Melodie Beylik received her BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts where she learned how to blow and form hot glass. She continued her studies in art at Mills College where she received her MFA. Melodie went on to the Bildwerk Factory School in Germany, then to year scholarship study in Sweden. Melodie has continued to travel and study with many masters of glass. She uses her designs and knowledge to create her current work.
Nina Kim MacKenzie
Working in glass gets more interesting every year. I like the daily perils and accept the fragility both in the material and myself; cuts, burns, cracks, blisters and other minor tragedies keep me absorbed in this unforgiving process. Maybe it is the seriousness needed in the approach that can make me a bit giddy at times. Some call my work whimsical, I see it as cheeky. Cheeky Glass Celebrations and Curiously Useful Products.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in North Dakota. As a boy in the mid-west during the 1970's, I had limited exposure to the arts. Sitting down at the potter's wheel for the first time in a high school ceramics class, I immediately felt comfortable and know I was meant to throw clay. I've been doing just that since moving to California about thirty years ago.
My Studio and home are in Martinez, California. I have been a glass artist for over 30 years, working with various techniques. These tempered glass mosaics are made with mostly recycled materials. The colors seen are paintings and pigments on the piece itself, and then broken tempered glass is adhered to on top of the painting. I am also a glass bead maker. Some of the mosaics have glass beads embedded in them to give more of a 3D appearance. Translucent pieces allow natural light to shine through displaying colors and movement, and as light hits the opaque pieces, the reflection and refraction of light changes the pieces all day long.
Bright color and vivid images from nature – those are the hallmarks of my stained-glass mosaic artwork. A longtime writer and editor, I find the process of assembling mosaic pieces strangely similar to creating written pieces with words. I love the mix of structure and improvisation – and that mosaic work is a tangible, long-lasting gift to those who collect pieces. I’m based in Louisville, KY, but have family in the Bay Area and visit often.
My work emphasizes the process of blowing and forming hot glass using design elements that can be incorporated into the molten material. The long tradition of working with the material in its "purest form" is compelling. My challenge is to add these elements into the pieces and still maintain the integrity of the process. I want to capture the beauty that can be implicit in the simplest form, line and color.
Glass has been used to contain what is precious for over 5,000 years. This knowledge, combined with her love of the garden, has become a foundation for Kim’s pieces that celebrate themes of nurture, memory, light, and fecundity. An Honours graduate of Canada’s Sheridan College School of Craft and Design, Kim’s work has been recognized internationally for its narrative content and sense of whimsy. Kim makes her glass in Berkeley, finishes it in Oakland and exhibits most often where glass and gardens meet.