one of his favorite glass artists, Bothwell, as a reward for his support of the podcast via Patreon. If you’re interested in supporting the continued documentation of glass and glass artists while earning extra episodes and other rewards, visit
Creating under the pseudonym 2-Stroke since 2013, Christopher McElroy constructs one-of-a-kind pipes and rigs adorned with his colorful, psychedelic, textile-inspired patterning technique known as Heliocoileh. His current body of work includes polychromatic water pipes, dry pipes, cups, marbles, and beads, created with the philosophy that the ornamentation of daily objects serves to elevate an experience from mundane to mystical.
McElroy earned his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from The University of Washington, where he studied under Mark Zirpel. His early glass mentors Emilio Santini, Sally Prasch and Rick Schneider encouraged him to forge his own path from the very start of his relationship with the medium. His sculptural and functional works have been exhibited at The Henry Arts Gallery (Seattle, Washington), Anderson Gallery (Richmond, Virginia), Traver Gallery (Seattle, Washington), Missoula Art Museum (Missoula, Montana), Dampkring Gallery (Amsterdam) and Pismo Fine Art Gallery (Aspen, Colorado).
Teaching has played an important part of McElroy’s history with glass and includes flameworking instruction at Kyoto University of Art and Design in Japan, Penland School of Crafts, the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel.
Growing up in Southwest Virginia’s scenic rolling hills and farmlands shaped McElroy’s affinity for agrarian and wilderness landscapes. Informed by color relationships in plants, animals, lichen, and minerals, the artist studies and examines how colors convey information of biological purpose. Lessons of age, nutrition, fertility, and danger are communicated among entities that speak the language of color.
Informed by avant-garde contemporary fashion, ceremonial objects of pre-columbian South American cultures, and textiles from around the world, the artist cites artistic influences to include Robert Irwin, El Anatsui, Kelsey Brooks, & Tom Sachs. Color, collection, and craft have always been and remain at the core of his studio practice.
In early June 2020, the artist exhibited new work in a four-person show, A Time for Passion, held at Stoked, Connecticut, and will be a part of Mins, a group pipe show held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 16, 2020.
From his studio in Hudson, New York, McElroy discusses the transition from sculpture to pipes, and how art school training affects his approach to functional glass.
More than a decade ago, Tanya Veit was a bartender living and working in Chicago, Illinois. While on vacation in Florida, a psychic predicted she would one day own an arts related business. Back home in the Windy City, Veit attended a glass exhibition with her husband John, after which she immediately applied for a business license, knowing that her company would one day dedicate itself to glass art.
The Veits established AAE Glass in Cape Coral, Florida, along with John’s brother, Mark Veit. Their 22,000-square-foot facility is a Bullseye Resource Center and distributor and also offers two classrooms, a retail store, cold working shop and shipping warehouse for their large e-commerce business. Some of AAE Glass’ offerings include products and equipment from Coatings By Sandberg, Olympic Kilns, Gemini Saw Company and many popular fusing supplies. Classes are offered almost daily by world-renowned glass fusing instructors from the U.S. and by international fused glass artists 10 to 15 times a year.
At an early age Veit was inspired by her grandmother, who provided pastels and chalks from the art supply store where she worked. Since that time, the artist has explored myriad mediums including PMC, art clay, wood, metal and glass. Constantly experimenting with new techniques, Veit has redefined what is possible in fused glass jewelry. A self-taught artist, her work has been published in many periodicals.
An energetic and “spicy” instructor, Veit developed a unique talent for assisting others in tapping into their own creativity to further their craft. Her students lovingly refer to her inspiring classes as “The Tanya Show.” The artist has travelled the US and Europe extensively, teaching her signature techniques and has expanded those offerings into highly anticipated online video tutorials.
AAE Glass currently offers more than 50 online tutorials by fusing experts worldwide. Two recent videos include Veit’s Creating Depth & Drama in Fused Glass Jewelry, which has become her most popular online offering to date. She says: “Being able to review instruction at your leisure in your studio is priceless. Referring back and watching repeatedly will also spark something new. Life gets in the way, so being able to have that resource when you need it is invaluable.” Look for Veit’s new release, Scenic Layering and Color Blending in Jewelry in the fall along with Kiln Casting by Nathan Sandberg.