Nancy Callan at Schantz Galleries. Lisa Vollmer photo

Nancy Callan at Schantz Galleries. Lisa Vollmer photo

From Here to Infinity: A Journey in Glass

“As I approach twenty years of working with glass, I am amazed at how much there still is for me to explore in the material. The quest for the perfect form matched with the ideal surface, color, or pattern is an ongoing challenge.   But most exciting are the new possibilities that open up through experimentation. Using the traditional techniques to create something fresh and modern is what I am most interested in right now. This approach allows me to feel grounded in the traditions of the material but also free to depart and explore the possibilities, which are indeed infinite.

“String Theory” marked the beginning of an adventure in linear complexity and the spatial qualities of glass. Multiple overlays and the compression of grids and spiral patterns create incredible depth as space folds and lines recede to infinity. I ground these drawings on blue and black glass to deepen the space. Today’s physicists are constructing theories of our universe that postulate dark matter, black and white holes, and other incredible features of the cosmos. Glass is a fantastic medium for dreaming up new ways to bend space, stretch time, and renew a sense of wonder.

Moving from macro to micro, the “Droplets” suggest another universe, the world of elements and beings too tiny for the naked eye to perceive. The glass in these pieces highlights the qualities of transparency and suspension. The tiny pieces of cane expand into hollow translucent tubes as the form is blown, mimicking the way we might view water through a microscope and discover a hidden world full of life. This pattern is also used on other forms (“Graphite Anemone”, “Aquamarine Orb”) where it moves in vertical direction, suggesting upward growth or the delicate ribbed surfaces of certain seashells, sponges, and anemones.

 As we go through life, we attempt to stitch together our impressions, experiences, and knowledge into a unified whole. “Quilt” is my homage to this quest and to the humble beginnings of many creative endeavors. So often we begin with a thread, a word, or a doodle, and months or years later a finished product emerges. In this piece I let you into my sketchbook to explore the possibilities in a new way. The lines, patterns, and cane drawings are the building blocks for future creations and are beautiful simple statements on their own. I look forward to the next chapter.” 

 Nancy Callan’s artistic voice as a glass sculptor reflects her high-level training and talents.  Callan attended the Massachusetts College of Art (BFA 1996) and lives in Seattle, WA where she is part of the vibrant Northwest glass community. Callan’s numerous awards include the Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship and residencies at the Museum of Glass (Tacoma, WA), The Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo, OH), the Pittsburgh Glass Center (Pittsburgh, PA), and the Chrysler Museum (Norfolk, VA), STARworks.  She was a key member of maestro Lino Tagliapietra’s glassblowing team for nineteen years.   

 Nancy Callan is represented by galleries throughout North America.  Her artwork is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA, the Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, the Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI, the Museum of Northwest Art, La Connor, WA, the Shanghai Museum of Glass, Shanghai, China and in numerous prominent private collections.

Public & Private Collections

Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA

Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

Wheaton Village Museum of Glass, Millville, NJ

Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY

Sir Elton John, Atlanta, GA

Melvyn and Rosalind Pole, Seattle, WA

Stephen and Shelly Powell, Danville, KY

Lino and Lina Tagliapietra, Seattle, WA

Ann Hauberg, Seattle, WA

David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard, Palm Springs, CA


2016         Visiting Artist, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Artist in Residence, Starworks Glass Lab, NC

2015         Gaffer Olympian, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA           Artist in Residence, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

2014         Artist in Residence, University of Texas, Arlington, TX              Scholarship Award, Hands on Today, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA           Artist in Residence, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA

2012             Visiting Artist, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH

2011             Artist in Residence, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

2010         Artist in Residence, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA              Artist in Residence, University of Louisville, KY

2005         Artist in Residence, Center College, Danville, KY

2004         Artist in Residence, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

2003         King County Special Projects Grant, WA

2001         CGCA Fellowship at Wheaton Village, Millville, NJ

1996         Corning Glass Studio Scholarship, Corning, NY




2016         Nancy Callan Snowmen, Museum of Glass, Tacoma

2015         Group Show, The Chihuly Collection, St Petersburg, FL                 Studio Arts: A Special Collection of Singular Works, Penland School of Crafts, NC

2014         Cowgirl Up, Desert Caballerios Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ

 2013         Nancy Callan Snowmen, Museum of Glass, Tacoma

 2012         50 x 50: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass, Muskegon Museum of Art, MI              Contemporary Glass from the Kaplan/Ostergaard Collection, Palm Springs Art Museum, CA

2011         Homage to Bornholm, Group Exhibition, Bellevue Arts Museum, WA

2010         Nancy Callan, Glass Fantastic, The Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA

2009         Nancy Callan: Seventh-Inning Stretch, The Muskegon Museum of Art, MI  and The Pittsburgh Glass Center, PA

2008         Clear Your Mind: Contemporary Glass Invitational, Figge Art Museum, IA

2007         Ongoing Invention, The Robert V. Fullerton Art Museum, CA

2006         Burning Ideas Contemporary Visions in Glass, The River Tree Center for the Arts, ME               Made at the Museum, Group Exhibition, The Museum of Glass, Tacoma