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Leslie Rankin, Glass Artist
Leslie Rankin has been a pioneer in the art glass industry since she received her fine arts degree from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City in 1981. The daughter of a US Air Force officer, Leslie was born in Japan, spent some early years in Oslo, Norway and lived in many cities throughout the United States which gave her a broad background in various cultures.
She was originally inspired to become a sculptor but after working with many mediums she chose glass. Leslie maintains that she found that the difficulties with glass challenged her in a way the other mediums did not. According to Leslie, “I have spent my entire career trying to make glass more livable, lovable, and warmer in feel”. She went beyond stained glass by carving and etching glass. She taught herself to sandblast glass, creating depth and textures. This innovation leads to architectural products that would enhance most any environment.
Leslie started her own company in 1986, further expanding the traditional repertoire with fusion, metal, and unique bonding techniques. After eight years of experimentation with paint on glass, she perfected a method of coloring glass without heating it. This new process of coloring glass was a giant leap for the industry. As a result, Leslie is known nationally and internationally for her large art glass. Such as the entry doors to the Golden Door Spa in Puerto Rico, beautifully designed dining tables, three-story water falls, room dividers, counter tops, murals and many other resplendent works of art. Her work is featured in all three spas (Cosmopolitan, Aria, and V’Dara) at Las Vegas’ City Center Resort. The mesmerizing qualities of the glass art led to Leslie’s appearance on the Modern Master’s Series produced by Home and Garden Channel (HGTV).
Recent innovations created by her heightened imagination are a “Fireless Fireplace” at the Las Vegas Stratosphere’s McCall’s Heartland Grill Restaurant where venting a working fireplace was cost prohibitive. Her “Glassic Mirage” (waterless waterfall) creates the illusion and beauty of a water feature without the waste and maintenance associated with the use of water. Leslie also features extraordinary wall hangings, and large, recessed, stunning works of custom art. Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery feature Leslie’s glass as their custom line of products and have much of her work on display including art pieces, shower doors, counter tops and sink vessels.
Leslie won the 2005 ARTV National award as “Best Glass Artist” along with many other international and national awards. Over the years, Leslie’s work has been featured in many local and national magazines, local television and newspapers. In an effort to give back to the community she has donated her art to benefit many charities such as The Children’s Medial Advocacy Coalition, Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, Las Vegas Philharmonic Guild, Southern Nevada Children First, Temple Sinai, Shade Tree Shelter, Safe Nest and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Leslie lives in Las Vegas with her twins, James and Juliana, and her husband, Gary.