California Glass Artist, Susan Lorenzana, always looked to art as a refuge from the shyness of her youth, “I could express myself through art but not through words.”  Although she was already a sought-after pen and ink illustrator, a 2005 visit to Calico Art Glass in Ventura, CA resulted in a fortuitous change of medium. “I walked in there and my life changed,” she said. “Everything was so beautiful and bright.  I thought, ‘I need to learn more about this art form.’”


She dove into art glass studies – experimenting with leaded glass techniques, mosaic glass, and fused glass before arriving at her own combination of glass mastery.  For the next seven years, she honed her skills, developing a unique embossing technique, “The Vellum Method,” which gave unprecedented dimension, pattern, and texture to her increasingly sophisticated portraits, landscapes, and mixed media decorative wall art. 


Unlike stained-glass windows which are stationary, translucent and traditionally painted to add depth, Lorenzana’s glass art utilizes The Direct Method, which means the glass is affixed to a solid canvas, making the finished work portable.  Each custom-framed piece is highly light reflective, emphasizing its exquisite detail.  As the glass speaks to her, she captures its brilliant color hues, plays with its textures, and sculpts it into freeform shapes - resulting in dramatic depth and shadow. 


Many have dubbed her work “glass paintings” because, unlike painting images on glass such as one sees in church cathedrals, Lorenzana uses the actual glass itself to “paint” the image, incorporating a sense of movement and perspective unlike traditional mosaic or stained-glass works.


In 2012, her creative output was interrupted by an unimaginable hurdle.  What seemed like a typical bout of the flu turned sinister – causing gripping pain, seizing her dexterity, and leaving her fearful that she might never create art again.  Five years later, doctors finally zeroed in on the causes – RA, spondylitis, and fibromyalgia.  A treatment plan was developed and, ironically, her art became part of it. 


Lorenzana’s first work after her diagnosis was titled, “Arising Phoenix, Glass Guitar,” which she created by applying colored stained-glass and mosaic elements to an acoustic guitar.  Like the mythological bird, the work “Is about rejuvenation and being born again.”  Arising Phoenix Glass Guitar_2016_susanlorenzana.com_900x696


In the ensuing 15 years, she has perfected her talent and pushed the traditional boundaries of the glass medium.  Her work has garnered media coverage and has been exhibited throughout the Western United States.  Commissions have also brought her art to private estates, retail centers, and medical facilities.


Today, her distinctive artistry is highly sought after by private collectors due to her mastery of materials, exclusive techniques, and glass applications.  Her finished pieces are never replicated, adding to the allure for collectors.  


Lorenzana believes in healing through The Arts and has donated custom fine art glass pieces for auction at charity fundraisers.


For a glimpse into her world of glass, one need only look at her masterpieces.

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