Seattle based artist working in glass and metal, MiNHi England was a finalist in Season 3 of the Blown Away series, which premiered on Netflix in July of 2022. She worked her way into the hearts of viewers with stunning glass design and technique as seen in works such as The Spectacular Bearded Dragon Lady or her collaborative installation with fellow contestant Dan Friday called One Million Scovilles.
Having earned her BFA from Alfred University in 2010, England has worked as a professional glassblower at numerous studios throughout the greater Seattle area. She now runs a hotshop named Liquid Lush Studio with her friend Bri Chesler, where the two friends create strange but beautiful glass-blown pieces that can be sold as gifts. The Seattle-based personality also continues in her roles as production manager at Artful Ashes and instructor at Pratt Fine Arts Center. With England’s current individual art practice focused heavily on her recent young widow status, she learns to navigate overwhelming loss, grief and life altering transition.
In 2012, Minhi met and married her late husband Jesse England at Pilchuck. The two bonded over a shared passion for combining glass and metal in a contemporary and conceptual fashion. Originally from Kansas, Jesse earned his BFA in Sculpture and Glass from Emporia State University in 2007. In 2013, he earned an MFA in Sculpture and Glass from the University of Texas at Arlington. Soon after meeting, Jesse and Minhi established an artist compound in which friends and colleagues could live and work. They eventually partnered with Artful Ashes to create iconic glass memorials.
In 2019, Jesse was diagnosed with MPNST (malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor). To help fight the cancer, Jesse underwent a few different procedures including a below the knee amputation, radiation, chemotherapy, and trial drugs. Sadly, however, he passed away 18 months after his diagnosis and nine months after he and Minhi married.
Despite his poor health, Jesse and Minhi married on September 5, 2020. Minhi wore a $30-dress and cowboy boots she got when the couple went on their first trip to Texas. In an Instagram post, she talked about the impact Jesse had on her life. “You have believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself, encouraged me, and lifted me up in my darkest days. We’ve shared some of my most cherished memories, and you will forever have my whole heart. You have shown me abundant generosity and kindness despite my many shortcomings. I am grateful for your bountiful love and devotion.”
From the depths of grief, England gathered her strength and faced new challenges before the eyes of the world. She joined the cast of Blown Away – the Netflix reality competition series that she and Jesse used to watch together. She said: “Jesse was the one who encouraged me to do it. That was his last gift to me.”
Along with the great success Minhi experienced on Blown Away, the artist has been awarded several artist residencies including the Hauberg Residency at Pilchuck Glass School, the Hilltop Artists Residency in Tacoma, and she has exhibited work at Bellevue Art Museum. Presently, she has an upcoming immersive gallery installation set to open in early 2023 at Method Gallery in Seattle as well as a group exhibition with fellow Blown Away artists John Sharvin and John Moran titled, Undefined, opening on February 3 at Pittsburgh Glass Center Gallery.
England states: “When I use glass in my work, I find myself personifying the material, giving it permission to embody self. The unique properties of hot glass allow me to generate a sense of vitality when I force my own breath inside. This action further connects me to the process. Although I set the stage, there are moments that happen outside of my control, metaphorically illustrating the human experience. Choosing when to relinquish control creates opportunity for evolution.”
Stanton Studios, expanded from the well-known Stanton Glass Studio, was founded in 1979 by Bryant J. Stanton. Beginning with a workbench in a loft studio and a couple of crates of glass, the studio has grown into a nationally-recognized business with completed work in businesses and homes across Texas and the United States. In addition to Stanton, his four sons and their team of craftsmen operate Stanton Studios just north of Waco, Texas.
Stanton began his journey into the world of art as a young adult in high school. When he wrote a research paper on Gothic Cathedrals, he became fascinated with stained glass and window bays. Later, attending Texas Tech then transferring to Baylor, Stanton studied 3-Dimensional Studio Art and found that he incorporated glass wherever possible in all of his art projects. But the young artist didn’t begin pursuing his passion until a fateful event occurred.
When Stanton took an off campus walk, he discovered an old stained glass shop and met a man who changed his life by teaching him the craft. After making his first butterfly sun-catcher, the young Stanton was “instantly hooked.” He accepted a full-time job at The Warehouse working for Homer Owen and made inspirational gifts – sun-catchers with bible verses on them.
In 1979, Stanton began his own business in a downtown Waco, Texas, shop and started calling churches and businesses, advertising his services. He received his first restoration job fixing up windows for Central Christian Church. His first two window commissions were created for Pelican’s Warf and the Brazos Landing; ironically, both waterfront restaurants wanted Pelican-themed windows looking out onto the Brazos River.
Stanton taught his first child, Tiffany, the shop’s ways and how to handle glass. Soon after, Nathan and Jordan, the eldest sons, began learning their father’s trade. Jordan was “a little clone of his father” and quickly picked up the skills needed for creating glass. As assistant manager, he accompanied his father to meetings. Nathan, the eldest son, found that working with glass was not his passion and learned his own trade – woodworking. Tiffany eventually taught her younger sibling, Samuel, to work with glass, and he joined the shop as a grouter.
As time passed, Stanton hired an in-house glass painter, Joe Barbieri, his wife Suzanne eventually became the bookkeeper, and Jordan became the official manager. Samuel also moved up from being in “the mud room” to being a builder. Tim, the youngest son, joined the shop as a builder, and Nathan helped to expand Stanton Glass Studio into Stanton Studios as he brought his woodworking abilities to the shop.
Since founding the business, Stanton has worked tirelessly designing and creating works in glass. The knowledge and experience gained have allowed him to complete iconic works that are not only breathtaking but magnificent feats to design and build. He and his family can tackle projects ranging from stained glass for churches, residences or businesses to huge sculptures for universities or giant glass domes for hotels. Stanton says he most enjoys projects that are big and challenging, such as the 3-story long DNA sculpture that hangs suspended in a stairwell in the McLennan Community College Sciences Building in Waco, the iconic dome of the Driskill Hotel in Austin, and the restoration of the priceless Louis Comfort Tiffany windows for a Galveston church.
Stanton has come a long way from that first butterfly suncatcher. He and his family are always learning more and continuing to find new challenges in creating the most beautiful art glass. Due to their success, Stanton has served on several community boards, including the Waco Chamber of Commerce and the Waco Art Center. He is the current president of the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA) and also served as the past Editorial Chair of Stained Glass Quarterly magazine. SGAA’s 2023 conference will be held in Buffalo, New York, September 27 through October 1.
As Stanton Studios continues to hire more builders and expand, its founder hopes that the business will live on through his sons, who are now in charge of teaching the new hires the skills involved with stained glass making – keeping the art and craft of stained glass alive.
ott Deppe, pioneer in the functional glass art scene for three decades, brings an artistic vision to glassblowing that parallels that of influential artists of other media. Adept at evolving techniques, he quickly mastered traditional moves like reticellos and disk flips and innovated techniques of his own to achieve alien function and incorporate intricate detail and sacred geometry into his glass work. Most recently, his exploration has culminated in silver and gold fumed hologram glass that transforms finished pieces into deep illustrative tapestries.
Born in Idaho, Deppe moved to Bellingham, Washington, the year before he started making pipes. He encountered his first blown glass pipe at a Grateful Dead show in 1993. On his way home, he stopped at a local hardware store, bought a torch and some glass, set up in his living room and melted a couple of spoon pipes, trying to recreate a piece he had fallen in love with at the Dead show – a little spoon with a mushroom bead on the side. Deppe says: “I had a natural ability to deconstruct things with my mind. Through experimentation, I often came up with better, easier ways of doing things.”
Other than an early goblet class with Brian Kerkvliet, Deppe is self-taught and well-known for his constant experimentation on the torch resulting in early mind-blowing solo works such as Take Me to the Mothership, his Deady Bear piece, and his collaborative Team Japan works – all of which expanded how people thought about glass and how much they were willing to spend on pipe art. Since then, he has done collabs with many industry greats.
Deppe is the founder of Mothership – a glass artist collective with a mission to create the best functional glass in the galaxy. The Mothership first landed on Earth in 2013, making contact in the Pacific Northwest. Its team of glass artists and crew constantly push the boundaries to make creations that combine beauty and sophistication into functional glass art. The company prides itself on passion for both the artform and cannabis culture, resulting in every piece being handcrafted with love.
When it comes to a consensus on who is the most talented glass artist within the industry, you will be hard pressed to find one with more mentions than Deppe, a true master of the art form. Holding a Deppe piece, one marvels at the precision of his craftsmanship. While many artists are cornering a niche market with a trademark style, this artist has always been one to display a breathtaking ability to master any technique.
Legacy GlassWorks Gallery in Duluth, MN will feature Mothership Glass on Saturday, December 3, 2022 https://www.legacyglassworks.com/pages/upcoming-events-2
Legends of Hash will also feature Mothership from Dec 2 – 3, 2022 in Los Angeles. https://www.legendsofhashish.com/projects-6 Deppe will attend this event.
Says Deppe: “I just want to do something different, always. It’s what feels good.”