Web Extra: Scroll down for more photos of Sarinda's glass-working process than we included in the print issue.
Assembly of Sarinda Jones' art can take weeks and allows no room for error.
Sarinda Jones likes to joke that she’s lost some of her marbles. But the hundreds of small orbs displayed in her living room were pivotal to her becoming a glass artist.
After earning an associate degree in fine art and art history, Jones took a job at a hair salon. During breaks, she’d go to a nearby antique store to shop for marbles. “I was just so enraptured by how beautiful glass could be.”
By the time Jones’ marble collection peaked at several hundred, she had a transformational experience: In 2002, she met the internationally renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly at a book signing. That led to a course of study and residencies at Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, where Jones studied kiln-formed glass techniques with an emphasis on glass casting.
Collected marbles led to a fascination with glass art.
“As a glass artist—the alchemist of the molecular structure of glass—I instruct the glass to behave in a certain manner,” her artist’s statement explains. “This is the playground where art and science come together.”
Jones crafts her kiln-formed glass in several stages over an eight-to-twelve-week period. The laborious process begins with sketches and paintings. If she’s been commissioned to design a piece, she will create computer renderings for her client. She then forms multiple individual parts and assembles them all together. Raw glass is incredibly expensive, and imperfections are irreversible, so there’s little room for error. When the full design is complete, Jones takes the Tetris-ed assemblage to the kiln for several overnight firings. If an artwork calls for a smooth finish or rounded edges, Jones meticulously polishes and sands it with grit. The gorgeous sculptures are either wall-mounted or free-standing.
“Glass is this mysterious substance,” Jones says. “Every time I open the kiln in the morning, there’s an excitement to see what happened.”
Her work can be found at A Gallery in Salt Lake City, Howa Gallery in Bountiful, and Nummer40 Modern Art & Design in the Netherlands. SarindaJones.com
WEB EXTRA: Photos of Sarinda's glass-working process you won't find in print.
Photos by Austen Diamond