Featured Artist Steven Schaefer

Glass artist Steven Schaefer shares his story of mastering this fascinating medium, and presents a stunning collection of sculpture. See more on his website.


Glass sculpture from Magma Series by Steven Schaefer

Magma Series: “Irazu” Solid Glass Sculpture on LED light base. 8″High x 4 1/2″ Wide x 4″Deep


My artistic journey began growing up in Havertown, Pennsylvania. As a child, exploring the outdoors was my favorite form of entertainment. Playing in the woods, fishing, camping, and countless days at the local creek allowed me to study the infinite complexities of nature up close. Music also played an important role. Learning to play jazz on the saxophone enhanced my development of improvisational thought and self-expression.


Multicolored handmade glass sculpture titled Inferno by Steven Schaefer

“Inferno” Solid Glass Sculpture. 3″ High x 9 1/2″ Round.


In the years that followed, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University in 2002. I also moved to Malvern, Pennsylvania where I now live with Jeannine, my wife of 25 years.


Tendril shaped glass sculpture by artist Steven Schaefer

“Tendril” Solid Glass Sculpture on Granite Base.  20″High x 4 1/4″Wide x 4 1/4″ Deep


In 2013, I took a glassblowing class at Glasslight Studio in St. Peters, Pennsylvania. Opening the furnace door for the first time, with intense heat hitting my face, was like standing on the edge of a volcano. Dipping the blowpipe into the cauldron of molten glass and taking my first gather, stirred something deep inside. An overwhelming sense of awe and wonderment came over me, as if I was 10 years old again.


swirling golden glass sculpture by Steven Schaefer

“Electric Honey #2” Solid Glass Sculpture. 7 3/4″High x 5″Wide x5″Deep


A new way to artistically express myself awakened. When I wasn’t working as a pastry chef, in my free time I became obsessed with everything glass. I attended lectures, watched YouTube demonstrations, visited museums, traveled, and of course spent lots of studio time. It all helped me further my understanding of what is now a lifelong journey of becoming a glass artist.


Glass sculpture by artist Steven Schaefer

“Bubbli’n Caramel Creme” Solid Glass Sculpture, 2″High x 9″ Round


I first studied blown glass techniques. Learning the basics, I used gravity, heat, breath, and wet newspaper to forge a formless blob of glass into a cup, bowl or a vase. I began to experiment with color and how to exploit the alchemy of their composition to produce a unique voice amongst thousands of years of tradition.


Blue glass sculpture by artist Steven Schaefer

“Wave Rider ” Solid Glass Sculpture on white marble base. 14″High x 5″Wide x 5″Deep


My travels throughout the U.S. and Europe have increased my knowledge base and provided me with further inspiration. In 2018, I attended a Glass Art Society conference in Murano, Italy. This trip opened my eyes to explore many new possibilities. Watching the maestros in action, I quickly learned that I have so much more to learn. Observing sculpture of immense size and complexity astonished me!


multicolored glass sculpture by Steven Schaefer

“Light’s Passage” Solid Glass Sculpture. 3 1/4″ High x 8″ Round


In 2019, my focus shifted to making solid glass sculpture, moving away from practical shapes into a realm of abstraction and distortion. I developed a unique style of layering and weaving colored grains of glass the size of rock salt. My process refers back to nature. Imagine rings on a crosscut section of a tree. My work begins with a gather of clear glass. Color is added and shaped. The process continues to build layers until there is a considerable (and heavy) mass.


Glass sculpture by artist Steven Schaefer

Tendril Series: “Seeker” Solid Glass Sculpture on granite base. 21″High x 4 1/4″ Wide x 4 1/4″ Deep


Continuous stretching and folding occurs, after which any number of shapes can be used to accentuate the details. Sometimes, a final gather of clear glass acts as a lens showcasing wonderful visual effects. When everything goes right, the ethereal qualities of light and color moving through a space beyond the confines of two dimensions is achieved.


Steven Schaefer invites you to follow him on Instagram and Facebook.


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