Drawing, painting, ceramics and photography as well as creative
writing and the art of bonsai have all held Bryan Northup’s artistic
interest throughout his life, though creating with glass has been his focus for the last fifteen years.
A California native, Bryan moved his studio “Biolum Glass”, east to Chicago in 2008.
He continues his journey with glass in Oak Park, Illinois where he
has found new inspiration and audience for his art.
Bryan continues to work with the Garfield Park Conservatory to repurpose glass broken in the
devastating June 2011 hail storm.
Bryan also had one of his “Broken Bottle Bowl” designs included in the
Fall 2012 Catalog for the Chicago Art Institute Museum Shop.
Bryan’s current body of work includes a fused glass jewelry line,
contemporary, abstract stained glass panels and glass mosaics and lighting.
Most recently, Bryan has been focusing on re-imagining everyday glass. He started a line called “bentbottle”
and is creating kiln-formed, functional tableware and sculptural works made from recycled glass bottles.
“Where did the name “biolum” come from?”
“Biolum” is the first part of the word bioluminescent, which literally refers to plants and animals that can produce light from within their bodies. Many creatures living in the abyss of the deep ocean glow with a light that is soft and electric blue or red, sparkling and blinking like distant galaxies.
For me the word “biolum” also represents the techniques I have learned and developed, the designs I have interpreted during my journey with glass. “biolum” is also a specific process of chance and intuition, all the secrets I have discovered about glass that make my vision and artwork glow.
Art making has been a life long passion and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My introduction to glass as an art medium was in a high school art class where I learned to make stained glass windows and boxes. Since then glass has been my addiction. For me the thrill of glass is not only the beauty of colors combining in light, or composing unexpected designs but the many forms glass can take when hot or cold. I experiment continually with my heat worked glass, stained glass and mosaics and now recycled glass bottles, mixing or combining all these techniques to make something unexpected, fresh and beautiful.
I completed my BFA in Photography at California College of the Arts in Oakland California in 1998 and soon thereafter focused on glass and jewelry making. I worked closely with influential artists and jewelry designers in the Bay Area, assisting with production and designs as well as behind the scenes business, marketing and promotion of fine art jewelry.
My first inspiration for fused glass jewelry and stained glass panels hatched from imaginings of the deep sea and outer space. In 1999 I chose biolum as my studio name, to encompass both the beautiful and alien, space age and primordial. This vision continues to challenge me to create a collection of one- of- a- kind designs in stained glass, mosaics and fused dichroic glass jewelry and growing selection of tableware and cast glass pieces that are futuristic artifacts of glass, colorful beacons to light and enliven modern day.