Nartique Glass is a rapidly growing business run by a husband and wife team in sunny Central Florida. We live in Casselberry, a suburb of Orlando, and sail the Gulf Coast of Florida with our home port in Boca Ciega Bay. The name of our business evolved from our playing with the words "Nautical" and "Art", since our art focuses on life in the Tropics, and reflects our love of the Sea. The synthesis resulted in "Nartique". Once we combined it with "Glass", we knew that we had found the right combination...nautical themes plus art experience created in glass. We had found our name, as it encompassed all that we love: art, glass and the sea.
We began our journey as an art business in the year 2000, with the intention of creating nautical and tropical art in a variety of media. However, as our interest in warm glass grew, our artwork began to focus, almost completely, on kiln-cast glass and fused glass. Having been artists all our lives, we still continue to work, on occasion, in other media: mixed media, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, as well as, a variety of crafts. However, GLASS has become our obsession...and the name of our sailboat, as well!
In the process of developing our business, we began to feature art glass books. As a result, we discovered that we loved meeting and helping other glass artists. Over the last few years we have made many new and dear friends...and we thank you for letting us be a part of your lives!
And so...our business has blossomed into a multi-dimensional art glass business. We not only make and sell art glass, feature & promote the work of other glass artists, we also offer a constantly expanding inventory of glass books, supplies and equipment!
Having been educators for many years, as well as, artists, it seemed only natural that we would share our passion and knowledge with anyone interested in the many facets of glass art. For this purpose, in 2006, we built a state-of-the-art studio where we can now offer specialzed classes, workshops and individulized instruction. We fondly call it the "Wheelhouse Studio" as the facade is decorated with a very special ships' wheel from Liz's grandfather's tenure as Captain of a Tug Boat in New York harbor. It is also a metaphor for our role as instructors. We stand at the helm, willing and able to guide your explorations and "steer" you in the right direction to fulfull your goals in learning about art glass.
About Our Art Glass
We work primarily with warm glass, using a variety of kiln-forming techniques for fused and slumped glass, kiln-cast glass and pate de verre, as well as, lampworking. We create fine art pieces for collectors, practical and architectural pieces for everyday use, and we enjoy the challenge of custom designs & installations. Our work includes sculpture and relief work, jewelry, custom tiles and panels, dinnerware, lighting, sinks, and more!
Our creative styles span the realistic to the contemporary. Our themes revolve around the beauty of the Tropics and the mystery and majesty of the Sea. Since we are avid sailors and scuba divers, we follow our hearts in the creation of art that explores sea and island imagery. In our efforts to express our constant sense of wonder and awe, we hope that our art will excite our viewers to SEE the SEA in new and wonderous ways!
Lisabeth Renee, MFA, PhD, is the co-owner and design director of Nartique Glass. She has been a professional artist and art educator for 35 years. She obtained her early formal art training in New York at SUNY Buffalo, The Art Students' League and Parson's New School for Social Research in New York City. She received her MFA in sculpture at Long Island University.
For the Past 25 years, Liz has taught art in NY and Florida, at all age levels and in a number of local colleges. She taught in the Fine Arts Foundation Program at Long Island University, CW Post Campus in Greenvale, NY, taught all levels of drawing at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL, was the Co-Ordinator of Art Education at the University of Cental Florida (where she earned her doctorate), and later taught Art and Humanities courses at Valencia Community College, while maintaining the position of Art Gallery Director on their West Campus in Orlando.
Her art has been exhibited extensively in Florida and New York, including a number of national museum exhibitions. She has edited and published a number of articles in educational art journals, and has also published a book on Aesthetics in 1996. She has received numerous awards and grants for her art and her innovative teaching programs.
Liz is happiest when creating art. Her greatest pleasure is working with all forms of glass and inspiring others to make and appreciate the beauty of art glass!
John Witanowski is the co-owner and fabricator (glass, metals, wood) of Nartique Glass. He has been a collaborative glass artist for the past 10 years. Much of his aesthetic sense and expertise with materials has been acquired through personal experience in the studio and on the job.
John's background is quite diverse, although always involved with some form of the performing arts. His experience includes: TV and Commercial production, book and magazine editor, freelance writer, News Director for a chain of radio stations in the Southeast, and professional musician. In 1984, John and Liz developed their first art business, Southern Artist's Registry...the FIRST computer-based artists bank that linked artists with designers, architects and collectors, to promote and sell their work.
During the last 10 years, prior to the start-up of Nartique Glass, John was a highly praised and accomplished teacher of the Gifted in Seminole County, FL. He received numerous awards during his teaching career, including a grant from Walt Disney World... a "Teacherrific Award" for developing a unique inter-school art/drama cooperative learning program.
His greatest pleasures are Captaining our Endeavour Sailboat, "Obsession", filming our underwater adventures and then expressing his impressions in collaboration with Liz in glass!
It is our dream and hope, that by helping our customers, and friends, that we can touch you in some fundamental way. Whether we can provide you with the materials and information you need to create glass art, or share our knowledge and enthusiasm to help you fully appreciate the depth and beauty of this exciting medium, we feel that what we do enhances our lives, as well as yours.
Liz & John
Read on to learn about our "Wheelhouse Studio" ...