Shayna Leib has been a glass artist for 20 years. Focusing on Russian literature, glassblowing, and classical piano, she completed her Bachelors of Art degree in Philosophy at California Polytechnic State University in California. Further pursuing her passion for glass, she then completed her Masters of Fine Arts in glass and metal at the University of Wisconsin-Madison graduating in 2003.
Beginning in 2003, Ms. Leib worked as a metal fabricator and forger at Pearson Design Studios in Maine, reproducing the famous designs by the late Ronald Hayes Pearson for his wife, Ms. Carolyn Pearson. Upon her return to California in 2004, she taught sculpture and drawing at Cal Poly State University. In 2005 she moved on to teach glass at the University of Madison-Wisconsin.
Her sculptural studies reflect an attention to detail indicative of the two major influences on her life- music and philosophy. Trained as a classical pianist, she sees music as a metaphor for her work. The part-to-whole nature of music, and the bringing together of isolated individual lines of melody to be woven into a greater composition can be seen in her sculptural landscapes. Focused areas of movement, switchbacks of glass cane, and slow buildups of motion all come together to form a greater composition in her work.
When asked about her visual aesthetic, she states “The things I find beautiful have always been fractal in nature. I am intrigued by multitudes of tiny little parts- blades of grass all bending in the wind to the same rhythm. As you pan out you have waves of form. Zoom in and you see each individual blade of grass moving to the flow of the wind.”
Ms. Leib has studied glass with Che Rhodes at Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina, and Boyd Sugiki at Haystack Mountain School of Craft in Maine. Since 2006, she has worked closely with renowned metalsmith Donald Friedlich, executing the glass part of his designs.
In 2008 she was honored with the American Style Award by Wendy Rosen. Shayna Leib’s work is in numerous private collections nationally and has been featured in SOFA publications, worldwide blogs and magazines, Contemporary Lampworking and The Best of American Glass Artists.
Shayna Leib has taught at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she currently resides with her cat Oliver, whose fur has occasionally become a permanent part of her sculptures.
Shayna Leib is an avid lover of the ocean, and who conquered her fear of the deep blue to become a diver and underwater photographer. The ocean continues to be her source of inspiration for the water part of her 'Wind & Water' Series.
You can find out more about Shayna on her website: shaynaleib.com