Look carefully at the Rezin Studios logo. Yes, that’s a unicycle. A curious choice for an artist’s emblem? To Sara Rezin, it’s a meaningful symbol. “Balance, whimsy, practice and perseverance — just like riding a unicycle — all play a role in creating my art.”
With a background in science and a passion for art, Rezin creates unique pieces with fused glass and silver clay that can make a statement, decorate a home or preserve a memory.
A native of Central Wisconsin, Rezin’s love of nature inspired her to obtain a geology degree from Lawrence University. She raised a family and then worked for 12 years at the Lawrence Academy of Music. For the last 10 years, she has spent considerable time firing silver and fusing glass. Nature and music continue to inspire much of her art.
Rezin’s work includes fused glass artwork such as stand, table and wall art; functional art such as trays, platters and bowls; lawn and landscape art; and jewelry including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. She also does commissioned pieces.
Rezin creates her art in her in-home studio, which includes two kilns; a wet belt sander; tile saw; dozens of plaster molds; various cutting, cleaning and shaping tools; and multitudes of frit (tiny bits of glass) and stringers (small thin strings of glass). Her work is extremely detailed, and the scientific aspect of fusing glass and melting silver is critical to understand. “There are many idiosyncrasies with the firing process,” notes Rezin. “There is a lot of experimentation and you have to be very precise.”
Glass is particularly unique. “There are so many interesting things about glass,” explains Rezin. “The transparency of it, the multitude of colors, the science behind the fusing and the creative ways you can fuse it. But there’s serendipity as well. You think you know what you’re going to get, but you may open the kiln and it’s not what you expected. Sometimes it’s a great surprise, sometimes it’s not at all what you intended and often it’s even better. I don’t think I could create the exact same piece twice even if I tried.”
One of the most enjoyable aspects of her craft, says Rezin, is creating one-of-a-kind pieces that preserve a family memory. “I love pieces that tell a story. When I’m creating a piece for someone that captures a memory — a family recipe, a handwritten note, a favorite poem, a memorable trinket — that’s very rewarding.”
Rezin’s work is unique in that she can take a handwritten piece and transfer it into the glasswork or silver, preserving it forever. She also can take special trinkets or memorable items to create one-of-a-kind jewelry or artwork. “I made a bracelet with all the tiny treasures from my grandmother’s button box, a table centerpiece out of the leaves from my daughter’s wedding bouquet and a platter out of the champagne bottle from my other daughter’s wedding toast,” says Rezin. “It’s a way of turning memories into treasured mementos.”
Rezin also has made countless jewelry items using upcycled pieces, such as keys from musical instruments, wine bottle fragments, recycled silver scraps and tiny found objects she’s discovered on her travels.
In addition to creating artwork, Rezin also teaches her craft. She offers classes in glass fusing, metal clay and jewelry making at the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah. “I love sharing what it’s all about, and I love seeing students’ excitement when they create something new.”
Rezin began showcasing her work at juried art shows in 2012, and continues to attend five to six shows per year in Wisconsin, including Art at the Park in Appleton. You can find her pieces at Coventry Glass in Appleton, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum gift shop and online on her Etsy store at rezinstudios.com. She will be having a gallery show on Dec. 5 at Copper Rock Coffee Company in downtown Appleton.
— By Emily Anderson