Craft Lake City Artist: Julie Stutznegger
Booth # 54
Julie Stutznegger is a busy, busy lady. She has no time for bullshit as she is frequently performing with her punk band, Azon and working as a full-time artist. She has been working with stained glass since 1995, and has been fusing glass since 2005. She’s been playing in local bands for over 20 years. Her most recent musical endeavors have included Stilleto, Subrosa, Love Sucker, her solo project Silvox and a European tour with All Systems Fail. She is a master of her mediums (glass and music) experimenting with new techniques any chance she gets.
In addition to basic stained glass and fused glass, she is schooled in glass casting and mold making, frit casting, in-kiln glass manipulation, sculptural kiln-forming and raking, coloring with frit, frit painting, relief image kiln casting and most recently–kiln casting and cold working.
Stutznegger’s art career blossomed in the summer of 2008, when she was accepted into the 2008 international juried exhibit, Emerge, at the Bullseye Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Her work was accepted into the 2008 “Pilchuck on Display: An Exhibition of International Glass Art,” a juried auction of glass art by an elite group of thirty renowned masters and new talents handpicked from around the globe. This year at the Utah Arts Festival she won Best of Show for her work.
Stutznegger’s glass artwork is composed of multiple layers of glass powder applied to sheet glass. Through several firings, layers dissolve into and around each other, and form wonderfully intriguing results. One of her favorite things about working with powdered glass is the spontaneity. The reaction of powder in the kiln can be anticipated and controlled (to a certain point) prior to firing, but it will often do what it pleases when left alone in the kiln. “Glass will react to different temperatures. It can drastically change your work with something as small as a ten degree difference in temp,” she says. The grainy, jagged, scaly, or wrinkly surface that emerges from the kiln is sometimes a surprise, but again and again, she marvels at the beautiful behavior of glass.
When asked about her influences, Stutznegger fondly speaks of her mother, who she’d watch for hours while she made her glass creations. “My mother would heat up the solder, and when it turned liquid it would bead up into a little ball and roll all over the place. I would watch her and be mesmerized.” At the time Julie starting doing stained glass by herself, she worked at a glass studio and formed commercial-sized projects. She once single-handedly made 240 windows for a temple in Bangladesh, which was quite a tall order. At the studio, she got the chance to test her talents in sandblasting and kiln fire work. She was also exposed to a wide variety of techniques and styles from other glass blowing artists that have proven useful in her later works.
After mechanically reproducing “cutsie” half glass/half metal leaded glass pieces consisting of angels and/or demons, which sold on a regular basis and made her a living, Julie wasn’t very happy with what she was doing. She finally realized what would truly make her happy: cancelling all of her wholesale accounts and starting fresh. She took the plunge and started her new technique with glass powder and an open mind to experimentation. “I took this huge leap of faith and it worked out for the best. I want to encourage people to realize that if you are doing something that you don’t have faith in, something that your soul is not in, please, take that scary plunge and follow your heart and follow your dreams.” I couldn’t agree with her more.
Stutznegger’s work will be for sale at SLUG’s Craft Lake City on Aug. 8. Check her work out online at stutznegger.wordpress.com