Inspired by the porcelain-like glass sculptures of 18th century Nevers in France, Amber Cowan’s work explores the relationship between tradition and the avant-garde as well as paying homage to the past glory of US glass manufacturing.
Amber Cowan is a gifted American sculptor who expresses herself using glassworks to create natural dream-like forms of sublime surrealism. She has been working with glass for over fifteen years and received both her MFA in Glass/Ceramics from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and her BFA in 3-Dimensional Design with a focus in Glass from Salisbury University.
She is currently working with a process which involves flameworking, blowing, and hot-sculpting recycled, up-cycled, and second-life glass, usually American pressed glass from the 1940s to the 1980s. The glass used is generally found in thrift stores, flea markets and post-production factory runs, places where it was abandoned and left to vanish in the dust. Amber transforms this forgotten glass pieces, reviving them, making them blossom again in contemporary design wonders. The detail in her glass sculptures is absolutely fascinating.
Besides being a remarkable artist capable of creating magnificent glass sculptures, she is also an educator living in Philadelphia. She is a faculty member of the glass department of Tyler School of Art, where she received her MFA in 2011. She taught at several schools around the country, including The Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts and The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass.
Cowan was the receiver of the 2014 Rakow Commission from The Corning Museum of Glass and her work is in the collections of The RISD Museum and The Shanghai Museum of Glass. Her solo exhibitions at Heller Gallery in New York and The Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco were also big marks on her career.
By: Henrique Santos