Ryan was born in Bedford, a historic country town nestled in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. She grew up nearby in Roanoke and Chapel Hill, where summers were spent reading voraciously and swimming in the local pond. Her artwork is still heavily influenced by spending these formative years surrounded by nature. 

A passion for creating art with her hands lead her to Virginia Commonwealth University, where she discovered the world of glass working. In 2006 Ryan received a BFA with a focus in glass. After college, she moved to Seattle, a major epicenter in the international glass working community. Diving head first into the world of glassmaking and artistry eventually opened the door to new mediums and ideas.  

She recently fell in love with encaustics, a centuries-old painting technique that shares many of the same characteristics as hot glass. Exploring the versatility of color and texture are key components of her work, and she is happiest when she can delve into learning and exploring new mediums.

Ryan received the Allan Eastman award for glass and a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship. She has been very fortunate to study with glass artists Jack Wax, Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen, Emilio Santini, and Kait Rhoads. 

Since 2010 she has been working for the Corning Museum of Glass with their Blow Glass at Sea chapter of the Hot Glass Show. Ryan is having the time of her life blowing glass on the high Seas and traveling the world on several Celebrity cruiseships (Solstice, Equinox, and Eclipse).