Siemon & Salazar is a design studio created by Caleb Siemon and Carmen Salazar. The duo have been working together to design and make hand blown glass vessels and lighting fixtures in Southern California since 1999. Caleb and Carmen met while undergraduates at the Rhode Island School of Design where Caleb focused on glass and Carmen on sculpture. After RISD, Caleb trained with a renowned master glassblower, Pino Signoretto, in Venice, Italy, while Carmen moved to San Francisco, where she worked for an environmental land artist, metal and glass sculptors, and horticulturalists.
After the two-year Murano apprenticeship, Caleb returned to California and built his own Italian-style studio. Fueled by a passion for the medium and a desire to carry on the centuries old art, he enlisted the help of a group of friends, which included Carmen. “I thought I was just going there for a month or so,” she says, “but here we are, almost two decades later.” An ever-changing collection of visiting artists helped shape the studio’s design and approach. During these early years, Caleb honed his skills in glass while Carmen earned a Masters in Architecture from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles.
Today the workshop is more streamlined, but the collaborative mindset persists. “Glassblowing is a team sport,” says Caleb. “It requires a united effort from multiple people to create one design.” Every glass piece is hand formed by the talented team at the studio in Santa Ana and all custom metal components are fabricated and finished locally. “This allows us to maintain the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship in our work. The studio is made up of a small team of master craftspeople that have a passion for what we do and the designs we make.”
The studio’s aesthetic reflects the evolved craftsmanship of the Muranese tradition coupled with the balance and restraint of the Scandinavians. Caleb and Carmen draw as much inspiration from the medium as they do from the place where they live and work. “We always start with an idea but remain flexible to allow for the natural qualities of the materials,” says Caleb. “The element of the unknown has always attracted me to glass, and to California, for that matter,” says Carmen. “There’s a tangible sense of adventure, as well as beauty, layered within the landscape. We try to embrace that.” The couple live in Laguna Beach with their two children, Rome and Margot.