Leah Nietz has been working with glass for 19 years. She is a mostly self taught artist with the exception of an 8 hour intro to lampwork class at The Bead Factory in Tacoma, WA, a murini class with Gini Behrendt in Toledo, OH, a few private hot shop lessons with Eli Lipman at Gathered Glass in Toledo, OH and "Goblets" with master glass artist Igor Balbi at The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.
Leah never intended to be a glass artist. She had plans to be an orthodontist, but God lead her in a different direction. She is constantly amazed at how he directs her work and drops new and exciting opportunities in her lap at just the right moments. His timing is always perfect.
Making art for a living is very unpredictable. Income varies greatly from week to week. The term "Starving Artist" is based on reality for most artists. She finds comfort in knowing capable hands will carry her through.
Until 2018 her main focus was wearable, lampwork glass beads and vessels. She is now dabbling with larger blowing projects including ornaments, goblets and lighting.
Leah Nietz draws much of her inspiration for her glass from nature and happy accidents. Friend and fellow artist, Gini Behrendt, once advised her to “Never waste a good piece of glass.” She has carried that advice throughout her career creating flowers from would be vessels and discovering the grand optical illusions unique to glass. Many of her designs are improvisations on pieces that did not go according to plan.
“There are no mistakes in art. Only opportunities to change your perspective.”
Her biggest passion, however, is Jesus and just in case no one has told you he loves you and wants to give you a free pass into Heaven. All you have to do is accept it.
When we sin, no matter how great or small, that sin blemishes our spirit. Heaven is a perfect place and only the perfect can go there. But, nobody's perfect. Romans 3:23 "For all Have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
When a person commits a crime they go to prison or pay a fine to redeem themselves or make it right again. They pay the price, their debt to society. Sin is the same; there is a price to pay for it. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life." Why is the punishment so harsh? Because sin represents evil and evil must be destroyed. If evil is allowed to thrive it becomes Hitler, Bin Laden...or worse. God will have none of it in His kingdom.
However, he loves us so intensely that He is willing to pay the price for us, to die in our place purifying us so that we can be with Him forever. 1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved." John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that who ever believes in Him shall not perish, but have ever lasting life." This is the only way to be saved and freed from your debt to sin.
If you believe this and want to accept Jesus Christ as your savior these are the steps; 1 - Confess to God that you are a sinner; 2 - have faith that He came and died for your sins in your place and was raised from the dead conquering death for you and 3 - accept His forgiveness and accept Him as the King of your life by asking Him into your heart.
That's it. God knows you completely and accepts you just the way you are. You don't have to prove yourself to him and there is no sin too big for Him to forgive. We are loved despite ourselves.