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Mary Shaffer

Walterboro, South Carolina 1943

Active in:

  • Silver Spring, Maryland

Luce Artist Quote

“The structural system I create allows the glass to move with a fluidity and freedom you can’t possibly envision or create with a mold.” Mary Shaffer, 1998

Luce Artist Biography

Mary Shaffer began her career as a painter, an ambition she’d had since the age of nine. A busy job and two young children prevented her from painting very often, however, and she spent several years thinking about what she wanted to do and jotting down her ideas. Her work in glass began in the early 1970s when she developed the technique of midair slumping. This involves placing sheets of plate glass on a structural form in a kiln, until the heat causes the glass to bend and sag. Shaffer’s powerful sculptures combine twisted wire or rigid blocks of metal with flowing layers of clear glass.