“Glass contradicts. In its molten form it runs like honey. When it’s cold it is a solid that shimmers light. It has movement and resistance, opacity and translucence. It is smooth and it is sharp. It is patient and it is urgent. Glass is an infinite, now immediate and ever emergent.”

The Studio

At Talisman Glass, our vision is to create modern interpretations of the traditional uses of glass in architecture.

Our projects show the grace of integrating art glass with functional design and architecture. Our creations are limited solely by imagination and the budget of each project — we can create an amazing array of expressions in glass. We regularly work with architects and designers, and value our reputation for completing projects on time and within budget.

Our public commissions include numerous installations both indoors and outdoors across the United States. By combining glass and other structural materials we achieve extraordinary large scale finished pieces of functional and decorative art. The energy and liveliness of our lighting sets our designs apart while physically enhancing the spaces they inhabit and complementing the environments that surround them.

Good lighting requires mastery; a sensitivity to the environment, to existing light, and to the use of the room. Creating a fantastic light requires a multi-level approach that transcends the process and object to create a unique atmosphere.

We welcome collaborations with interior designers, architects and landscape planners.

The Artist

Sharon Gilbert came to glass the way most great love affairs begin, quite by accident.

In 1986 Gilbert was finishing her B.F.A. in Graphic Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It was during her last semester that she took an elective course in glass blowing. The rest, as they, is history. From the moment she touched hot glass, Gilbert fell under its spell. For the next two years she studied under Bill Carlson learning the technical limitations of glass. She studied at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington, and at Penland Craft School in North Carolina. After mastering the essentials, Sharon continued on to Ohio State University to undertake graduate studies with installation artist Richard Harned. During those years she learned the grace of integrating glass with functional design and architecture. Gilbert opened her first glass studio, Arkivit, Inc. in 1990 and her second studio Talisman Glass Studio, Inc. in 1992.

Since the inception of the Talisman Glass studio, Gilbert has focused on site specific work for architects and designers. Public works in the Chicago area include The Equitable Building Plaza on Michigan Avenue, the United Center Locker Room Club and various restaurants including Grapes, Mango and Rhapsody, Francesca’s.

Other installations include outdoor fountains, plazas, retail displays, lighting and corporate awards. Private residential commissions include custom tile designs, furniture, hardware, lighting and fireplace surrounds.