About Me - The Glass Art of Helen Starkweather
I grew up surrounded by fine
art. My parents owned an antique gallery in NYC, and I was able to
touch, feel and live with beautiful artwork throughout my
Growing up in NYC, I was able to spend much of my free time
exploring and visiting some of the finest art museums and galleries
in the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art,
the American Folk Art Museum, the Guggenheim Museum,
Craft Museum, and many more (I linked them because their
websites are well worth seeing). My parents' patronage of the arts
allowed me access into many venues not open to the general public,
and they frequently took me traveling on buying and collecting
trips around the world, giving me cultural and international
exposure to art and the art world.
My formal Art Education consists of a minor in Fine Arts from
Georgetown University (Major: International Politics, Law and
Organization). I studied drawing, sculpture, painting, and art
history with museum and gallery caliber instructors. Georgetown
University is located in Washington DC, home of the Smithsonian and all it's
museums , the National Gallery of Art, the Kreeger Museum,
Gallery, Art Museum of the Americas, Irvine
Contemporary Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Library of
Congress and more). Both cities I spent my childhood and early
adulthood in had strong fine arts communities, and they helped me
in my art appreciation and understanding of the underlying
I have been a hobbyist artist in several media since
college. I have had small exhibits of my Acrylic paintings, and won
Best in Show at an Art competition against 108 other entries for
one of my small orchid paintings, and numerous first, second and
third place ribbons in smaller art exhibitions. I have also spent
several years working with professional photographers, so while I
myself am not a fantastic photographer, I am very familiar with all
aspects of photography from both sides of the lens.
Glass is a comparatively new media for me, but one that embodies
all my needs and desires in one form of expression. I think glass
is the most fascinating materials in the world. Since I was a
child, I've been in love with glass as a collector, and my venture
into glass working came about because of my love for collecting
antique perfume bottles, which I continue to collect today.
My bottle collection
My special focus in glass is small vessels for the primary
purpose of holding the finest natural plant essential oils, thus
melding two of my passions. By design, these are smaller pieces,
but they embody my artistic expression, and my love of all things
natural and beautiful. Thank you for visiting my website!
piece of glasswork is individually handmade by me in my small glass
studio in Orlando, Florida.
My chosen glass type is borosilicate. This glass is familiar to
most, when manufactured by Corning, as Pyrex. It is the strongest,
most durable glass we can use for art, and could possibly outlast
humanity itself, if not broken.
Borosilicate glass is extremely strong and resistant to heat and
chemicals. It is more difficult to produce, and the colors are
typically made with precious metals, so it is a more costly media
than other forms of glass.
Everything I make is properly flame stuck and kiln annealed, in
a digitally controlled kiln, sometimes several times over many days
to ensure full color striking and for maximum hardness, strength,
While it's still glass, and thus breakable if dropped on a hard
surface, borosilicate should last beyond centuries, and can be
passed down forever with minimal care.
Borosilicate glass will easily withstand temperatures up to 1600
degrees without melting. All my pieces of the proper size can be
used as oil burning lamps with no problems. Another advantage of
borosilicate glass, unlike most other types of glass, is that it is
usually repairable if cracked or broken (assuming all pieces are
Exploring all the nuances in borosilicate glass is a journey I
hope you can share with me.
If you see anything in my website gallery that's not listed,
please feel free to email me. If it's still available, I can put it
in my Etsy shop for you. Or, just email me, I love to hear from
people who love glass too!
I hope that you enjoy looking at my pieces, and thanks for stopping