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Royal Purple, Pine Jays; photography by Mary Vogel

That’s how the Ancient Egyptians described the human soul, and discovering the magnificent bird work of artist Shane Fero, you instantly understand why.

Born in Chicago, and spending part of his youth in Winter Haven, Florida, Shane and Sallie Fero first traveled to the mountains of North Carolina for their honeymoon in 1983. They returned almost every year and beginning in 1987 he took classes at Penland. They decided to move to the area in 1990, in light of the “welcoming and encouraging nature of Penland School.” The couple’s daughter, Devon, was born during summer session in 1992, and grew up within the Penland community.

Mr. Fero has been a flameworker for more than 40 years, and maintains a studio next to the school. He participates in international symposia and conferences, and has taught in prestigious institutions worldwide.

His work can be found internationally, in public and private collections, as well as in more than 20 museum collections, including those in Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Asheville Art Museum and more. He’s past president of the Board of Directors of the Glass Art Society and received their Lifetime Membership Award in Chicago, in 2014.

Enjoy his gallery of work at