Douglas and Renee met in 1993 and began blowing glass together shortly thereafter in Minneapolis at a community college. In 1995, the couple transferred to the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, where they completed their training in glass. In 1996, the couple married and discovered their unique heritage while traveling to Venice for their honeymoon. During a short layover in Chicago, a ticket agent recognized the couple's last name and began to tell them about a glass factory in Hergiswil, Switzerland, where three members of her family worked. The glass factory was owned and operated by a family of Sigwarths. This came as a huge surprise to the couple who later discovered that they were decedents from a family of glassblowing tradespeople who blew glass for centuries throughout Europe. Douglas' great-great-grandfather Ludwig Sigwarth brought his family to the United States in 1850 from Germany. Ludwig and his two eldest sons blew plate glass windows in a factory on the east coast when his life would take a dramatic turn. He purchased a land lottery ticket and won an acreage in rural Iowa where he began farming as a means to support his family. Glassblowing left this line of Sigwarths but only for a short time. Douglas and Renee revived their family glassblowing tradition with vitality and passion. In 2001, the Sigwarth's opened their own glass studio in rural River Falls, Wisconsin; in the St. Croix Valley. The Chicago Tribune labeled the Sigwarths as "The New Wave; Tomorrow's 'it' Artisans." (Nov. 30, 2003). Their work can be found in the permanent collections of The University of Minnesota's Goldstein Gallery, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, West Bend Mutual Insurance, Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, and the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The Sigwarth's art glass combine elegant forms with vivid color for the home and garden. The beauty of their glass is timeless and will add life to any decor.
"Our art is born from our partnership. Together we are the creators of all that surrounds us. Early on in our relationship we identified our inspiration which has lead us on our spiritual journey. Glass is one outlet that represents who we are; it is the perfect medium for our expression. We start with the fiery, molten mass of ideas that quickly begin to take form. It is through careful skill and breath that allow our creation to grow. We pass the piece off to the other and give over trust; as partners we depend on each other. We allow our intuition to guide this fluid medium to it's final state. From here, new ideas arise and new directions emerge."
Douglas and Renée Sigwarth