Shelley Muzylowski Allen: Equine Glass Sculptures Forged In Fire

For countless centuries, the horse  has been immortalized in art in nearly every place in the world. The world would not be the way it is today without them. Steeped in legend, myth and culture, horses represent fiery freedom, power and grace. They have been seem through multiple perspectives and various mediums throughout time. For Shelley Muzylowski Allen, her glass equine sculptures whisper of an ancient, exotic culture while exploring the wild, powerful, yet delicate form of the horse. These sculptures are forged in fire, each one even more unique then the other, much like the animals the represent.


Shelley Muzylowski Allen


From: Vancouver, British Columbia

Current: Washington, USA



Shelley Muzylowski Allen went to the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (Vancouver, B.C.). and in 1998 through 2004, she worked with famed glass artist, William Morris, in Washington State where she now lives.


I would say it is figurative and expressionistic. I hope to capture the essence and emotion of the animal. -Shelley Muzylowski Allen

One year later, in 2005, Shelley started her own glass studio along with her husband, who is also a glass artist. Shelley and her husband have taught at some of the most prominent art schools in the world,  Toyama Institute of Glass in Japan and the International Glass Festival in Stourbridge, England. Shelley’s glass sculptures have been apart of many exhibits at museums and galleries, including Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington, The San Juan Museum of Art and Blue Rain Gallery.  In 2012, Shelley had the exciting honor of being a guest artist at Studio Salvadore in Murano, Italy, where she collaborated with Davide Salvadore on a series of large-scale sculptures.


Shelley is currently represented by several galleries and public and private collections, including: Baisden Gallery, Tampa, FL, Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, MI, Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge, MA, Studio E Gallery, Palm Beach, FL, and the  William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA.

Shelly Muzylowski Allen was on #equinearthour on Twitter this past Sunday (11/6/16). Below is her interview about her sculptures!

TFS: Hi Shelley! Thanks for joining us on #equinearthour today to talk about your amazing equine glass sculptures. Would you tell us a bit about yourself?


SMA: Hello! Thanks very much for your invitation. About 23 years ago I began work with blown and hot glass.
I live in a rural area and am in awe of the nature and animals that inhabit my environment.

TFS: Would you tell us a bit of the history of glass blowing and what it is?

SMA: Glass blowing began about 50 BC. Technology has changed but still involves manipulating glass at 2100 degrees F.


TFS: Would you tell us your technique when creating these fantastical horses? How do you create the amazing and unique patterns on each horse?

SMA: The patterns are made from fused powdered colored glass that I paint and then roll up on the hot glass bubble. The powdered glass painting then is melted into the glass surface and I can sculpt it into the shape I desire.


TFS: Are there any artists that you are influenced by/admire?
SMA: Yes, I have been influenced by sculptor William Morris whom I worked with and the painter George Stubbs.


TFS: Do you work in any other medium besides glass? How did you get involved in the medium?

SMA: I painted with oils from a very young age. A friend suggested I try glass.I thought she was crazy but I still applied and received a scholarship to attend Pilchuck Glass School.


TFS: What’s a typical day in your studio like?

SMA: Wake at 6 AM to light up the studio. My assistants arrive – we work about 8-10 hours in the glass “hotshop”.

TFS: Any future exhibits? 

SMA: Yes, at Duncan McClellan Gallery in mid January and Art Palm Beach, both is Florida.


TFS: Any wise words for other artists? 

SMA: Follow your gut, don’t be afraid to be true to your interests and work very, very, very hard.


TFS: Is there a medium that you have not worked in and would like to?

SMA: Yes, I find large scale ceramics daunting and intriguing.

Thank you for letting me interview and share you spectacular glass sculptures with my readers, Shelley!

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