Lisabeth Sterling studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, University of Minnesota and Pilchuck Glass School.
Her work is in permanent collections including the Wheaton Museum of American Glass and American Interfaith Institute and numerous private collections.
Her intricate technique involves using a diamond tipped engraving tool. Lisabeth says about her work “The images in my engravings are much like lucid dreams on glass.”
The element that always intrigues me most about Lisabeth Sterling’s work is her ceaseless repertoire of human incident. They seem to know something, the many figures she drills into existence, absorbed in their own thoughts, ruminating on some interior drama, self contained, with a kind of hard-won and brooding wisdom that always leaves me wishing I knew more about them. But Sterling doesn’t just create these compelling figures as separate individuals, she arranges them in groups that hint at interrelationships, perhaps even narrative, that makes them function somehow (just like us!) as both alone and together. I also admire her quasi-vessel forms, these sinuous and usually permeated shapes that hover somewhere between being tear-shaped and like the tongues of a flame. Her vessels seem to flicker, and their play of inside/outside combined with her consummate drilling makes these objects sing their complex song with color and translucency. Sterling is the seer of Seattle, a kind of headhunter always ready to populate the world with more of her incredible characters–each new group of objects she lets loose upon the world means it’s encounter time, and I’m in!
Bio line—James Yood teaches art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is a contributing editor to GLASS magazine.