By the Bay Gallery in Morro Bay, California
By the Bay Gallery is open daily and featuring American crafts and fine jewelry since 1988
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Nielander Glass: Joseph Nielander

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"I live for the physical challenge of timing, quick thinking, speed, agility, coordination, and strong concentration. Glass blowing is more than a craft, it's a sport."

Joe Nielander began his study of techniques at Jacksonville University in 1982, where he first explored the fluidness of the glass medium, as well as the functional forms he could achieve with pottery. He was quickly captured and enthralled with forming hot glass into beautiful pieces of art. He expanded his knowledge through summer sessions at Penland and apprentice work with Bill Slade while he studied at Jacksonville University. After receiving a BS degree in Studio Art in 1985, he continued his studies at Penland School, where he became a Studio Coordinator for 4 years, an Artist in Residence for 3 years, then successfully transformed himself into a Teacher for 2 summer sessions and 1 concentration. Always looking for more new insights, he dedicated a summer at the Pilchuck School of Glass to spend a session studying with Diana Hobson. His thirst to learn more and hone his craft unquenched, Nielander pursued his studies at Illinois State University. There he applied his own life experiences to his work and used glass as his medium for self expression. While studying under Joel Myers, his passion and commitment to constantly explore new possibilities with his chosen art form, and refine them to perfection, earned him an MFA degree in glass in 1994. In 1998, Joseph established his own studio, Nielander Glass.

His glass artwork continues to evolve over time, with significant shifts in styles and techniques evident over more than two decades of dedication to his craft.

As an avid surfer, water skier, skateboarder, and snowboarder, Nielander often draws on the natural beauty of his surroundings at play to enhance the visual appearance of his glass work. He incorporates bright vivid colors and layering effects within thick clear glass that freeze the free flowing material in its liquid state, encouraging light to dance through these one of a kind sculptural forms.

Creating these pieces is a challenge similar to the sports he loves. There is a high degree of difficulty in controlling a material which changes from liquid to solid in a matter of seconds. There is risk in every piece just as in every sport; a piece can be started, but getting it all the way through the process can be an intense experience, with no guarantees of success. Nielander says "I live for the physical challenge of timing, quick thinking, speed, agility, coordination, and strong concentration. Glass blowing is more than a craft, it's a sport."

Signature pieces of his work grace some of the finest public and private art collections in the country.

895 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA 93442 | Toll free 888-771-5563 or 805-772-5563 | info@bythebaygallery.com
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