Read on to learn more about Hence and her art …
When did you know you were an artist?
I would say ‘frustrated’ artist, but I always was an energetic child with a creative streak.
When I was very young, maybe 10 years old, I ‘decorated’ the inside of one of my sister’s closets with a purple crayon (it was her favorite color). In case you were wondering… yes, my parents blamed her.
What has been your hardest challenge?
Reeling myself in at times when I have an occasional wave of self doubt.
What success(es) or achievement(s) are you most proud about?
I wanted my art to be at a level where I could have it shown in a glass industry catalog for purchasing glass cutting machines, diamond cutting wheels and anything related to texturizing glass. I desired this more than anything — for my work to look unique and special enough to make this catalog. I made the HIS Glassworks catalog for 2023!
What’s your advice for anyone who wants to explore art or creativity but can’t seem to find the time or feels intimidated by a blank canvas?
If you have ‘it’ in you, you will find the time and you will find your medium. My area of expertise is in cold working/cutting and engraving glass. If you go this route, make sure you have the bandwidth for this type of art form, as this takes a lot of patience.
Did the pandemic have an impact on your work or how you worked?
The pandemic gave me time to get my ideas on paper and start thinking about a plan of attack so to speak. I loved it.
Artist Biography — Hence Bollinger
Hence Bollinger, born in 1960 in the small town of Florence, NJ.
Even without a formal art education, Hence is full of natural curiosity and an unwavering example of the power that women bring to the world of glass art. Hence has traversed successfully through many roles and physical endeavors. She has arrived as a strong, passionate glass blower.
She was first introduced to industrial arts in a high school studio class. In 2009, Hence delved into the mesmerizing world of glass blowing at the Banana Factory in Bethlehem. She continued to practice and hone her craft. In 2013, she began learning the technique of Battuto* after being influenced by the work of Carlo Scarpa. As she focused on her preferred glass technique of Battuto and cameo engraving, she studied at The Studios at Corning Museum of Glass, Chrysler Glass Museum, Pilchuck Glass Art School and privately with world renowned glass artist Fritz Dreisbach. Here she concentrated even more intensely on the technique of Battuto.
Her skills and intuition continue to expand in the process of crafting glass. Currently, Hence lives in Bethlehem and is an extremely active member of the art community. She practices at the Banana Factory and creates intrigue for fellow artists and art goers. She performs technical demonstrations with her exuberance for process and excellence in technique, all through everlasting partnerships.
Artist Statement — Hence Bollinger, Battuto Artist
Am I a reluctant artist or a frustrated artist? Who knows. What I do know is that I have always enjoyed being creative, from ‘decorating’ the inside of my sister’s closet with a purple crayon at 10 years old, to making my own mosaic pattern holiday cards with colored paper.
In February of 2009, I took my first glass blowing class and never looked back. From the time I took my first gathering of molten glass out of the furnace, it was invigorating. Over time, my art has become a passionate dialogue, it talks to me each time and has this transformative power of what is possible. Through years of dedicated practice and a commitment to continuous learning, I’ve honed my skills to craft not just objects, but experiences. I prefer to fabricate functional glassware with flair.
One of my signature approaches is the infusion of Battuto,* an age-old Italian carving technique, into glass creations. This innovative twist adds texture and depth, inviting viewers to touch and explore the intricate carvings into the glass. Every piece I carve is a story and celebration, a tribute to the power of creativity and unending possibilities of the artistic journey.
As an artist, I am not content to rest on past accomplishments. I have studied Battuto at The Studios at Corning with the Ferro Brothers, at Chrysler Museum Glass Studio with Heather Hartle, and privately with Fritz Dreisbach. I am committed to sharing my knowledge , always striving to improve my technique and design esthetic. Never be satisfied with ‘just being good enough!’
*Battuto glass work, which involves carving or cutting patterns into the surface of glass, offers texture and depth to the surface into a tactile and visually dynamic piece of art. These textures can create intriguing play of light and shadow. The carved patterns in Battuto are one of a kind, giving each piece a distinctive character. This versatility allows a wide range of creative possibilities.
[You can view more of Hence Bollinger’s work at her Instagram.]
ART@EPL is the library’s exciting partnership with the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. The series is funded through a grant from PA Partners in the Arts, making it possible for area residents to enjoy free art lectures and workshops from local artists working in pastels, charcoal, sculpture, and watercolor among others.
Visit the ART@EPL page to see all the artists who have led workshops and exhibited work at the library as part of ART@EPL.