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Meet Shayna McCartney

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shayna McCartney.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I began blowing glass when I took a class in college in 2010 and fell in love. The day after I blew glass when we opened the annealer to get our pieces felt like being a kid on Christmas morning opening presents. After transferring colleges, I spent a couple of weeks blowing glass in Junction, TX during the summer.

After moving to Denver, I began blowing glass more regularly and developing my style and skills. I went to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in the summer of 2019 in Maine. I began working on sculpture designs this year, inspired by the tai chi and Qigong classes I take. Most Wednesdays you can find me blowing glass with my assistant Douglas at Flux Studio where I rent from.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Learning to create art is never easy, especially with glassblowing, which has many different skills required to learn. When I first started, lots of my pieces broke or cracked or were very uneven. You have to have the right amount of heat, too much and the piece melts and becomes hard to control, too cold and it will crack or explode.

When I went to Haystack, I was learning how to make goblets that have multiple weak points that like to break and fall to the ground. Tools are made of metal and get hot so you have to be careful not to burn yourself. Now with learning sculptures, I am learning new techniques and figuring out what works to create my artistic vision.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
This year, I am learning how to create sculptural glass-blown pieces based on the tai chi and Qigong classes I take. I’m very proud to be taking my art in this new direction which helps me learn new skills to make exciting pieces that are dynamic and different.

As a creative, I love creating things from costumes and cosplays and I’m known as someone who is adventurous and loves trying new things. I take the other hobbies I do in my life, like dance or traveling and that inspires my artwork.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I think if you are ever hesitating to get into any art medium or creative thing, just go for it. I hear people say they couldn’t make art because they aren’t creative but being creative is just like any other skill.

I was really bad at glassblowing when I started but I poured time and love into it and improved over time. So don’t be afraid to try something and to keep doing it, the skill will come over time and that feeling of creating something and being proud of it is priceless.

When I’m not blowing glass, you can find me hanging out with my husband Zac, dancing at Bella Diva World Dance in a Bollywood, Tahitian, or hip hop class, learning Spanish, creating costumes or cosplays, going to local theater events around Denver, designing websites for work, traveling the world or scuba diving.

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