hilltop crew, hilltop residency, Interested in an artists residency at Liquid Lush studio, the brainchild of glass artists MiNHi England & Bri Chesler

Hilltop Artist Residency & Winter Warmer

Hilltop Artist Residency – Liquid Lush Studio
(MiNHi England & Bri Chesler)

Minhi England and Bri Chesler have been cultivating an artistic relationship over the course of eight years. Liquid Lush is a brand/business they founded together, embodying their collaborative voice and shared interests in the glass studio. Parallels between each individual artistic voice include: beauty standards, self-perception and vanity. Together their work speaks to the feminine and unusual, combining natural botanical forms, human anatomy, and bright colors. Their work highlights how two innovative minds work together from design to fabrication, openly giving insight into every step of the process in creating a collaboration.

Hot Glass Demonstration of eyeball flower. Bri takes a hot bit from Minhi
Here you can see the two artists working together to sculpt their botanical eyeballs.

Winter Warmer 2022 at Hilltop Artist Program

So what exactly is the Hilltop Artist Program? Well, I’ll tell you… its a pretty special space to make art (including hot glass!) catered specifically for youth with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. The program is located in Tacoma, WA.

Walking into this studio honestly made me a bit envious for my younger self. I didn’t discover hot glass until I was in college at the age of 19. Growing up, my family didn’t have a whole lot of money, so extra curricular activities and expensive art supplies were not really on the table for me. Not to mention, those were the days of dial up internet, so I didn’t have the best accessibility to learn new art forms. Immediately, I began picturing 12 year old me in that shop, and thought of all the doors that opportunity could have afforded me.

Let’s be real people! Glassblowing is EXPENSIVE. The fact that these middle school aged kids have the chance to explore hot glass is jaw dropping to say the least. Working with the kids and bringing some new excitement and inspiration into the classroom was truly heart warming and really brought me back to memories of my adolescent years.

Working with the kids at Hilltop Artist ProgramBri takes a hot bit from Minhi as they sculpt an “eyeball sunflower.” One of the star students watches closely from the perfect angle.

Here’s a little synapse of what we explored with our sculpture while in the studio:

Demo chalk talkLiquid Lush intends to express how unrealistic beauty standards are projected onto women. Our aesthetic pulls from personal experiences in our upbringing as well as being a female in a male dominated industry. In our demonstration for Hilltop’s “Winter Warmer” we decided to create an unsettling bouquet. The use of figurative imagery evokes feelings of familiarity, however, upon closer inspection, the corporeal representations appear unusual, revealing the transcendence of beauty into something much more freakish.

Minhi heating the glass in a reheating chamber called a "glory hole"

hot glass Eyeball Corpse Flower
On behalf of Liquid Lush Studio, we would like to thank the Hilltop Artist Program for inviting us to your residency and having us demonstrate hot glass sculpting at your Winter Warmer! Your alumni is incredibly talented and was a ton of fun to work with, we are so grateful for this opportunity. Because of your generosity, we were able to push and accelerate our collaborative aesthetic in new and profound ways.

Minhi and Bri celebrate after a successful demo

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