Shayna Leib was only seven years old when she saw glassblowing for the first time at a local university, an experience that changed her life forever.
While completing her Bachelors of Art degree in Philosophy at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, Shayna also studied literature, glass, and concert piano. Accepted to pursue a Doctorate in Philosophy, she chose instead to enter the University of Wisconsin-Madison for graduate studies in glass and metal.
Her glass interests at UW-Madison led to an equal focus on functional and sculptural works, where she explored the subtly different ways in which glass' most unique qualities were captured in each. Shayna uses the flow of hot glass, its capacity to freeze an artistic moment in time, and the inherent ability of glass to manipulate optics to express her artistic vision and inner direction.
Each of the glass pieces takes nearly a month to create and involves a painstaking, multi-step process that begins with pulling individual 30-50 foot segments of glass called cane, a step that’s repeated 8 to 200 times depending on the scale of the piece. She generates over 1 mile of thin glass pieces from which she cuts into tens of thousands of segments organized by shape and length. Next begins the tedious process of building the actual sculpture, requiring roughly 45 minutes for each two square inch area.
Leib has received numerous honorable mentions and grants for her work and exhibited across the United States. Apart from her glass work, she is a concert pianist.
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