Vivien Hart was born in Concord, Massachusetts on the Fourth of July. While some might consider that patriotic, her parents were immigrants. Her father was a Norwegian radio astronomer whose career took Ms. Hart, her three siblings, and English mother to far-flung locales of radio antennae, including Peru, Puerto Rico, Norway and Germany. While Ms. Hart enjoyed meeting new people, learning new languages and exploring new cultures, moving between schools was a bit of a challenge. She found solace in art and nature.
Ms. Hart’s earliest memories of art-making include the creation of large families of acorn people made from sticks, acorns, shells and cloth. But her greatest passion was spending hours picking off sheets of transparent mica from a large boulder at the edge of the woods. Here, she developed her first passion for translucent media.
Ms. Hart attended University of Rochester, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and University of California at Berkeley, where she earned a master’s degree in social welfare. Ms. Hart worked in the field of early childhood development, married, and had two children. While raising her children, she returned to her earlier love of translucent media, taking classes at Studio One in Oakland. She then built a studio in her garage and traveled around the country to develop her skills by working with renowned glass artists. Back in her studio, she explored these techniques further and developed her own aesthetic.
In 2007, Ms. Hart opened her business, Glass Hart studio. Initially, her focus was on functional home accents, such as knobs, pulls, tiles, sinks and functional home decor. In recent years after a move and construction of a dedicated home studio Ms. Hart took the opportunity to reevaluate and refocus the direction of her work.
Her current work focuses on kiln-formed and cast glass, including wall art and sculptural art. Strongly influenced by nature and the minimalist aesthetic of her Norwegian heritage, Ms. Hart is also inspired by the beauty of lines and fluid brushstrokes used in Japanese art forms. Images of the globe and landmasses have always fascinated her. Inspired by images of the textures, lines and colors of these landmasses she uses a collage of labor-intensive and time-consuming techniques incorporating sifted powders, cut sheet glass, kiln carving and glass etching to fuse or cast pieces into a synthesized whole.
Ms. Hart’s work evokes a move to embrace the environment and earth in its most elemental forms, inspiring efforts to preserve nature for future generations.