Cheyenne Malcolm manages a delicate balancing act between blowing glass for his personal line of sculptural vessels and building hot shop furnaces, annealers, and glory holesfor other studios, which finances his artwork. By founding Canned Heat Glass Studios, Milwaukie, Oregon, the artist discovered that developing and fabricating state-of-the-art equipment for other glassblowers is an art unto itself.
An accomplished glassblower with over two decades of experience, Malcolm’s involvement with the molten medium runs the gamut from production blowing for Robert Held Art Glass in Vancouver to assisting Richard Jolley in Knoxville, Tennessee, with his massive figurative hot glass Subsequent studies with artists such as Karen Willenbrink Johnsen and Martin Janecký, plus work with Lynn Read at Vitreluxe, Portland, Oregon, helps to form Malcolm’s informal but incomparable education in glass.
“I am a process driven artist. My career in glass has always been studio based. Learning different techniques and styles from different artists as I worked for them throughout the years has helped me understand glass and its myriad possibilities. I am still very intrigued by this demanding and unforgiving medium.”
Throughout the career of a working artist, documentation and cataloging of work can take a back seat to other more pressing business, such as making and selling work. Such was the case with Malcolm, who, during his down time from Canned Heat, is creating for himself a personal retrospective collection of work he sold but failed to photograph.
Career choices of glassblowers are often defined by the high cost of hot glass. In 2006 Malcolm sold his Vetro Vita glass studio in Portland, Oregon, and invested those earnings in Canned Heat, where he now spends 80 percent of his time. As the company builds one of the world’s largest glass studios in Asia, Malcolm added a hot shop studio at Canned Heat, where he and his glass artist employees can continue their own research and development.