Jennifer Anne Kelly
"I am inspired by what I do not yet understand. This is true of our natural world as I believe we are at the very beginning of understanding the abilities and experiences of other living things. It is also true of creating in glass. I strive to create what I have never seen created before. This leads to a lot of experimentation, trial, and error. My greatest challenge is accomplishing the effect I am looking for with each small element. When the final piece emerges and my heart jumps, I know I have succeeded."
Jennifer Anne Kelly was born in Ottawa, Canada and spent a few early schooling years in London, England. Jennifer chose to stay in Ottawa when she returned and completed her formal education at Carleton University. At age twenty two she took a stained glass course in Ottawa and was completely entranced by this magic substance that was so many things at one time. She spent the following years experimenting with original designs in stained glass and then around 2010 she began experimenting with kiln worked glass. She has studied at many schools including Corning Studio, Pittsburgh Glass School, Urban Glass in New York, and Bullseye Glass Studio in Portland OR. In 2013 she was hired to create glass for Cirque du Soleil and that’s when she began to pursue glass creativity as a full time occupation. Kelly has since taught her glass techniques in Canada and the UK.
"What energizes me? Fleeting moments in my daily
activities or on one of my excursions in the forest and
on water make my heart jump. It can be the view in front
of me or an image in my mind. It is the spark that
ignites my vision for a new glass artwork."
Taking inspiration from dreams and time spent in nature and recreating the experience from memory, Kelly creates dream-like pieces from glass. Most pieces begin with glass powder. The fine powdered glass changes under heat in the kiln. The layering and shading of various powders is repeated several times with multiple trips into the kiln. Fine tools are used to etch into the powder and to shape the individual forms. In some cases, a torch is used to shape rods of glass into the anticipated forms. After torching, etching, and shaping, the glass goes back into the kiln for annealing. Her process of creating the various elements that go into a piece takes weeks and often months.
"I create in glass as one would write a poem.
It is at once deeply personal and yearning to be shared.
When someone views my creation and has
a deep connection I am overjoyed."
The common glass thread through her work is the contemplation on the human experience in our natural world. Humans have always had a deeply emotional relationship with the world around us. We interpret metaphors in these scenes. We struggle at times to relate and at other times feel a profound interconnectedness with the universe.
See the other artists of the DHSE - 2021
Jennifer Anne Kelly
(Found outside of The Wind and the
Willows Spa at Highland and York Street)
There is a moment of euphoria when watching birds levitate from the ground. These magic sights offer spontaneous joy. "Take Flight" is a statement of optimism and a reminder of the joys that surround us. The ability of birds to fly in any pattern they choose is a visual example of freedom. "Take Flight" reminds us of the importance for all beings to experience the pleasure of freedom. Don't hesitate to act, to risk, to explore. We can experience happiness in our own actions and in the appreciation of all that surrounds us. The design of the stainless steel and glass birds originated in a paper cut out similar to how we created paper snowflakes as children. The basic paper cut out was transformed into steel using CNC technology. Glass embellishments are hand cut and layered with crushed glass all made by hand in the studio. The glass is fired in a large kiln and annealed for strength. The process is a juxtaposition of age old and modern processes. May you smile upon viewing and be inspired to take flight in your own way.