Bio

Gayla Lee began her glass career in 2001 with an apprenticeship at the Corradetti Glass Studio in Baltimore, MD. As she learned the craft of glassblowing from Anthony Corradetti and his assistant, Ragan Sheridan, she took classes at the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. In Corning she learned more diverse glassblowing techniques and also began to learn about kiln working and cold working glass.

At Corning she has studied under; Harry Seaman, Mark Mathews, Bill Gudenrath, Mark Ditzler, Erica Rosenfeld, Leo Teocoscky and Davide Salvadore. After a summer working for Corning at the Make Your Own Glass workshop, she began to work as a teaching assistant for many artists in Corning including; Harry Seaman, Mark Ditzler, Ray Friday, Jayne Persico, Yoko Yagi, Gabiele Kustner and Josh Simpson. In 2009 she started teaching weekend classes for Corning and taught her first week-long intensive in 2012. You can click HERE to see Gayla's upcoming classes at the Corning Museum.

As her skills improved she continued to assist Anthony Corradetti and teach glassblowing classes at his studio for a total of 8 years before opening her own studio in Annapolis, Maryland. She exhibits her work in galleries and craft shows in the region, most notably the Baltimore American Craft Council Show. In May of 2010 she was selected as Corning's Artist in Residence. She spent her residency exploring ways to make and use glass murrine. 

In 2011 she began teaching glass fusing classes at Maryland Hall in Annapolis, Maryland. Over the last two years she has been working to expand the Glass Department from a small shared classroom to a more comprehensive glass studio that offers classes in a wide variety of kiln-working techniques. You can see upcoming Maryland Hall glass classes HERE.

 

Gayla on her work: "I have always been attracted to geometric shapes and repeating patterns.  While learning glassblowing I was completely seduced by the process, but I found it difficult to create geometric designs in such a fluid medium. When I took a glass fusing class with my (now) mentor Mark Ditzler, I realized how glass could be used to create the patterns and shapes I was drawn to. A few years later I studied with Erica Rosenfeld and Leo Teocosky and learned ways that the two techniques could be combined.

Today my work is a mix of many glass-working techniques. I am very process inspired and I like to make pieces that challenge my design and technical skills. Upon completion of one project I am always asking myself "but what would happen if you did it this way instead?" I find it difficult to pick one thing and stick with, which is why I make so many different types of things. I love functional artwork and I think it's important to have art objects as part of everyday life, so I make a lot of platters and functional glassware. The combination of kiln-work and glassblowing lends itself so well to highly detailed small glass pieces that I couldn't help but make jewelry. Sometimes I just want to make things that are all about the patterns and not worry about their purpose or function, so I make sculptural pieces too.

For me, learning, making and teaching have always happened together. I learn best in a working environment, so most of my education has been "on the job". I have not had an education that was removed from the reality of being a craftsperson and working with others. Usually as soon as I learn something I am teaching it to someone else, and I learn more about it in the process of teaching too. People often ask me why... Why are you an artist? Why do you work in glass? Why do you teach? and the answer is that I don't know. It's not a choice, I just have to or I'm not happy"

 

AWARDS

2012 Independent Artist Award recipient in the Crafts category from the Maryland State Arts Council
2011 National Capital Art Glass Guild Award at the Creative Crafts Council's 28th biennial show at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, MD

 
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