"My inspiration comes from the natural world, the hills and plains of Dakota. Stylistically, I am inspired by the art of the Art Nouveau Age. Like the artists of that time, I am interested in a depiction of plant and animal life in a pantheist spirit. My natural forms are meant to be expressive, without being strictly realistic. I hope my work evokes the mystery and power of nature in a feminine, celebratory voice."
Loy Allen is a South Dakota native who returned to the Black Hills after studying design at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where she received her BA in 1975.
After learning basic lampworking in South Dakota, Loy studied advanced techniques at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.
Loy has studied and photographed the native flora of the South Dakota hills and plains to gain inspiration for her flameworked sculptures of flowers and insects.
Beginning with clear or colored glass rods or tubes, varying in size from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter, she heats the glass in a propane/oxygen flame, forming the individual elements. The stems, petals, and leaves are shaped by compressing, stretching and tooling the heat-softened rods. After the parts have been joined together in the flame, the finished piece is annealed in an electric kiln to relieve the stress created by various temperatures present during the assemblage.
Working as an independent flameworker since 1979, Loy has found her life-long calling and has garnered recognition as a consummate craftsperson and respected artist. The vibrant colors and the delicacy of her work truly express the beauty of nature.