About Us

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Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, Nicholson van Altena Glass was founded in January of 2018 by Hannah Nicholson and Alana van Altena. As second generation artists, Nicholson van Altena Glass is creating their own unique works while continuing the works of Rick and Janet Nicholson of Nicholson Blown Glass.  

 Hannah and Alana both graduated from UCSC with degrees in Art and Anthropology in 2012 and 2011, respectively. After spending time abroad, they returned to Auburn and began their five year internships under Rick and Janet Nicholson of Nicholson Blown Glass. As Alana and Hannah received this hands-on education, they developed a passion for the unique process of manipulating molten glass. Alana furthered her education in 2013, adding immersion classes from the Crucible Industrial Arts School in Oakland to her repertoire. In the fall of 2017, Hannah and Alana assisted and took classes from renowned artist Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen, intensifying their love for sculptural glass.

 Drawing inspiration from the flora, fauna, rivers and mountains of Northern California, Alana and Hannah focus on developing work with a natural flow. The vibrant lichen resting on towering pines and boulders and the deep emerald pools of the local rivers influence their exploration of layering colors and building textures with glass. Growing from close childhood friends to professional partners, Hannah and Alana have developed a fluid exchange of ideas leading to unique collaborations.

Utilizing the knowledge and techniques garnered over the years from working closely with Rick and Janet, Nicholson van Altena Glass is honored to carry on the works of Nicholson Blown Glass while still developing their own designs and ideas. As they continue to explore and establish their artistic aesthetic, Nicholson van Altena Glass hopes to create works with intention and humility that enhances the visual experience of the global community.