Allegra Marquart’s Narrative Glass

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Allegra Marquart
The Deer, Mouse, Crow & Turtle
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″

Since 1976 Allegra Marquart has been a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art teaching printmaking. Allegra’s imagery continues to gain in visual complexity. Her narrative glass panels started using fables that were familiar to those who know Aesop, La Fontaine and old English rhymes, but now her stories include ones written by Kipling, Edward Lear and ones handed down through generations of American Indians. If you ask Allegra what she does she might say that she makes people stand still, think and smile. Each of these stories are enhanced with a personal drawing style and processes Allegra loves for both making etchings on paper and in the fabrication of glass panels. Allegra’s work is full of invention, humor and pain.


Allegra Marquart
The Blue Jackal
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″


From Allegra’s artist statement:

“For the over a decade my etchings have grown from my observations of city life, human foibles and old fables. About 6 years ago I experienced a kind of epiphany. My images needed to be made of glass! The glass would act as a metaphor for the transparency, fragility, strength, permanence and reflective power in all the moments I was describing. I imagined these pictures in low relief made of glass that would refer to stone carvings on columns and friezes that people in ancient times used to describe their daily life.

Allegra Marquart
The Elephant’s Trunk
kilncast and sand carved glass 18.5″ x18.5″


So sure was I of this revelation that I went to work immediately. I began with sand blasting deeply into the glass to create my first body of work in this medium that was so new to me. A class at Pilchuck with Paul Marioni taught me how sand casting could give my images even greater physicality and drama. Work at The Corning Studio and The Washington Glass School (in DC) expanded my casting experience.

Allegra is part of the faculty at the Washington Glass School, and she creates the multi-colored glass panels in the studio’s large kilns. Firing color atop color, Allegra creates a basis on which to deep sand carve her visual narratives.

Below is a glimpse into the steps she uses in the creation of the fantastic panels:

Allegra spreads out crushed colored glass (coarse frit) on top of a glass panel that has already been fired with a different color.

Prepping the kiln for another long panel to be loaded for fusing.


After the panel is fired, annealed and cooled, Allegra covers the glass with a thick vinyl resist.

Allegra transfers and draws her imagery onto the resist, later cutting away the elements to be exposed to a deep sand blast session.


The panel is then carved with a force fed media (deep sand blasted) that cuts through the various color layers of glass.
Allegra will repeat the process on both the front and back of a panel, allowing the mix of light and color to work with her imagery.


The SOFA Chicago Art Expo will feature Allegra’s work at Maurine Littleton Gallery‘ space (#720).

Click HERE to jump to Allegra Marquart’s website.

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