Mark Ditzler Glass Studio LLC

Mark Ditzler Glass Studio LLC

About The Artist

Mark Ditzler • Seattle, WA

I’m a glass artist working in Seattle. I make fused glass wall panels, sculpture, sinks and lighting. My studio produces residential and corporate commissions, public art, and work for galleries. Trained in ceramics and industrial design, I found glass and became hooked over 25 years ago. I have always been a “maker”, and in my art journey I’ve learned many techniques along the way. I now try to use many of these techniques to enhance my glass. These may include silk screening or sandblasting, glassblowing or flame-working, dichroic or iridized glass, gold leaf or lusters. My signature design feature is using twisted canes that I make in the hot shop. Many of the firing methods I use come from experience in the ceramic studio. Using these techniques to make my special “design elements” adds detail that is unique, not found in other studios. I hope the viewer will appreciate these details, which will provide years of value and lasting enjoyment.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My glass work is made by kiln-forming. This includes fused glass, slumped glass, and mold-melted glass. The technique of melting the glass together in a kiln allows for careful design and planning of the piece, and by varying the temperature allows a wide variety of results. As a former potter, I find these to be similar to many clay techniques which translate into my glass. After carefully assembling the glass, it is fired to 1,500 degrees when it becomes one seamless piece. A second firing may be used to shape the glass before mounting or finishing. If it is mold-melted, a model for the glass is made from clay or wax, and then covered with plaster. The plaster mold is filled with glass and fired until the glass melts to fill the cavity. After careful annealing, the glass is removed and finished, or used as part of another glass sculpture.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Glass is a magical material, but it is not easy to work with. As a designer, I love the way it will focus light and produce intense colors. I also feel like there are so many possibilities to explore, with one idea often leading to another. However, glass can surprise and disappoint you, and ideas often take lots of time to develop. Because of this, when one of my glass designs is successfully completed it feels very rewarding indeed!

What is something unique about you or your practice?

My work contains Italian-style latticino canes I make in the hot shop. The canes provide a signature element to my work that is rarely used in fused glass. These colorful canes are often designed specifically for a glass piece where they are placed, to enhance the color and composition. The cane-making process begins as a stack of colored glass sheets that are melted and shaped on the end of a steel rod. When the glass is exactly the right temperature, it is quickly pulled and twisted into a long cane (at this point the spiral design is frozen inside). After careful placement in a composition, the detail in the cane becomes more visible after firing, allowing the viewer to enjoy the colorful symmetry. Very few glass artists know or use this technique, and I often teach in workshops to demonstrate this method.