WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | EPIPHANY GLASS
April Wagner knew as a young child that she wanted to be an artist – she just had to figure out where her artistic passion would flourish. Luckily, her parents wanted to help her discover her special path as well. She attended high school at the distinguished Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan, and it was there that Wagner was able to sing, dance, paint, and learn ceramics, which she loved. While attending college in New York, she thought she might want to “try out a glass class.” It was love at first try, and Wagner immediately knew that glass would be her artistic medium for life, ultimately obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass.
After college, Wagner traveled the US, selling her work at art fairs and festivals. In 1997, she purchased property in Pontiac and began working toward the goal of opening her own “hot studio.” After several years of blood, sweat, and tears, Wagner had assembled an amazing team of people that included five other glassblowers and was ready to begin work in her dream studio. Epiphany Glass became a reality.
Initially, Wagner created stunning gift items: glassware, paperweights, ornaments, and small sculptures. As her talents grew, so did her desire to create larger, more vibrant pieces. She soon established herself as the go-to artist for large, heart-stopping pieces.
Wagner held her first solo show at the Saginaw Art Museum in October 2018, an accomplishment of which she is very proud. The show included a stunning display of over 250 pieces of glass suspended from the ceiling along with many of her most prized pieces of glass art sculptures on display. The show was well received by the public and also by those in the art community.
Epiphany Glass still produces unique and magical gift and home decor items as well as a line of pet-themed items with whimsical cat and dog figurines, paw print glasses and decanters, and stunning pet food bowls. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these items supports the Michigan Humane Society.
Wagner has designed and created custom glass artwork installations on a grand scale for private homes, hospitals, galleries, and corporate boardrooms all over the country. She will soon make her first trip to China to begin work on a specially designed piece for a corporation there.
For Wagner, the crowning jewel thus far has been receiving emails and letters from visitors to St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital after experiencing her work “Bello Fiori,” or “The Pretty Flowers.” Visitors have expressed how her work gave them feelings of calm and serenity during a time when they truly needed it. It is gratifying for her to know that her beloved work can be so powerful to those who need a special touch of love and grace.
Visit the Epiphany store on Woodward Avenue at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Located in the Shapero Lounge, the store offers one-of-a-kind hand-blown glass sculptures and gift items along with their stunning new line of La Ruche lighting. Several times per year, Epiphany Glass hosts “open studio days” where the public can visit, enjoy refreshments, and even try their hand at making a unique blown glass work of art.
770 Orchard Lake Road, Pontiac MI 48341
(248) 745-3786 l EpiphanyGlass.com