Emily Kuchenbecker set out to be a painter. But in college, a class in glass set her on a new artistic path.
The artist: Born in Madison, WI, Kuchenbecker received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point (UWSP) in 2016 and her MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 2019. She has also studied glass at Pilchuck Glass School (WA), Penland School of Craft (NC), the Ox-Bow School of Art (MI) and the Corning Museum of Glass (NY).
In addition to her studies, the glass artist has taught space research in art foundation program at VCU and lampworking at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. Kuchenbecker now works as an LED hula hoop creator while continuing her glass production.
In the beginning: As a painting major, she had to fulfill her degree requirements at USWP by taking what was called “3D credit.” Her options were metal, clay, wood or glass.
“Though I was resistant to all, glass seemed like a fun option,” she said.
The art & materials: Mostly soft glass and borosilicate glass objects for home décor or installations. Also a line of apothecary bottles that have a touch of modern glamor.
- The colored and textured skyscape series ($90 per form; $50 for a cluster of three to five forms).
- Auras ($65). Individual or clusters of mirrored glass objects in various colors.
- Apothecary glass bottles ($45 to $100) inspired by vintage Pyrex and Fenton art glass.
A favorite technique: Mirroring glass. Mirroring glass is a chemical process in which she can blow a desired shape. Afterward, she coats the interior with silver nitrate to create a reflective surface. She typically mirrors the Auras and the forms in her Skyscape Series.
Fun, special or unusual requests: Some requests for glass repairs, which were fun. “I have fixed up borosilicate pieces and stained glass.”
Big break (s)
- A six-week residency sponsored by the DMG School Project at its Hot Glass shop in St. Petersburg, FL, 2020.
- A two-person showcase of residency work at the Duncan McClellan Glass (DMG) Gallery, 2020. The gallery, located in the Warehouse Arts District near downtown St. Petersburg, showcases national and international glass artists.
- A finalist for the Stanislav Libensky Award, a yearly award for young glassmakers, 2019. Also that year, had a piece placed in a collection at the Prague Gallery of Czech Glass.
- Nominated as a SAXE Emerging Artist Award for the Seattle-based Glass Art Society, 2021.
- Received a grant to attend a two-week residency in Haridwar, India, 2017.
- Received a grant to teach a glass workshop in Qatar, 2020.
What’s new: Working with different artists, fabricating parts for their work, including:
- Glass cubes for a photographer in Washington, DC.
- Glass chandelier parts for a Denver artist who is working on a larger installation.
- Glass crowns for an upcoming music video, which will be shot in Miami. The crowns, which the dancers and aerialists will wear, will be made mostly out of clear glass and UV reactive glass that will change in different settings.
Where to buy: emilykuchenbecker.com
Get social at:
- Instagram: @e.moonly