Sunday, August 15, 2010

Local glass blower's future glows bright

I'm a writer, so it is no surprise I keep a pen, some type of paper and a camera in my purse, pretty much at all times.  I never know when I'm going to see something or someone who inspires me to get to my keyboard.  On Saturday, I came upon both someone, and some things. As you can see, I got to typing.

Hailey Suydam can take the heat.  Not just any heat, 2200 degree heat.  That is about the standard furnace temperature it takes to blow glass, and Suydam, just a year onto the blown glass scene, is making pieces that have customers coming back for more.

Hailey lives with her parents, Jim and Darcy Lees, in Saline when she is not away in school at Bowling Green State University.  She is a sophomore Art major there, with a minor in Psychology.  This past weekend she had one more chance to sell some of her blown glass art before returning to college, while participating in a fundraiser garage sale in Saline.

When asked what it is about blowing glass that appeals to her, Suydam says, "I'm really more of a 3D (dimensional) person, than a 2D person, and it (glass) was a good way to explore 3D art."

She recently worked on a glass blowing team doing a demonstration at the Toledo Museum of Art.  "It's kind of like a dance," Suydam says, "you need to know where to be at just the right time."  The art of glass blowing is intense.  It's all about timing, using the right temperatures, cooling time limits, oven doors being opened and closed in perfect order.  Suydam has also worked with the region's well renowned artist/ glass blower Leonard Marty.

Suydam often has a design idea in her mind at the start of a project, but likes the beginning of the process best.  "The first bubble is my favorite part," she said, "glass is unpredictable--you kind of gotta go with the flow."

She likes creating sculptures best, but didn't have any available at Saturday's sale.  What she did have on hand didn't stick around long.  By 3PM she had all but three pieces sold, and one customer coming back to the table again and again, debating on whether a particular glass vase would compliment her living room decor.

Hailey Suydam has quite a future in front of her.  She plans to combine her passion of art with her interest in psychology to become an art therapist.  It was obvious by the way she spoke with her customers Saturday, that she has all the qualities and personality suited to such a profession, and don't forget her talent.  Hailey Suydam is one bright and talented young woman.


  1. I met this lovely lady at the Saline Farmer's market and was quite impressed with not only her designs but attitude. I now own one of her pretty original drinking glasses. I keep it on my window sill since it's too beautiful to sit away in the cupboard and love using a work of art to take my morning vitamins with.

  2. I like the combination of the colors. Is this made out of recycled Glass? Thanks.

  3. How would I get a hold of this artist?