WMODA celebrates our local community of glass artists with the pop-up exhibition A Touch of Glass. The star of the show is Chelsea Rousso who makes wearable glass. The novelty of glass bikini tops and corsets certainly turns heads when modeled at the WMODA events. Chelsea also teaches the techniques of fused glass art and the work of her most talented students, Lori Brown and Anne Orvieto, is on show alongside Chelsea’s work at WMODA.
Chelsea Rousso is a glass artist, fashion designer and writer, as well as a teacher at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She specializes in kiln-formed fused glass and holds regular classes for aspiring glass artists. Chelsea combines her love of fashion and glass into a unique form of wearable glass, including corsets and bikini tops, which have appeared on the catwalk at WMODA and other glass art exhibits around the country. One of the challenges she faced with creating wearable glass was developing a technique that followed the form of the female body. Chelsea also creates unique sculptures with ribbons of glass woven and fused into beautiful silhouettes.
Brenna Baker is a glass blowing artist and founder of Hollywood Hot Glass. She began her career in Corning, NY at the age of 14 and learned the technical and aesthetic foundations of glass in a town synonymous with glass art. Brenna spent a year working in Murano, Italy under the tutelage of Pino Signoretto, arguably the world’s finest glass sculptor. Brenna traveled the world on Celebrity Solstice class ships with the Hot Glass Show before becoming the youngest Master Gaffer ever employed by Steuben Glass. Now an independent glass artist, Brenna opened the Hollywood Hot Glass studio in 2013, where she features daily demonstrations of glass blowing and offers visitors the opportunity to make their own glass art.
Rob Farnan, a South Florida artist, gets his inspiration from tropical sea life to create unique, hand-crafted, flame-worked sculptures from Borosilicate (pyrex) glass. Educated as a mechanical engineer, Rob combines his engineering skills with his love of sea life which he encounters while snorkeling and scuba diving. He began flameworking in 2010 after enrolling in a soft glass bead-making class and he continued to enhance his skills at an Ocean Life Flameworking Class at the Corning Museum of Glass, NY. He has also taken an impromptu sea life sculpture class with an experienced glass artist at Zen Glass in St. Petersburg, FL. He has demonstrated his art at Hollywood Hot Glass and at the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts.
Anne Orvieto was first introduced to kiln-formed glass techniques two years ago and became obsessed with fused glass as an art form. Working with iridized, opaque, and transparent glass, frit and glass powders, she is often guilty of breaking the “6 mm rule” that glass prefers. She also likes to incorporate rolled or “soft edges” of glass into her pieces since the varied thickness and curves can create the perfect ocean wave or landscape. She is inspired by every sunrise and sunset, as the light creates a myriad of ever-changing colors, much like the iridized glass. Anne credits her instructor and “Kiln-Whisperer”, Chelsea Rousso, with inspiring her to explore beyond the traditional boundaries of kiln-formed glass.
Lori Brown is a fused glass artist, and jewelry designer. Working in fused glass as a medium began as a way to create colorful elements to be included in her jewelry designs. She has found that many aspects of experimenting with glass have fueled her creativity. The way the light plays and reflects thru the transparency, the intensity of colors and the way certain glass colors unpredictably react to each other is like no other medium. Likely due to the number of years that she has spent in the Graphic Design industry she is known as the “architect” of the group students at Chelsea Rousso’s Studio. It is not uncommon for her to plan my designs on the computer or to sketch out each cut in a paper pattern prior to cutting glass pieces.