Artist Statement and Biography:
My work examines the connections we have with animals and their larger relationship to our world and environment. The result is a series of fantastic microcosms that bring a consciousness to their decorative status. My sculptures tell a story about the fragility and conservation of these small worlds as well as describing their role in a grander scheme. We live in a time when our smallest decisions can affect our environment in unpredictable ways and as a conscientious inhabitant I am constantly weighing my choices and attempting to choose the lesser evil. My works are a gentle mirror allowing us to examine our contradictory world. I’m curious about what we see in my toy-like animals and what they see when they look back. Much of my recent work centers on elephants because of their unique role as beloved childhood toy, popular decorative figure with a strong history in glassmaking, and a perilously threatened species.My work is an integration of traditional Venetian glassblowing and various cold working processes. I am greatly influenced by the unconventional forms and patterning of mid-century Venetian Masters such as Napoleone Martinuzzi and Carlo Scarpa, and contemporary masters such as Dick Marquis and Toots Zynsky. I am drawn to working with cane and murrini techniques and am interested in exploring the language of line, pattern, and color.
Claire graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University in 1996. Claire worked collaboratively with Anthony Schafermeyer from 2000 to 2008 as Schafermeyer/Kelly Glass. In 2004 she was granted the EnergyXchange fellowship in Burnsville, North Carolina. In 2008 Claire moved to Providence, RI to work with acclaimed glass artist Toots Zynsky and is pursuing her new work. She has been an instructor at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, the Pittsburgh Glass Center, The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Centro Fundacion del Vidrio in Spain. Recently she was an Artist in Residence at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass where she created a new body of work using specialty glass from Effetre, a glass company based in Murano, Italy. She has been a resident artist at the Pittsburgh Glass Center and received the Rosenberg Residency at Salem State University in MA. Claire was selected to be a demonstrating artist at the Glass Art Society Conference in Venice, Italy in 2018.