Emily's Journey: A Shift from Speech Therapy to Glassblowing
Her work, often inspired by the interplay between nature and geometry, has garnered significant attention and praise from critics and art enthusiasts alike.
Emily, originally intending to become a speech therapist, was a Spanish and psychology major at UNC Asheville. However, a chance encounter with glassblowing during her sophomore year changed her life's trajectory entirely. She took a spontaneous 30-minute walk-in class at the North Carolina Glass Center and was immediately captivated by the art of manipulating molten glass. Despite completing her degrees, she has been ardently pursuing her dream to become a glassblower ever since. Now a full-time artist, she sells her work on Etsy, in galleries, and to businesses.
Delving into the Art: Emily's Signature Piece
Cross Section of a Carolina Pine, 9x9" Blown and Carved Glass
Crafted by Artist Emily Powell.
Emily's work often showcases the beautiful geometric processes of nature. One of her recent and notable pieces, 'Cross Section of a Carolina Pine', was created for a show curated by Kim Self at the North Carolina Glass Center. The show's theme was the interplay between nature and geometry, a concept that Emily beautifully manifested in her piece. The artwork features tree rings etched onto a platter with notched sections on the outside to mimic tree bark. Each growth-ring represents a year in the tree's life, demonstrating the environmental conditions it survived, thus serving as a tribute to nature's resilience, beauty, and geometry.
Connection with the Audience: An Integral Part of Emily's Artistic Journey
Emily believes in the importance of connection. She maintains a strong online presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook and enjoys meeting collectors and enthusiasts both online and in person. Living in a small town has made it easy for her to establish meaningful connections simply by engaging in conversations with people.
Environmentally-Inspired Art: A Tribute to Nature and Sustainability
The lush Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, which Emily calls home, provide an abundance of inspiration for her work. Her creations are heavily influenced by nature, plants, and the environment. Additionally, Emily is a resident artist at the Jackson County Green Energy Park, a facility that uses landfill gasses to fuel the glassblowing and blacksmithing studios. This unique initiative has inspired Emily to create glass cups, straws, and other items that help reduce plastic waste, further underlining her commitment to sustainability.
Emily's Artistic Style: A Fusion of Joy, Color and Pattern
Emily's artistic style is vibrant and playful. She loves incorporating color and patterns into her work. Whether it's a spiral running throughout the body of a piece or a pattern of tree rings sandblasted onto a platter, Emily believes in the joyfulness of art. She aims to make glass that is not only beautiful but functional, offering pride to the user for decades.
4x3x3", Sculpted and Carved Glass Stone, Photographed By Ezekiel Coppersmith
Crafted by Artist Emily Powell
Overcoming Challenges and Imposter Syndrome
Like many artists, Emily has grappled with imposter syndrome. Despite her initial lack of business knowledge, the support from her family and her willingness to learn have helped her mitigate these feelings. She is currently enrolled in a Masters of Entrepreneurship program at Western Carolina University to further enhance her business skills and confidence. This educational journey aims to provide her with a structured foundation in business, enhancing her skills in areas such as marketing, management, and finance. By continually investing in her own development, Emily aims to dispel any remnants of imposter syndrome, replacing them with an empowered sense of self and a fortified business acumen, thereby enriching her dual roles as both an artist and an entrepreneur.
Memorial Glass: A Unique Tribute
In addition to her functional glass pieces, Emily also creates memorial glass. She combines a small amount of ashes from loved ones or pets with glass to produce a unique and heartfelt tribute. This ability to create meaningful and lasting memories is what makes Emily's work stand out in the industry. Her studio, often filled with laughter and music, is a testament to the joy and passion she brings to her craft.
Visionary Pathways: Emily's Entrepreneurial Ambitions and Artistic Expansion
As Emily gazes into the molten core of her craft, her ultimate goal is to keep blowing glass for as long as she can, continually learning new skills and techniques. Each order she receives, whether small or large, serves not only as a source of pride but also as a stepping stone toward mastering and pushing the boundaries of glassblowing. Beyond the artistic domain, Emily wishes to focus more on memorial work, aiming to bring emotional and physical permanence to the memories of loved ones through her unique pieces. Concurrently, she is halfway through a Masters of Entrepreneurship program at Western Carolina University, equipping herself with the business acumen needed to both expand her art form and deepen its emotional resonance. It's this rare blend of artistic dedication, commitment to continual learning, and entrepreneurial savvy that promises to illuminate Emily's pathway in the world of glass art for decades to come.
Artist Contact Information:
Etsy: Emily Powell Glass
Media Publication Contact:
Alexander Sterling, SMB Daily News
Emily Powell Artist
Emily Powell Glass
Emily Powell Glass Blower
Emily Powell Painter
Painter Emily Powell