Muzylowski Allen’s Glass Menagerie


Winnipeg-born, Vancouver educated Shelley Muzylowski Allen is a sculptural glass sensation with a high profile internationally. Based in Washington state, often participating in workshops and collaborations, she adds unconventional materials and complex patterns to her blown and hand sculpted works.

Shelley-ExcubitorAbove: Bronze Excubitor (detail) blown and hand-sculpted glass, silver, steel scales, leather, horsehair, steel (Image: / Top: Toro Basso (detail) collaborative with Davide Salvadore: blown, hand-sculpted, and engraved glass, mixed media (Image:

shelley-HippokampusPluralJade Hippokampus, blown and hand-sculpted glass, steel (Image: Schantz Galleries)

With a background in painting, Muzylowski Allen says she strives to bring a painterly quality to the medium: “The textures and patterns have the fluidity and gesture of brushwork and enrich the strong, solid, three-dimensional form,” she says.

shelley-horse-headCherry (detail) blown, hand-sculpted & engraved glass, horsehair, steel (Image:
sheley-the-courserThe Courser, sculpted glass, horse hair, mixed media, steel (Image: Traver Gallery)

Her focus on the horse is inspired by its storied history “and all it has signified throughout the ages, to medieval tapestries depicting the mysteries of the unicorn, to the miniature sculptural tradition of Japanese netsuke, I am continually finding new sources of subject matter that fuels my work.”

shelley-tarnTarn: blown and hand-sculpted glass, horsehair, concrete, steel (Image:

shelley-BlueEsmeBlue Esme, glass sculpture (Image: Baisden Gallery)

bluerain-installationFirebrand, Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico (American Craft Council)

shelley-paladinPaladin, blown glass, mixed media, horse hair, steel (Image: Blue Rain Gallery)

shelley-workingShelley Muzylowski Allen was born in Winnipeg and has a B.F.A. in Painting and Intaglio from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design in Vancouver. From 1998 to 2004, she worked with the revolutionary glass sculptor William Morris and his team as a glass-sculpting assistant. In 2005, she established a glass and sculpture studio with her husband, artist Rik Allen, at their property in Skagit County, Washington. The couple have taught internationally, including at the Toyama Institute of Glass in Japan.

  • The working picture above is from her time as a guest artist at Studio Salvadore in Murano, Italy, where she collaborated in 2012 with Davide Salvadore on a series of large-scale sculptures, including the Toro at the top of this post.
  • Shelly Muzylowski’s website, here.

6 replies »

  1. These gorgeous glass fantasies I’m sure would turn Tennessee Williams head. Interestingly enough, I was just discussing him, and Glass Menagerie with someone!


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