Visiting Beyvan’s Etsy shop, the first thing you tend to notice is color. Rich, translucent colors which make her glass bottles and vases almost appear to glow on the screen. Beautiful and accessible at the same time, you could imagine showcasing them on a shelf or using them to store a collection of buttons or coins. Recently, Beyvan answered a few questions about her background and her process.
What is it about glassblowing that appeals to you? Was that your first creative passion?
I think part of what appeals to me about glass right now is that it’s still a very new and challenging medium for me. My first creative medium was clay– I started throwing pots when I was 7, and went to Alfred University to concentrate on ceramics. By the time I graduated in 2009, I was much more focused on glass. Glass is such a mysterious and volatile material; process-wise, it’s surprisingly similar to throwing pots except that you can’t touch it! I love the colors and effects you can achieve in glass, and the ways that the colors move that you as the artist couldn’t possibly control. As a little kid, I was always exposed to art and the artistic process. My grandfather, Karl Schantz, was a potter/painter/artist extraordinaire, and much of my family are artists, including my uncle, Eric Hilton, who is a glass artist. I think that clay and glass always appealed to me for their inherent qualities and possibilities.
What is a typical workday like?
Well, I work at Gilmor Glass in Millerton, NY. I’m the assistant to two highly skilled glassblowers, and we work together 5 days a week. First, the studio has to be lit up– the furnaces run 24/7, but the reheating holes are lit and shut down every day. We go in, set up for whatever we’re making that day, wait for everything to heat up and then start working. We make different things every day– anything from stemware to one-of-a-kind commissions. It’s really an amazing learning experience to work in production glassblowing.. I really do learn something new every day.
I recently started selling my work at Bliss Co-op in Sugar Loaf, NY. It’s an artist cooperative featuring female artists from all over the Hudson Valley area. (A super cool place! Check it out: blissco-op.com) I also do commissions, from chandelier shades to whiskey glasses.
How long have you lived in the Hudson Valley? How has living here affected your creativity and your business?
I’ve lived in Millerton for a little over a year and a half now. I moved here for the job almost right out of college. I was born in Ithaca, NY, raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Living here is great– it’s so beautiful and inspiring. I hadn’t really pursued a business before, so this is the first place I’ve really been making work to sell.
You mention on your Etsy profile that color is extremely important to you. Your reds and blues, the metallics are all so vibrant. How do you come to these colors?
Well, glass color is pretty straightforward.. what you see if often what you get. There are lots of ways to apply it, and several forms of color, from bar to crushed up frit and powder. At Gilmor, also, they mix their own colors, so I have access to those as well. In my multi-colored pieces, I use cane, murrine (an Italian color technique), bar and hot color as well. I mostly just experiment with what colors I have in front of me; different compositions and ways of application each time.
I really like the little cork bottles! I made myself a set of spice jars that are very similar, and I love them. I don’t think I have any up right now, but I also really enjoy making the larger, multi-colored pieces.
How do you spend your off time?
I live in Millerton in a house on a vegetable and flower farm with my boyfriend and my cat.. it’s such a beautiful spot I tend to hang out here with them a lot! I also enjoy sewing, reading and exploring the area when I can.