An affirmed non-artist, I “found” glass at the age of 50. After working for decades as an office manager and then energy analyst, it was a complete surprise when the right side of my brain kicked in. I am unable to explain why, on a whim, I signed up for a lampworking class. Melting that glass over a torch to create a bead was pure magic. But I became frustrated when I didn’t seem to have the ability to make the bead look like I wanted. So I went back and took a class on fusing. Melting glass became an immediate passion and I bought my first kiln that very same day.
Early in my glass journey I learned that the skills I used in an earlier flirtation with patchwork quilting transferred directly to my glass work. I have become known for my ability to effectively combine color, texture and pattern in my artwork. My enamel pieces are a riot of color, demanding attention with their bright, saturated colors. My dichroic glass works make a distinct statement in their bold designs. I enjoy incorporating a variety of highly detailed decorative accents, including hand made lampworked elements and hand pulled murinni.
Following where my passion for glass took me, and with some gentle encouragement by a dear lady, I joined The Best of Missouri Hands (BOMH) and found a place for myself among the remarkable, accepting people there. Suddenly there were more doors open to me than I knew what to do with and opportunities to give something of myself back to the organization, including serving on the Board of Directors, and as President for two terms. Through my association with BOMH, I have been taken in, accepted and encouraged by all manner of artists, and been able to contribute to their journey even as they contribute to mine.
The practice of melting glass to create beautiful works of art is ancient. Today’s studio glass industry is ever changing with new technologies, products, and techniques. This gift was bestowed upon me as I began looking to retirement from my real world job. Now, as I look to the future, there are many ideas in my head and products or techniques on my list of things I want to work with, I know my glass art will continue to provide a rich and active retirement.
I am a juried artist member of Best of Missouri Hands, and a 2 term past president.
For half a century I lived with no appreciation for the beauty of glass and its amazing, sometimes flabbergasting properties. On a whim, I took a lampworking class. Then I took a fusing class.
It was never supposed to be like this. Having long considered myself to have no artistic talent (after all, I can’t even draw a creditable stick figure), I was unprepared for the journey glass was about to become.
It has opened my life to the arts, to new friends, and, finally, a way to express my creativity through a medium that is fluid, surprising, and amazingly beautiful.
My reward is always the greatest when a person touches or looks at a piece of mine and smiles. That simple smile means my art touched that person somewhere – probably unexpectedly.
Which brings me full circle to how my addiction to glass began in the first place. The best places in life are often those we arrive at unexpectedly.