Leah Nietz has been working with glass for 16+ 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.”