After seeing glassblowing at the Oldway Art Center in Sperryville, Virginia, Erin became enamored with glass as an artistic medium. At 17, she bargained with Oldway owner Eric Kvarnes, trading shop work for studio lessons, and she spent every moment she could in the studio. During high school, she worked as an assistant for Parker Stafford, who helped her create a portfolio for admission to Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. Erin studied glassblowing at VCUarts, earning both a BFA in Craft/Material Studies and a BFA in Art Education in 2007.

Erin now works both on the torch and in the hotshop, creating realistic and delicate lifeforms made of glass. She is inspired by the natural world and the never ending cycle of death and growth.

 
 photo by Justin Reiff

photo by Justin Reiff

 

When they work as a team, husband and wife Grant and Erin Garmezy create collaborative glass works that depict animals adorned by botanicals. Grant creates large animal-inspired sculptures, while Erin creates delicate botanical works. In short, Erin creates flora and Grant creates fauna. They are interested in honoring the complex relationship between the two subjects, as in nature they are simultaneously supported and destroyed by one another. 

Erin and Grant have found a way to naturally combine their two works, and in the process have discovered that each enhances the other. While the subject matter is related, Grant and Erin’s processes, and the work created by those processes, are in great contrast. The weightiness of the furnace glass gives strength and ground to the flameworked components; the delicate botanicals provide a sense of movement and life.