We had the good fortune of connecting with Madison Kopsa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Madison, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Either I take a risk and get what I want, or it doesn’t go as planned, and I come away with a learned experience. There is no failure. For me, taking risks always seems to open up some new portal that has always been there, just waiting to be tapped into, but you’ll never know if you don’t take that risk. When I was pregnant, I realized that my dreams weren’t just going to fall into my lap; I had to go out and search for them, work hard and get them. It seems that since becoming a mother, I have taken even more risks than I ever have. When my daughter was four months old, we sold all our belongings that couldn’t fit in our four-door sedan, and our new little family set out on a road trip from Iowa across the country to find a new place to call home. Everyone told my husband and me that we were crazy, although I may not be the glass artist I am today if we hadn’t taken this risk. Currently, we are settled in the Phoenix Valley, where my career as a Glass Artist has taken off.
I venture out of the ordinary within the work that I choose to create as well. I make glasswork that comes from my mind and tells a story; I love to draw a reaction from the viewer and strive to make sculptures that I’ve never seen before in glass art. Seeing the world brand new through my daughter’s eyes is the inspiration I pull from daily that keeps me going.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I draw inspiration for my creations from the ebb and flow of nature; the feminine, my experiences as a woman and mother, the rhythmic patterns of life, and organic shapes. The birth of my daughter was an incredibly empowering, magical experience. Currently, I am working on a series relating to that labor of love that also translates to the pure physicality that I give of my whole self in the hot shop. This is a series I’ve been working on perfecting for the past couple years and the project I’m most excited about because it comes from my soul. To me, the story is just as, if not more important than the creation’s aesthetic; empowerment, emotion, disgust, or joy; if there’s a response, I’m doing something right. I believe my conceptual approach relating to the feminine sets me apart when creating glass art. One of the most challenging things about being a glass artist is that the glass world is very male-dominated, so there are very few working glass mamas out there. The physicality that goes into creating in the hot shop doesn’t stop when you go home as a mother at night, as I know all moms can relate. You go home, and then you’re playing or reading or making dinner, preparing for kindergarten the following day, and then the whole night routine. This work-life balance has been the most challenging to me as an artist. As my daughter gets older, we continue to level up as we learn new things, we’re growing together. More times than not, I feel that my male counterparts in the hot shop cannot relate.
In 2013 I started working with hot glass in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From there I’ve had a residency at The Firehall Glass Studio in Greeneville, Tennessee; countless workshops out of what used to be Circle 6 Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and a scholarship to take a class at The Corning Museum Of Glass in Corning, New York.
The most important thing I’ve learned along the way is to forever keep pushing my own boundaries, believe in myself and my dreams, write all of it down and start plugging away, one step at a time.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If your best friend was visiting town what are some spots you would take them to?
I’m a pretty chill person these days. My itinerary would be going for a hike in the desert and most likely heading up north mountain. “Mountain View Community Garden,” (that I’m a member of) is a must with all the kindest, most genuine people and most knowledgeable gardeners.
I would take my bestie into the hot shop for a glass experience and possibly to dinner at my in-law’s house, my mother in-law is the best cook!
“Zombi World Market” is such a beautiful, magical place with artifacts from around the world, I know that’s something my besties would love!
Lastly, I’m forever shopping at the “99cents only store” a deep-discount retailer that primarily carries name-brand consumable and general merchandise. For frugal shoppers, it’s like a treasure hunt, you never know what you’ll find!
We’d stay at my place or if the season is right, possibly camp out under the stars; having deep, transparent conversations about our lives, hanging out with my daughter, while making new memories. ♥️

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for all the love and support of my parents and siblings; my husband, Trevor, and daughter, Mina. My glass father, Mark Russell. My in-laws, my partner on the bench, and there are literally so many others who have touched my heart from grade school art teachers to my longest best friends to community garden members, new friends and so many in between! Shoutout to all y’all ♥️

Instagram: Happymadisonglass

Facebook: Happymadisonglass

Other: Madisonkopsa@live.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.