"Soulsisters" ---original sculpture, 2002
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Melanie Cech - Owner of Cech Glass, Inc
Melanie and first apprentice, Alana in SpringHill workshop in 2015
VISION. CREATIVITY. STRENGTH.
I was born in the Chicago area, but quickly learned that I hated the cold weather, so my family and I moved to the west coast of Florida when I was 15. After graduating Countryside High School in 1989, I moved to the US Virgin Islands, where I fell in love with the art of flameworking. I opened and operated my first retail store, The Glass Gallery, in St. Croix at the age of 19. Soon after, I moved to St. Thomas and opened two small gift stores in Havensight and Coral World, specializing in sea life jewelry and sculpture. I moved back to Florida in 1994, and continued my journey with glass...……. I worked as a full time glass artist at a gift store on the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs from 1996-1999 which allowed me to build new designs and techniques in front of an audience that were mesmerized with my ability to create figurines in such a short period of time. In 2000, I moved to Spring Hill, Florida, and continued developing my brand and The Glass Menagerie. During these years I exhibited at numerous art shows throughout Florida and provided my artwork to several exclusive galleries and gift stores in southwest Florida. In 2014, I started Cech Glass, Inc. and started my website, MelanieCechGlass.com, and began teaching and apprenticing. Since then, I moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 2015, and while I still enjoy creating and working with glass, I now work at Gazelle Capital and Greenbear Media, a local company in St. Petersburg, that specializes in supporting and facilitating growth with a variety of companies and industries, both large and small. I have spent over 50,000 hours working in and around glass torch work over the years, and I hope to continue making these beautiful pieces while expanding my knowledge, creativity, and talents in new fields.
I enjoy making detailed, but simple silhouette -style sculptures, sea life designs, and freeform art. I love creating something of value that people from all over the world can appreciate and enjoy! I have worked with glass for over 27 years and love the process of creating such detailed sculptures. I created the glass Nautilus design several years ago while working in my home studio in Spring Hill, FL over many hours , months and years behind the torch. This journey has truly been a labor of love, and I hope to continue flameworking or teaching for a long time to come. I enjoy living and working in St. Petersburg, Florida and am passionate about connecting with the people that are contributing to the city's growth, innovation, arts and business community.
"The Nautilus design is a symbol of life, harmony, and the perfection of nature. The Nautilus shell evokes a sense of mystery and awe. The chambers of the Nautilus shell are symbolic of growth, evolution, expansion and renewal -- the stages each person passes through life. The spiral itself is a symbol of creation, movement, fluidity and evolution. It reveals the cyclical nature of life and the relationship between unity and multiplicity. With no beginning and no end, the spiral curls eternally inward and eternally outward with continual self-creation. As a path, the spiral is both the journey home to who we really are, and the journey to be one who we will become, for they are one and the same.
It's spiral structure displays perfect mathematical proportion, sometimes called the Golden Mean or the Fibonacci Sequence. The Golden Mean number is also known as PHI. The unique thing about the Golden Mean is that it can be found incorporated in all known organic structures. Viewing the proportions of the Nautilus give us a serene sense of balance and well-being. The Golden Mean number is widely used in art, architecture, and religious symbols. It reminds us that subtle changes, one after the other, bring big results."
I am proud to have my one-of-a-kind Glass Nautilus designs available to purchase at the Dali Museum Gift shop in St. Petersburg, Florida. Please look for them next time you visit the Museum and other fine gift shops listed on my website. You can also order your own custom Nautilus designs through my online store or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices vary depending upon size, detail, and coral selection.
Pearl Nautilus with Tendrils on Coral--Large
TMelanie and apprentice, Kristin in SpringHill workshop in 2015.
Melanie in the studio