Collection: Mars | Artist Biography

Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Marissa Manderfield (AKA Mars Glassworks) has blossomed into a leading glass artist whose signature style is characterized by vibrant colors, floral themes, and a touch of whimsy. Her playful pieces often incorporate mesmerizing kinetic features called spinners. Marissa draws inspiration from her inner child, a desire to redefine femininity in the glass art world, and her enduring love for nature. Overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome as a woman in a male-dominated field, Marissa has carved a niche for herself in the borosilicate glass industry.

While she always knew she wanted to be an artist, Marissa's artistic journey began in her teens when she found herself drawn to the creative possibilities of various mediums at a local art studio that she worked at. Among pottery, mosaics, and kiln-formed glass, it was the latter that held a special allure for her. The transformative nature of the material and the captivating interplay of light within it sparked a lifelong passion. The documentary "Degenerate Art" further fueled her fascination, igniting a desire to pursue glassblowing, particularly within the pipe-making scene. Despite an aversion to traditional education, her determination led her to an apprenticeship in Aurora, Colorado. There, she immersed herself in the medium, acquiring the foundational skills in just three months. Following this intensive training, Marissa embarked on a period of self-directed learning. Working from her parents' basement, she honed her skills by devouring online tutorials and engaging with the online glassblowing community. She actively sought out collaboration with other artists in Wisconsin and Colorado, constantly expanding her repertoire by absorbing knowledge and techniques from each encounter. This collaborative spirit continues to appear in Mars’ artistic practice, as evidenced by her incredibly cohesive collaborations with artists like Windstar, Joe P., and Peter Muller.

Marissa aspires to inspire other women to embrace glassblowing, just as Laceface, an influential female figure in glass, inspired her. Mars' work is a celebration of girlhood, free from the constraints of sexual objectification. It's a cheerful expression that harks back to the toys and jewelry of the ‘90s and ‘00s, a time capsule of her own childhood. Marissa is an active member of the glassblowing community, collaborating with fellow artists and showcasing her work at renowned events like the Glass Vegas Expo. Her dedication has been recognized through prestigious awards, including first place in the World Series of Glass competition. Now based in Boulder, Colorado, Marissa continues to create and share her art, finding happiness in the process and inspiring others, especially young women, to pursue their artistic dreams.