Before the heatwave, we got to swing by Madison Hahn’s studio in Oceanside, owner and sole creator of Mad Glass Gurl, to chat about style, music, and the constant cycle of discovery, learning, and inspiration. Introduced to the art of glass from her grandfather, slice by slice, piece by piece her art is cut and soldered to bring the perfect balance of texture and color to your space. She is an artist who illustrates life's small joys and big adventures with a nostalgic yet timeless touch.
Photos by Kimlien Le & Mad Glass Gurl
That’s wonderful you were able to learn from your grandfather, was he self-taught?
My Papa Oscar was born and raised in Eloy, Arizona before joining the Marines and being stationed at Camp Pendleton. After serving he fell in love with California and raised his family here with my Nana. My Papa had his own business painting houses in San Clemente. He was very artistic and always enjoyed creative hobbies during his downtime. Once he retired at the age of 65 he took classes on stained glass and began creating pieces for our family and friends. Papa taught me everything he knew and we worked on many projects together until he passed away in 2020.
Was there an obstacle that was difficult at first when you began learning?
I think one of the main obstacles I had initially when I first began learning was patience. There was a lot of trial and error in trying new techniques my Papa hadn’t learned and wasn’t able to teach me. I would get so excited when I had new ideas but would be so crushed once I hit a roadblock. But I found the most rewarding feeling was once I figured it out and completed a new piece that challenged me.
What scale do you create at? Do you have a favorite size or shape to work on?
All of my designs are made right here in my room and then created in my garage studio space. One day I aspire to have a huge shop space to create at a much larger scale but for now, I love how unique and intimate I have made my business. Lately, I have been really interested in making larger scaled pieces and custom panels. I’m hoping to do more window installs soon as well as experiment with some 3D pieces again!
What inspires you from the past? Any specific music motivate you more than others?
I am inspired the most by music! But fashion, art, and movies of the past also help when I’m in a creative slump. My music taste is all over the place from old country, to Psychedelic Rock, Punk, Americana, Soul and so much more. What I’m creating heavily predicts what I’m playing in the studio!
How do you set up your creative space?
I’ve filled my wall above my workspace with all the things that keep me inspired and motivated - sketches, cool art I’ve found over the years, to-do list, polaroids of friends and glass, but most importantly a framed photo of my Nana and Papa. I have a record player & speaker to set the tone and get me in the groove to create. I also do love listening to a good podcast some days.
What is your favorite thing about working with glass?
My favorite thing about working with glass is being able to use my hands to create tangible goods for people. Creating a special piece for someone to gift a loved one or hang in their house for years to come makes what I do feel so special.
Stand out from Day to Night with the Belle Fragments Pant
Describe your personal style...
I would say my personal style is a little all over the place. I love old selvage denim overalls & jeans mixed with feminine blouses or old baggy tee shirts. I love the feeling of wearing something vintage or handmade that has a story behind each piece. I love finding eclectic pieces that not many people have and making them my own. You could say my style is inspired by old school country living mixed with 70s rock n roll. My glass definitely reflects my personal style by the materials and colors that I use.
Add a feminine touch with the Linen Estelle Dress
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading the memoir Acid For The Children by Flea!
Any goal(s) before the end of this year?
I am hoping to work on some larger scale custom panels where I can push my self not just creatively but also technically. I also want to work on some more 3D projects!
Okay, last question... Top 5 favorite songs you're currently listening to right now?
This is so hard to pick just five but these are some of my forever favorites (in no particular order)
1. This Time - Waylon Jennings
2. Warf Rat - Grateful Dead
3. Never Marry a Railroad Man - Shocking Blue
4. Walkin’ After Midnight - Pasty Cline
5. Weatherman - Hank Williams Jr.
A Jungmavan favorite, the Hemp Tiny Tee
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