On July 24, 2021 we visited the Studio of Los Angeles based glass artist Ethan Stern.
Born in Ithaca, New York, Ethan Stern spent the better part of 18 years living and working as a Glass Artist in Seattle, Washington. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. He earned his BFA in Sculpture from Alfred University and is a practicing studio artist. In addition to his studio practice, Ethan is the Executive Director at the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge Northeast of LA. His artwork is held in many public and private collections including the Corning Museum of Glass, The Eboltoft Glass Museum in Denmark, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, The Museum of American Glass in NJ, and the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan. He has taught sculpture at the University of Washington, Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, and the Pittsburgh Glass Center.
After studying ceramics in school, Ethan found glass and quickly became enamored with the bright, dense, and opaque colors achievable in the material. Pushing glass beyond the anatomy of the vessel, his work has been an ongoing exploration of abstraction, color, texture, and light. While glass typically reflects light and has an inherently shiny or dense appearance, Ethan is drawn to a richer, more luminous effect that can be achieved by carving and engraving the surface. These engraved marks, like the stroke of a paintbrush on canvas or a finger, pushed into clay; leave evidence of the hand and are undeniably connected to the process and the nature of the material itself. With a nod to cut glass of the 19th and 20th century his newest work stands as a distillation of the excess in traditional cut glass patterns and vessel forms.