Tell us about yourself!
My name is Jen Blazina. I currently live in Philadelphia, PA where I have a studio and am a Professor of Printmaking at Drexel University. I have been working with glass since 1998. After my graduate schooling in printmaking and sculpture at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, MI, I returned home to Washington, DC. My first job out of school was as a gallery manager at the Glass Gallery of Bethesda, MD. I had never had any experience with glass until that point. Through my experience working around glass, I found a material I fell in love with and have never looked back.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
As a printmaker and photographer, I was never happy working on paper. I also created installations in casting and bronze in resin. I was, and still am, interested in glass because of its translucency which creates a haunting and dreamlike quality that conveys a past experience and a notion of memories. I never found another material that could translate those expressions. Whether it be screen-printing on glass or casting objects in glass the sensibility of the material is one which one of the only media that conveys my concepts.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
As an artist, I am intrigued with the idea that what is precious to one person will be discarded by another. My work is influenced by commonplace possessions, familial vignettes and photographs. These evoke an ephemeral sense of past memories. Whether found in a second-hand shop or passed down from my family, I am often attracted to and captivated by the lost beauty of subtle images and materials. By re-creating and casting mementos in glass and metal, I transform their history in my own voice. The process allows me to capture and hold on to another time in the past. Photographs and chosen objects allude to temporal narratives and fleeting moments.
What is your dream project?
My dream project is to continue to work on a larger scale installation out of glass which replicates a Victorian parlor room. I have already started to make a life-sized chair and ottoman but I would like to continue building even more furniture items to complete this room.
What would you do if you weren’t a glass artist?
If I wasn’t working as an artist or professor, the only other field I would have loved to pursue is to be a librarian of rare books. I think it is such a glamorous field. How could one not love being surrounded by books?
Secrets are meant to be secrets.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a part of GAS, because it is a supportive institution for both emerging and established artists and curators. The ability to connect with the other members of GAS has been an extraordinary experience for me.
To learn more about Jen Blazina, go to her GAS MEMBER PROFILE PAGE