Jada Hughey: ClearLight Glass Co.
Jada Hughey is a stained glass artist whose work is inspired by the natural world. Having grown up in the redwood forests of California, hiked above the blue waters of Lake Tahoe, lived beneath the jagged Rocky Mountains and now immersed in the Wasatch, Jada allows her connection with the west’s varied landscape to fuel her creativity in the studio. Her Elemental Orb series best reflects these experiences, as each circular glass sculpture is associated with one of nature’s elements to create the feeling of mountain air, earthy forests or pristine waters.
“I’m most in tune with the Elemental Orbs because that’s where I get to be the most creative,” says Jada. “Instead of working from a pattern, I start by choosing a piece of glass that I feel inspired by – something that has depth and interest on its own. Then I create organically and add elements like agate slices, wire work or glass beads.”
Taking her inspiration from nature to architecture, Jada also works with linear designs that have a Frank Lloyd Wright feel. Art deco and art nouveau patterns show up in several of her tabletop pieces or wall hangings, an influence Jada also attributes to her youth and the style of work her mother made when Jada was a young girl. Jada’s mom was a professional glass artist; Jada’s business name, “ClearLight Glass Co.,” is in homage to her mother’s “Clear Light and Company.” Jada accompanied her mother in the studio from the time she was a baby in a crib, to when she made her first piece at age four, to ultimately collaborating on complicated projects together. Now, she attributes her career as a glass artist as well as her pursuit of a creative lifestyle to her mother’s early influences and patient teaching.
Jada’s work also encompasses charming glass succulents, rainbow making prisms and commissions that range from mountains to mermaids. This variation is what excites Jada about her medium, as she feels continuously engaged when shifting between styles. Her latest experiments involve glass, photography and digital editing, which have resulted in modern metal prints. For these pieces, Jada first photographs her Elemental Orbs from various angles, then digitally edits or distorts them before printing on metal. “I see it as a way to take the stained glass medium and create something new,” she says. Through this process, Jada encourages people to look at glass from a different perspective – both literally and figuratively. “A lot of people when they see stained glass think, ‘oh yeah, my grandma had a bunch of that in her windows’ – and I really want to move away from that with my work. I want people to view it more as art and less of a knick knack.”
Jada will move her glass studio into The Monarch’s creative space with the hope that she can engage the public with her process and creativity. Until then, connect with her from the links below.