Jesse Kelly

Glass (17-works)

Jesse  Kelly Agave
Agave
Blown and sculpted glass
69 x 36 x 36 in
Jesse  Kelly Bamboo Stick
Bamboo Stick
Blown and sculpted glass
26 x 3 x 3 in
Jesse  Kelly Red Agave
Red Agave
Blown and sculpted glass
62 x 37 x 37 in
Jesse  Kelly Large Black and Gold Plant
Large Black and Gold Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
88 x 46 x 46 in
Jesse  Kelly Large Fire Plant
Large Fire Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
72 x 45 x 45 in
Jesse  Kelly Orange Spears Plant
Orange Spears Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
83 x 22 x 14 in
Jesse  Kelly Long Stem Chivas
Long Stem Chivas
Blown and sculpted glass
72 x 32 x 25 in
Jesse  Kelly Glass Flowers
Glass Flowers
Glass
38 x 13 x 13 in
Jesse  Kelly Glass Leaves
Glass Leaves
Glass
80 x 4 x 4 in
Jesse  Kelly Apple
Apple
Glass
13 x 10 x 10 in
Jesse  Kelly Royal Blue Spears Plant
Blue Spears Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
86 x 32 x 36 in
SOLD
Jesse  Kelly Royal Blue Spears Plant
Blue Spears Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
86 x 32 x 36 in
SOLD
Jesse  Kelly Giant Aqua Plant
Giant Aqua Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
102 x 48 x 55 in
SOLD
Jesse  Kelly Giant Blue Aqua Plant
Giant Blue Aqua Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
102 x 48 x 55 in
Jesse  Kelly Pear
Pear
Glass
21.5 x 9 x 9 in
SOLD
Jesse  Kelly Purple Spears Plant
Purple Spears Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
87 x 25 x 18 in
SOLD
Jesse  Kelly Red Spears Plant
Red Spears Plant
Blown and sculpted glass
83 x 22 x 14 in
SOLD

Jesse  Kelly

Jesse Kelly

Jesse Kelly Biography

(American, b. 1976)

Not many people think of 1,200 degrees as cooling, but Jesse Kelly refers to such intense heat in that way when he describes the moment his glass sculptures take shape. When his art medium begins its life at 2,000 degrees, it’s all relative.

One also could use the word “relative” in connection with his path to becoming an artist, though not one based in spontaneity.

“My mom, Ginger Kelly, is a glass artist and designer,” he says. “I had been around glass since I was 10, but it wasn’t an attraction. When I started working at the production studio where she worked, it was a physical job. I would make paperweights, ornaments, and oil lamps.”

The basic designs and production of between 20 and 30 products provided the Seattle-ite with “a great foundation for working with the material and a good design concept,” he says.

More inspiring yet were his subsequent affiliations with two celebrated maestros of glass: fellow Washingtonian Dale Chihuly and Venetian Lino Tagliapietra.

Jesse attended Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School, where he became a teaching assistant, and then worked at the master artist’s Boathouse studio. In addition to six years with Chihuly, he worked over the span of 12 years with Tagliapietra.

 “Lino Tagliapietra was a big influence on me — leaps and bounds as far as concepts and coloring,” he says.

 In the early 2000s, Jesse traveled with his mother to the Czech Republic, where he showed a glass studio in Prague how to make her designs and, in turn, he learned Bohemian Crystal glass-blowing techniques.

His first signature glassworks were pears and apples sold by Nordstrom. Ultimately, the influence of growing up in California and Washington led him to more botanical creations — initially individual leaves and then clusters of leaves in large-scale plants. Tall agave and bamboo spears (up to 6 feet tall) serve as architectural designs that accent exterior spaces, as well as interiors.     

“The Northwest is gray, so I have been attracted to bright colors, and that has been a natural fit for the desert,” he says. “My love of the material and the fact that I can control it — turn it into a liquid and add color and transform it into a beautiful piece of art — keeps me inspired. And I find satisfaction in creating something that will be around thousands of years.”

Jesse regularly puts in eight-hour days at his 4,000-square-foot studio and showroom in north Seattle.

“In a day, I can generally make two or three designs,” he says. “I sell individual work, but I also am hired by other artists or museums to make something.” In late 2017, for example, he made 400 glass ornaments for Tacoma Glass Museum, turning out 100 a day. Concurrently, he was working on a commission for a chandelier measuring 9 feet by 5 feet with 135 individual pieces.

In his leisure time, the father of two boys enjoys playing shortstop in a softball league. As for an occupation that he could pursue if he weren’t a glass artist, he figures it would have to be something that capitalized on his talking skills.

“I could see myself being in real estate — or being a priest,” Jesse says, though he finishes that statement with a chuckle that indicates he really only sees himself working with glass.

“Art is deemed a luxury, but I feel it would be tough to go through life without art,” he says.

 

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