Ryan Doolittle


“I desire my work to be emotionally evocative, whether it affects its audience with joy, curiousity or nostalgia. It seeks to connect at a base level and become a newly found and cherished treasure, filling that bottomless yet crucial well of both consumer and collector delight.”

My work is inspired by nature and informed by my love of collected oddities and humorous connections. I grew up immersed in the profound peace of still woods, immense mysterious mountains and pastoral fields of North Carolina and Virginia. Any moment surrounded by wildlife could be full of surprise and wonder. I became fascinated with making and gifting my creations at a young age and could easily spend hours focused on sculpting with clay or doodling with gel pens all over paper or skin. The process of creating and beautifying a space or surface is and always has been deeply satisfying to me. Getting lost in the minute detail of patterns and textures found in flora, architecture, clouds, bodies of water is sometimes too easy to do and is a world like no other to me. Growing up with depression era grandparents who “collected” absolutely everything and saw the value and potential need in objects and consumables left a lasting impression. Whether it was national geographic magazines, extra rolls from a buffet quickly dumped into a purse, countless antiques, tiny figurines or other such treasures of the bygone or present, it was intentionally collected and saved. I see treasure everywhere because of this foundation. Creating pretty knickknacks of my own for others to collect and value leaves me feeling validated yet also slightly guilty. Does the world need more trinkets when so many are carelessly destroyed or purged? Who knows. Regardless, it is the intrinsic prerogative of the maker to joyously create and find satisfaction in good homes being found for odd little objects that speak to people in just the right way. 

After going to college for ceramics, Ryan tried out a hot glass class and quickly became infatuated with the immediacy and mercurial nature of the molten material. She received a BFA in Crafts/Material Studies with a focus in glass from VCUarts in 2006. Determined to broaden her glass horizons, Ryan moved cross country to Seattle, WA, a major epicenter in the glass-working community. She happily immersed herself in the wonderful world of studio glass by learning from and assisting some of her glass heroes and continuing her glass education. She learned the ins and outs of production glassblowing, increased her knowledge of the real life applications of the craft, and worked as a Production Manager for several years.

In 2010, Ryan started traveling the world blowing glass for entertainment and sharing her love of the material with guests on Celebrity Cruises with the Blow Glass at Sea chapter of the Corning Museum of Glass. Ryan greatly enjoyed showcasing the endless possibilities inherent to glass in its molten state to the international audiences present on the cruises. She had a source of endless inspiration for her glass creations in her oceanic surroundings and the many countries and cultures she was lucky enough to experience. After six years as a glassblowing sailor Ryan turned in her fins and settled in Corning, NY, continuing to work for the Museum. She loved raising awareness of the wonderful world of glass and getting folks “hooked on glass” through hot glass demonstrations and through sheer enthusiasm. 

Working with molten glass is an ancient process dating back 4,000 years and has an artistic result like no other. It takes years to build the muscle memory needed to react quickly enough to efficiently sculpt with purpose and elegant design. It becomes more and more satisfying to be able to do something so special, so well. The addictiveness of attempting to master such a crazy material leads one into prototype and production frenzies that can last a lifetime.

In the crazy summer of 2020, she decided to shake things up and embarked on a new journey of self discovery and renewal in Austin. For the first time in her life she is a full time maker, and hopes her love of the material and of life translates through her glass.

Ryan Doolittle – CV