shayna leib
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When I was seven years old, I saw glassblowing for the first time at a local university. We all have an inner pyro, and mine wasn't the same after that.

I began my study of glass as an undergraduate at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California where I received a BA in philosophy and minors in glass and literature. Accepted to pursue a PhD in philosophy at SUNY Binghamton, I chose instead to study glass and move to Madison, Wisconsin where I completed my MFA degree in May of 2003.

Shorty after that, I went to work at Pearson Design Studios in Maine, reporducing the famous forged designs by the late Ronald Hayes Pearson. I was still married to glass, but had a love affair with metals. Upon a return to California in 2004, I taught drawing and sculpture at Cal Poly State University full-time, before returning to Madison to teach glassblowing at the UW.

I work in a variety of mediums including ceramic, stone, metal, photography and fabric, though glass remains my profession's material. I prefer to use glass not for its mimetic qualities to capture the look of other materials, but for it's ability to express flow, freeze a moment in time, and manipulate optics.

Growing up on the Central Coast of California connected me to the sea, which has been the greatest influence on my work. Four years ago, I became a diver and underwater photographer, developing a passion for deep water diving and night diving. The ocean has always been a source of inspiration and mystery to me, and it is a lifelong goal of mine to dive all of the earth's seas.

Shayna Leib


Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME 2007

  • Studied with Boyd Sugiki

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

  • MFA, Glass and Sculpture 2003

Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC 2002

  • Studied with Ché Rhodes

California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • BA, Philosophy 1998
  • Minor in Glass 1998
  • Minor in Literature 1998

Research and Teaching Experience

2005 Department of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Adjunct Faculty in Glass

2005 Department of Art, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
Lecturer in Sculpture & Drawing

2003-2004 Ronald Pearson Design Studios, Deer Isle, ME

  • Production of the late Mr. Pearson's designs
  • Forging, fabrication, stone setting, and casting of fine metals

2000-2003 University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
Teaching assistant for the Glass Program

  • Provided teaching assistance for glassblowing, casting, and fusing classes
  • Built two 400 pound day tanks, two glassblowing benches
  • Rebuilt Glory Hole doors, annealers, sandblaster, maintained coldshop equipment
  • Planned UW Glass Symposium 2000, UW Outdoor Neon and Light Exhibition 2002, 3 glass fundraisers
  • Created Official UW Glass Handbook and Safety Lecture

1999 California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CA

  • Provided teaching support for glassblowing beginners