PUBLISHED: 11:35 AM on Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Marriott embarks on artistic horizons beyond Juneau

  Robyn Marriott's glass artwork features vivid colors and also is functional.
Life-long Alaskan Robyn Marriott extends a farewell to friends, family and fans of her vibrant glass fusion art and jewelry this month as the Featured Artist for the Juneau Artists Gallery.

Marriott's artwork reflects her practical side with functional art born of her charmingly impractical side determined to harness the vivid colors and dynamic shapes brought about by the merging of fire and glass.

Marriott grew up in Juneau and pursued her college degree in Dallas, returning to Juneau in 1985 when her father became ill.

After 21 years back in Juneau, she is turning her heart and professional focus to the arts. She is moving to the Pacific Northwest later this spring where she will venture into life as a full-time artist in Northern Idaho. Fans of her work can enjoy the widest array of her creations since the fire that took her home and most of her artwork in early 2005. Some of the most popular among these are the bowls and plates inspired by and fashioned after the coastal fish and shells of her hometown.

Marriott always dabbled in various art forms, but it was not until a co-worker suggested the unusual media of fused glass that she found her muse. She sent for all the materials and proceeded to teach herself this art. She did much reading and experimenting to learn the science of glass.

  Robyn Marriott
"I love the colors as much as making a functional piece," Marriott said.

The glass colors, with elements such as gold creating the rich reds or cobalt creating the most popular blue, are fused into frequently unpredictable shapes when heated in the kiln. She uses the "slumping and sagging" method, which allows no two pieces to be exactly alike yet each may be formed on the same mold. She can create bowls, plates, candle-vases, wall pockets and even fish dishes.

The glassware is not finished after removing from the kiln. The cutting and grinding is done first, but after firing and cooling, it must then be sanded, signed and priced. To do all this work, Marriott has two kilns, a band saw, grinder, drill and drill press all in her home studio, which, she said, she shares with her wonderfully tolerant fiancé and beloved pets.

She uses "bullseye" glass, which is hand poured and hand rolled. She has discovered if she uses one brand, there is less breakage when the glass cools. She also enjoys combining Dichroic glass, developed by NASA, in her fused glass pieces and her jewelry. This glass absorbs and reflects light at the same times and has a rainbow/aurora like display. She is also now using more gems and semi-precious stones in her popular jewelry constructed with sterling and gold-plated wire.

Marriott also plans on keeping a select few of her pieces on consignment at the Juneau Artists Gallery in the Senate Building.