Article Lisa Schreiner | Photography Jay Hendricksen
Growing up, Molly Schwartz didn’t have a lot of exposure to art outside of basic childhood coloring books. Art History 101 in college introduced her to the massive world of art—one full of different styles and masters—a fun and magical world.
In 2015, she began working with shattered glass, both tempered and annealed, to create sculptural pieces. Something about glass enticed Molly; taking what people typically discarded and transforming it into something beautiful.
Nature is Molly’s greatest inspiration—the way water reflects, clouds move and the sun sets. Shattered glass reminds her a lot of the ocean, and it’s reflected in her work. Molly loves how shattered glass can add another level to a painting. It is the way that glass can be sharp, powerful, refracting light in all directions—all while adding texture—that she connects with.
Molly begins her process by creating a work sketching out her vision. She paints the glass, then attaches it to wood with resin, sometimes painting the wood itself. Afterward, she determines the breaking point and shatters the glass, then pulls up sections of glass and pours in more paint to create depth. Shattering the glass can be the most unpredictable part of the process; she puts a seatbelt cutter-type tool to the glass and hammers away. Sometimes it can take one hit—or 20!
“It’s a love/hate relationship because it’s such an exhausting process. Each piece takes six to eight weeks and hundreds of hours.”
Molly’s favorite creation is called “Pacifica.” It was her first time working with annealed glass instead of tempered glass. The hand-cut glass, coupled with the dark green and blue paint, created a lot of movement in the piece, reminding her of the Pacific Ocean.
Her pieces are featured at Schoener Home Furnishings in Bellevue and on Instagram @MollySchwartzStudio.