Born in Ithaca, New York, Ethan Stern lives in Los Angeles, CA. He earned his BFA in Sculpture from Alfred University and is a practicing studio artist, designer and teacher. His artwork is held in many public and private collections including the Corning Museum of Glass, Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, The Museum of American Glass in NJ, Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan. He has taught sculpture at the University of Washington, Penland School of Craft, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, Pittsburgh Glass Center and Pilchuck Glass School where he has been a Trustee since 2012.
Pushing glass beyond the anatomy of the vessel, Ethan’s work is an ongoing exploration of abstraction, color, texture and light. He is drawn to a richer, more luminous effect that can be achieved by carving and engraving the surface of the glass. This approach, like the stroke of a paintbrush or a finger pushed into clay; leave evidence of the hand and is undeniably connected to the process. Informed by a foundation in ceramics and traditional cut glass, Ethan’s work relies on a tactile sense of surface and mark making and is grounded in sculptural processes and techniques.
Ethan’s work is made of free hand blown glass and is composed of multiple layers of transparent or opaque colored glasses applied during the blowing process. The form is shaped on the blowpipe using a ceramic slab with paddles and shaping tools and is hand sculpted into its final form. After the glass is annealed a pattern is hand drawn on its surface. Using traditional glass cutting equipment Ethan cuts, engraves and polishes the pattern with diamond and stone wheels. The surface is tactile and smooth showing each mark as a remnant of the maker’s hand and the cutting process.
Ethan Stern is featured in American Craft Magazine here.