Shawn Messenger

"I create my work with attention to detail, expression, and a little mystery so as to draw the viewer into my world. I would describe my work as impressionistic, inspired by flowers and gardens. I use a three-dimensional canvas of glass to produce landscapes with painterly effects. "

Glass artist Shawn Messenger describes her work as "gardens of glass, where you do not have to weed or water, and everything grows perfectly. If you get tired of the view, just turn the piece to find something new!" Messenger creates her pieces in her urban studio, but her inspiration comes from the flower and vegetable gardens at her home. The details and colors of flowers have always intrigued her, along with the amazement of watching something grow. 

Messenger starts her work by creating colorful glass cane with an interior shaped like a flower. The cane is then sliced into small cross sections known as murrini. The murrini are arranged into floral compositions, heated, and then picked up with the blow pipe on a background of layered glass powders and chips. After the murrini are fused to the surface, a layer of clear glass is added and the piece is blown into its final shape. 

Shawn Messenger graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a BFA in glass. She was among the first wave of women to receive a degree in glass from the Institute. Messenger attended the Pilchuck Glass School and studied with Dale Chihuly and Italo Scanga. She also attended Penland School of Crafts, studying with Richard and Jan Ritter and Dinah Hulet, concentrating on murrini.