It’s been twenty years since the Latvian artist Zaiga Baiza moved to Luxembourg. In that time, she’s showcased her expertise in glassware. She is completely fascinated by nature and draws on the natural world to turn glass into a dreamlike or mystical medium. She is proud to share her art and passion at the Des Mains de Maîtres biennial to be held this autumn in Luxembourg, as well as at the International Glass Festival, which she founded with her partner, Robert Emeringer.
Where does your passion for sculpting come from?
I have always been drawn to the simplest and most natural forms: stone, wood, flowers, leaves, etc. I’m interested in everything around me; the world captivates me. That’s why I wanted to study at the Academy of Art in my hometown of Riga in Latvia. As soon as I started working with glass, I fell in love with it and it was then that I realised all the different things you can do with it and the possibilities it can bring.
What brought you to Luxembourg?
I was lucky enough to meet my partner, Robert Emeringer, a Luxembourgish glass sculptor, at a meeting for international artists. We’ve been working together in our studio in Asselborn ever since.
Why do you choose to work with glass?
Glass is a very special material. There’s something magical about it: it’s light as a feather yet incredibly heavy. It’s a material with endless possibilities and it brings any dream to life, even the most fantastical!
What inspires you?
I’m completely fascinated by light and shadow found in the different depths of glass so the creative process always takes me back to the magic of nature. I’m intrigued by the structures that appear fragile despite the power they hold. Nature is my favourite playing field.
You’re taking part in Des Mains de Maîtres: what do you get out of it?
The Des Mains de Maîtres biennial is a major event in Luxembourg if you’re involved in the arts and crafts. Every event underlines our responsibility in terms of what we do and what we give to people. We’re judged by other professional artists, we discuss new ideas about using different materials, new techniques, and collaborative opportunities. It’s a very rewarding and inspiring experience for us.
Do you think the arts get the recognition they deserve in Luxembourg? Does the government fulfil your expectations?
There are several amazing artists in the country. However, there is always lot to bear to survive as an artist in this era of business… In our case, we’re lucky to be supported by the Ministry of Culture, Chamber of Commerce and Wincrange commune in hosting our International Glass Festival that brings together glass artists from all over the world to exhibit their work and present their techniques and expertise in our little town of Asselborn (smiles).
What has your experience of the health crisis been?
The current health crisis has forced us to cancel several events and exhibitions. But it has been a peaceful time in our day-to-day work that has been ideal for exploring new projects and ideas that we will reveal first at this autumn’s biennial, then at the 9th International Glass Festival at the Atelier d’Art du Verre in Asselborn in 2021.