Glass artist takes time to reflect on ArtPrize competition – Macomb Daily

Just as every work of art is different, all artists are unique in their own way.

Alysa Marie Diebolt has ‘fused’ her own style and identity by not only creating amazing personalized glass pieces, but by teaching, sharing and working in her community to promote her work and that of other local artists and businesses. .

Fused glass has been Diebolt’s passion since the age of 14, and it’s a family gift. Her father, Jeff Diebolt, is a stained glass artist and had a strong influence on her starting with the medium.

“To this day, we are still sharing ideas and discussing what each of us is working on,” says Alysa. “I still have a lot of the same tools he gave me when I started. In fact, when I decided to move my studio to Eastpointe, we had some tough negotiations over some of our favorite tools.

One of her latest projects is a series of 17 glass clocks in a facility she calls “Lost Time Gained,” representing the 17 months Michigan was placed on emergency orders for the COVID-pandemic. 19.

“I wanted to do something with the time because of all the time we’ve wasted recently,” she says. “The weather has been crazy and it feels like 2019 was last year, but it definitely wasn’t.

Diebolt says she likes to do “functional stuff,” so why not create something that is not just functional, but one of a kind?

“You have clocks in your house anyway, they might as well be handmade, unique and really cool,” she says.

Of course, when she started creating this recent project, one of the first people she called was her father.

“I’ve made clocks in the past and my dad was always the one who drilled the holes through the glass for the clockwork,” she says. “He lives in the UP, so I had to do it myself for the first time. I immediately video called him so he could help me through the process.

His “Lost Time Gained” installation is now on display at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation as part of ArtPrize 2021. The annual event, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, features works by artists from around the world at 167 locations across Grand Rapids. The show started on September 16 and ends this weekend.

The public and art professionals vote for their favorite pieces, with winners receiving financial prizes. ArtPrize awards $ 250,000 directly to artists, through grants to support their ambitious work, and through awards that the public decides through the ArtPrize website.

“We have all wasted time during the pandemic,” says Diebolt. “Time for friends, family and our community. For so many, time has been cut short by tragic deaths that have occurred too early in many lives.

“My clocks don’t have numbers or a specific way of telling the exact time – it’s intentional,” she says. “I encourage people to get lost in the time you have with the people in your life here, now, every day.”

Diebolt, 32, studied Marketing at Northern Michigan University in Marquette and knew it would be a great addition to his skillset and help promote his art. She opened Brick Town Glass in 2012 – she fondly considers Metro Detroit to be Brick Town.

“Much of my work revolves around the concept of functional beauty,” she says. “I believe that there are many products that people use every day in their lives and I work to make sure that these products are both usable and visually appealing. “

She started working with molten glass as a teenager and, through learning the technical process, was able to experiment with the medium, making a variety of products.

Molten glass is a process of melting glass in a glass furnace at 1450 degrees F. Melting can also include a technique called sag (at 1265 degrees F) which involves “softening” the glass on ceramic molds. or treated stainless steel.

Diebolt has won numerous awards over the years, teaches in various workshops and at St. Clair County Community College, and gives back to the community through her work on various boards and commissions.

Mosaic artist Michelle Sider of Huntington Woods ( is among the artists presented for the first time at the event. His Michigan-inspired “Blue Heron” was on display at Uccello’s Ristorante in downtown Grand Rapids.

Sterling Heights illustrator Wendy Popko ( and New Baltimore painter Kathleen Zeck ( are two other Macomb County artists participating in the event.

Diebolt’s work is on display and available for purchase at several locations in the Detroit area, including Poesy in Royal Oak, Anton Art Center in Mount Clemons, and Detroit Artists Market in Detroit.

For more information on Alysa Diebolt, visit

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