Hot marble

“I started working with glass about 21 years ago”

-Lisa Howell

About Me

I started my career as a glassblower in the outskirts of Atlanta Georgia. training with a seasoned glassblower, owner of a retail glass shop; and it was there I started working on ‘the torch”. I made mushroom pendants, which my instructor incorporated in his finished glass pieces. After working with my instructor for several months, I knew I wanted to pursue this newfound art outlet.  I was confident to work on my own, so with the right tools, and determination, I began my own glass adventure.

My adventure continued. I put in countless hours perfecting my craft, alternating between the two torches set up in my home studio. During those days I made mistakes along the way while developing a strong understanding of the glass and how it works and moves. Two components that make a great glass artist.

Great artists are always learning and exploring ways to improve their methods and techniques. Therefore, about 7 years ago I had my first private lesson with a glassblower in San Francisco. Since that first class I have had the opportunity to learn from amazing glass artists from around the country, working alongside them in hot shops around the West Coast. Books and magazines focusing on contemporary glass working and YouTube videos have also been a wealth of information for learning new techniques and perfecting other skills.

I spent 10 years making glass tobacco pipes and pendants for necklaces. However seventeen years into my glass career, I became uninspired until a friend asked me to make her a marble for a marble hiding game, which leads us to today, a newly found inspiration: creating marbles.

When I started making marbles it was for the online Facebook hide and seek game, a game where a “hider” hides a marble somewhere, gives clues and people look for it. Eventually, I realized that the actual process of creating the small worlds captured in my marbles and the work it took getting them round, down to the millimeter, was my true love and glass inspiration.

I have a deep love for the ocean, and I’m always inspired by the creatures it houses. Many of my marbles reflect that love for the ocean, nature, and space. After many mistakes, I have reached the point of being able to integrate ashes into glass pieces. When my children’s great-grandmother passed away, I decided to make a marble using some of her ashes to design a memorial piece as a gift to my kid’s grandmother. I created a beautiful spacey ash spiral that looked as if it were glittering in space. I have had the honor to create memorial pieces for many people over the years.

To create the one-of-a-kind glass marbles, I work with a tabletop torch that uses propane and oxygen along with special glasses to protect my eyes. I have numerous other glass tools along with a kiln to properly anneal all the pieces. The time to create each marble varies based on the size and complexity of the design.

Each marble goes into the kiln and is raised to a temperature of over 1100 degrees to relieve any stress in the glass ensuring a long-lasting glass art piece. Using a technique called fuming, burning pure gold and silver onto the glass, and trapping the fume with clear glass, a wide assortment of colors can be achieved. In addition to the colors created from fuming, I use premade colors and colors I mix myself at the studio, I can bring a variety of beautiful colors to my art.

I discovered my true passion with glass marbles. My creations come in all colors, sized 1.2” to 2” in diameter, depending on the vision of my client. I incorporate words, names, dates, specific colors, silver, designs, ashes, and other special touches to make each custom marble a unique piece of art.