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Jess Wainer

"The social and performative nature of glassblowing inspires me to produce energetic, functional glass vessels that feature wild colors and satisfying forms."

Drawing and the natural world have been Jess Wainer's primary passions since early childhood. Her most recent glass vessels represent the melding of her love of drawing and her attraction to hot glass. Her colorful and refined objects become "glass canvases" on which she sandblasts intricate floral designs. Wainer is intrigued by the contrast between the organic nature of molten glass and the precision with which she carves her drawings onto the surface of these unique glass vessels.

Wainer uses a photosensitive material that allows her to carve freehand line drawings onto the surface of her blown glass vessels. Her technique can most accurately be described as glass sgraffito, an adaptation of a ceramic technique where wet clay is stained and drawings are carved into the surface of the clay creating a two-toned image. In glass, the two-tone image is achieved by blowing a vessel with an interior color and a thin skin of a contrasting glass color through which she carves to expose the inner color. The work Wainer creates using this process celebrates the union between form and surface decoration while exploring nature and the body.

Wainer's dedication and commitment to her pursuit of art making as her life's work led her to the Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her B.F.A. in glass in 2004. In the last five years, she has attended several advanced glass and ceramics workshops at the Bay Area Glass Institute, California College of the Arts, and at Penland School of Crafts. Additionally, Wainer is diligent about challenging herself to experiment and create new work in her rigorous studio practice.


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