Lynda & Kurt Carlson, Glass Artists

Lynda and Kurt Carlson work out of their Carlson Glassworks Studio in Middlesex, New York.  The two work in a collaborative process with Kurt creating an interior design of Italian murrina and trapped air, manipulating the hot glass into a sculptural head.  Lynda then details each head by drawing and etching onto the glass.

Lynda and Kurt Carlson

Lynda Pownall-Carlson was raised by artist parents who had a photography business in Chicago. From her earliest memories, the only career she has ever wanted is to work as an artist. At age five, Lynda did a 12′ x 20′ mural in crayon which was accepted for the Annual Scholastic Exhibit at the Art Institution. She attended the University of New Mexico and Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Lynda’s major at Nazareth was fine arts with her interest being in metal-smithing and casting. She has continued to expand her art by studying with other artists focusing on casting, enameling, and photo sandblasting. All the classes were taken at the Corning Museum of Glass “studio” with Lucartha Kohler, Denise Stillwaggon Leone, and Mark Abildgaar. Recently, Lynda has studied glass carving and engraving with Jiri Harcuba, Martin Rosol, and Jan Mares.

Kurt Carlson attended Bucks County Community College (’78) where he was introduced to glassblowing by Don Gonzalez. Kurt’s passion led him to RIT’s BFA program in Rochester, NY (’80) where he studied under Andy Magdance and Michael Taylor. Kurt has attended workshops at Penland School of Crafts under Pino Signoretto and in Corning at “The Studio” with Dino Rosen. Both are masters in hot formed glass sculpture. Kurt has attended Karen Willenbrink Johnsens’s sculpting class at the Pittsburgh Glass Center and Ross Richmond’s class in Eugene, Oregon. Both Johnsen and Richmond are long-time members of the William Morris team.

Carlson Glassworks is a collaborative effort between Kurt & Lynda Carlson. Their work together is a rare combination of mutual care and attention to an unusual multi-step process. Kurt begins by creating an interior design of murrini and trapped air in glass that is encased in the center of the hot sculpted head. The entire piece is shaped by manipulating the hot glass for two to three hours. This is a multi-step process that Kurt has developed over many years.

Then the piece is cooled in a two-day annealing cycle. Once the piece has cooled Lynda adds detailing to each head by drawing a design onto the glass. The piece is then taped and sandblasted. The designs are enhanced with hand painted enamels and multi-fired to achieve the finished look. When finished, the original glass design is still visible inside the head. Looking into the clear area, the viewer is able to see the interior design in addition to reflections of the outer design giving the sculptural head depth, mystery and intrigue.