Artist Spotlight: Maggie Spencer

Photo Credit: Larry Spencer

Photo credit: Larry Spencer

Hold any of Maggie Spencer’s creations up to the light, and one can immediately sense the joyful Zen that imbues the work of this Laguna Beach artist.

“With all my designs, I look to a smooth flow of color for peace and serenity. I then add strength and energy with the addition of bold shapes and textures. It is my way of representing a full and balanced life,” said Spencer.

A former engineering and computer science major at the University of California, Irvine, she has fired her kiln professionally since 1993–experimenting with how glass reacts to other objects, such as copper, steel and other basic elements.

Spencer’s medium of choice is dichroic glass which contains micro-layers of metals or oxides. The glass emits a different color than the color reflected, producing an array of hues depending on the lighting and the angle of viewing.

It’s no wonder that Spencer finds herself drawn to this multi-layered material, as she credits her inspiration to a plurality of social, political and historical events.

“Through cultural revolutions, including the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the struggle for gender equality, and the fall of Communism, my generation developed a defiance of the norm with outlandish culture and pronounced urbanity,” explained Spencer.

Three years ago, Spencer received a request from social activist, Faye Chapman to donate a hunger bowl for silent auction.

World Hunger Bowl is an annual benefit dinner held in Laguna Beach during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Sponsored by the city’s Housing and Human Services Committee, this year’s fund-raiser is scheduled for November 6th. It’s an effort run solely by volunteers.

“Contributing my art is such an easy way to help support an organization that makes such a positive social impact,” said Spencer.

Since Chapman’s outreach, the long-time Sawdust Festival exhibitor has committed to donating a hunger bowl every year. For Spencer’s 2013 design, pictured above, she chose translucent iridized glass for the base colors and added dichroic glass as accents.

Spencer creates the kiln-formed serving pieces, wall panels and sculpture in the Laguna Canyon studio and residence that she has lived in for more than 20 years.

“Whether it is the cosmic 50s, psychedelic 60s, graffiti 70s, or the aging boomer’s desire for a simpler, feng-shui way of life, I strive to capture the exhilarating mood that defines my life, concluded Spencer.

See more of Maggie Spencer’s work at:

Learn about World Hunger Bowl HERE.

Thank you for the interview Maggie, and for sharing your beautiful art.


4 thoughts on “Artist Spotlight: Maggie Spencer

    1. Judy Lesko Post author

      Thank YOU, Amy. Yes, I’m in total awe of Maggie and all the artists I’ve come in contact with.
      Not just for their work, but for who they are as individuals. They’re amazing.


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