From Here to Infinity: A Journey in Glass

“As I approach twenty years of working with glass, I am amazed at now much there still is for me to explore in the material. The quest for the perfect form matched with the ideal surface, color, or pattern is an ongoing challenge.   But most exciting are the new possibilities that open up through experimentation. Using the traditional techniques to create something fresh and modern is what I am most interested in right now. This approach allows me to feel grounded in the traditions of the material but also free to depart and explore the possibilities, which are indeed infinite.

“String Theory” marked the beginning of an adventure in linear complexity and the spatial qualities of glass. Multiple overlays and the compression of grids and spiral patterns create incredible depth as space folds and lines recede to infinity. I ground these drawings on blue and black glass to deepen the space. Today’s physicists are constructing theories of our universe that postulate dark matter, black and white holes, and other incredible features of the cosmos. Glass is a fantastic medium for dreaming up new ways to bend space, stretch time, and renew a sense of wonder.

Moving from macro to micro, the “Droplets” suggest another universe, the world of elements and beings too tiny for the naked eye to perceive. The glass in these pieces highlights the qualities of transparency and suspension. The tiny pieces of cane expand into hollow translucent tubes as the form is blown, mimicking the way we might view water through a microscope and discover a hidden world full of life. This pattern is also used on other forms (“Graphite Anemone”, “Aquamarine Orb”) where it moves in vertical direction, suggesting upward growth or the delicate ribbed surfaces of certain seashells, sponges, and anemones.

As we go through life, we attempt to stitch together our impressions, experiences, and knowledge into a unified whole. “Quilt” is my homage to this quest and to the humble beginnings of many creative endeavors. So often we begin with a thread, a word, or a doodle, and months or years later a finished product emerges. In this piece I let you into my sketchbook to explore the possibilities in a new way. The lines, patterns, and cane drawings are the building blocks for future creations and are beautiful simple statements on their own. I look forward to the next chapter.”~ Nancy Callan, 2018

Nancy Callan’s artistic voice as a glass sculptor reflects her high-level training and talents.  Callan attended the Massachusetts College of Art (BFA 1996) and lives in Seattle, WA where she is part of the vibrant Northwest glass community. Callan’s numerous awards include the Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship and residencies at the Museum of Glass (Tacoma, WA), The Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH), the Pittsburgh Glass Center (Pittsburgh, PA), and the Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, VA), STARworks, .  She was a key member of maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s glassblowing team for nineteen years.    

Nancy Callan is represented by galleries throughout North America.  Her artwork is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA, the Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, the Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, the Museum of Northwest Art, La Connor, WA, the Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China and in numerous prominent private collections. 

Callan is highly influenced by pop culture, and references sources such as comic books (“Superhero Stingers”), children’s toys (“Tops”) and high fashion (“Plaid Winkles”) in her ongoing series. 


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