Glass Art and Culture|Preston Singletary


Fusion in glass art and culture is intertwined within the work of Preston Singletary. He is a Native American Artist from the Northwest Coast tribe, the Tlingit. Preston Singletary was raised in Seattle, where he learned the traditions of European glassmaking through the Marioni Family, Dante and Paul. Singletary decided to combine the traditions of Native American culture and glassmaking.

As a Navajo artist myself, I admire how Singletary portrays the rich Northwest Coast Indian culture through his contemporary glass sculptures.

Preston Singletary’s best explains why he chose glass as his medium, “Glass brings another dimension to Native American art. It’s luminous quality and shadow effect are like a spirit that appears when this lighting is right”

What fascinates me, is what each sculpture means in Northwest Coast Indian culture… For example, the belief in “transformation“.

Transformation is how humans and animals can connect to the spirit world. Both humans and animals are on the same level – respect in Native American culture is shown through beautiful works of art. The Transformation Mask in glass by Preston Singletary, shows the human spirit within the Raven bird.


Many of the animals portrayed are from Northwest Coast Indian clans. The Clans shown are from the Raven and Killer Whale.


Each animal has a unique personality, that is told through stories such as the Raven, who was known as a trickster. The Raven wanted the moon all to himself so he stole the moon within his mouth, shown in Raven and the Box of Daylight  by Preston Singletary.



To view more of Preston Singletary’s artwork, be sure to visit  Preston Singletary Website



Image Credits:

Museum of Glass: Raven and the Box of Daylight

Preston Singletary: Killer Whale and Seal

Douglas Reynolds Gallery: Transformation Mask

Catherine Louisa Gallery: Preston Singletary glassblowing


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