Premiering in 2019, the Realm Makers Goblet is presented to the Book of the Year Award Winner.

The Realm Makers Goblet was created by glass artist Leah Nietz with Effetre and Double Helix Glass using a technique developed by Italian glass master, Igor Balbi. This technique is performed on a torch and uses heat, gravity and centripetal force to shape the glass. There are very minimal tools used in this method of goblet making. Leah was one of nine students selected to be in the first class ever taught by Igor Balbi in the United States in the summer of 2019 at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. The Realm Makers Dragon seal was laser etched onto the glass by Carter Engraving in Toledo, Ohio.

About the Artist

“There are no mistakes in art. Only opportunities to change your perspective.”

Leah Nietz has been working with glass for over 18 years. She is a mostly self-taught artist with the exception of an 8 hour intro to lampwork class at The Bead Factory in Tacoma, WA, a Murini class with Gini Behrendt in Toledo, OH, a few private hot shop lessons with Eli Lipman at Gathered Glass in Toledo, OH and “Goblets” with master Italian glass artist, Igor Balbi, at The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY.

Leah never intended to be a glass artist. She had plans to be an orthodontist, but God lead her in a different direction. She is constantly amazed at how he directs her work and drops new and exciting opportunities in her lap at just the right moments. His timing is always perfect.

Her work can be found in private collections around the world, publications including Jewelry Affaire and the Soda Lime Times and galleries including the Red Moon Contemporary Art Glass Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. She was chosen to be the Commemorative Artist for the International Society of Glass Bead Makers conference, “The Gathering” in 2020.

Until 2018 her main focus was wearable, lampwork glass beads and vessels. She is now dabbling with larger blowing projects including ornaments, goblets and lighting.

Leah Nietz draws much of her inspiration for her glass from nature and happy accidents. Friend and fellow artist, Gini Behrendt, once advised her to “Never waste a good piece of glass.” She has carried that advice throughout her career creating flowers from would be vessels and discovering the grand optical illusions unique to glass. Many of her designs are improvisations on pieces that did not go according to plan.