Merle Martin is a self-taught contemporary kiln form glass designer from South Africa. In 1977, Martin graduated from Durban Girl’s High School where she specialized in painting. She went on to study architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1978.
After graduating from the university in 1985, Merle held a position as an associate with Portal Partnership, Inc. in South Africa. At the time Merle worked with domestic, industrial, and commercial clientele. Due to a building recession within the company, Merle resigned in 1996.
In 1998 Merle started her own stained glass business by handling window commissions. She then began studying and experimenting with glass fusing techniques by reading Burt Lundstroom’s books on the craft.
Merle’s distinct style consists of fusing float glass over ceramic, stainless steel, and ceramic fiber molds in glass kilns built for her specifications. The colors that Merle uses are baked-on enamels that are non-toxic. As a result, her work achieves a fascinating “frozen-liquid” appearance, a luscious finish that Martin takes pride in.