Mad Art Studios is the creation of the husband and wife team of Michael Maddy and Rina Fehrensen. They started Mad Art Studios specifically to create their playful and whimsical glass pieces. As their studio evolved, so did their work, and today their works include many traditional glass pieces.
Both native Californians, Michael got his artistic start through studying ceramics first at Humbolt State University, and later at Palomar College in San Marcos, California where he studied glass. It was there he met Rina.
Rina has always had a strong interest in art and studied Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. She also studied at the University of Madrid in 1986. Her interest in glassblowing stems from a visit she made to the glass factories on the Island of Murano, Italy in 1989 while on a trip around the world. On her return to the United States she studied glassblowing at Palomar College. Since that time she has continued her studies at the Pilchuck glass School in Stanwood, Wa, The Bildwerk School of Glass in Germany and studied with the Italian master, Lino Tagliapietra at the Haystack School of Crafts in Maine.
Although both started their artistic careers working in other mediums, glass has become the main focus of their artistic expression.
They are best known for their use of color and often whimsical themes they incorporate into their pieces. Given the quality and detail in most of their glass pieces, their art has a strong value within an affordable range. Rina has participated in numerous exhibits and has won several awards for her work including a Visual Arts grant in 1987 for the UCSD undergraduate Arts Fesrival and 1st place in the Southern California Glass Art.
Their original operation was a very small cottage business which they operated on the back patio of their home in Vista, California. Since it’s inception in 1997, the studio has grown into a 3500 square foot facility with three additional artists working on staff, where they create their works with 2000 degree F kilns.