Glass artist Sharon Owens launched her Lafayette teaching studio, Inspired Fire, nearly a dozen years ago, and she’s been incorporating her classical education, techniques and knowledge into her work for more than 30 years.
She opened the teaching studio as a way to pass it on, saying “this is where students and visitors can see other fine Indiana artisans and international glass artists work.”
A love of Indiana’s natural environment inspires Sharon’s glass work.
“I am moved by Indiana’s wildflowers, crimson tulips, yellow daffodils, blushes of dogwood …,” Sharon says. “These aspects of nature influence my glass art and my murrine flower designs.”
Sharon’s designs reflect the complex forms and the minute details she enjoys in nature.
“I have distilled the techniques of glass blowing to represent the fields, rivers, and plant life of my state,” she says. “Just as the regional landscape painters captured the light and attitude of our area, I try to layer the colors and movements of T.C. Steele and Otis Adams on the surfaces of my vessels.”
Sharon’s unique glass work uses vivid colors of cane and dichroic glass and the murrine process. She practices a two-step production, creating her flame-work pieces in the studio, where visitors often visit to observe her technique. She might spend a month creating pieces and parts and then, later, she heats those to 1,000 degrees to combine them for a beautiful end result.
“Often I will create 10 to 15 layers in a single piece,” she says. “The murrine process involves several work periods of five to six hours in which each color of glass is elongated to the length of a room in a pencil-sized diameter, and several colors are used in each piece. This process is time intensive, and the result is beautiful.”
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