I began creating stained glass pieces when my daughter was only a few years old (maybe 9-10 years ago). A friend’s wife called and asked if I wanted to take a stained glass class with her at the Rosewood Arts Centre in Kettering. We took a foil stained glass class one day a week for a few weeks. I really enjoyed the process of construction and the different colors of glass and creative aspect of pattern design.
Since I work full time, stained glass has allowed me to find a creative break from work and escape realty. I am inspired through everyday objects, shapes and colors. Often I find shapes or patterns that I can modify into a stained glass pattern; sometimes I can spend hours trying to decide what colors I should use because of the endless options of color choices.
Originally I started making stained glass pieces for myself and family to enjoy. Eventually friends started seeing what I was doing and asked if I could make them something. I never really envisioned myself selling or having the option to sell in a store.
A few years ago, in a magazine, I saw a creative idea of using stained glass to make small panels that hold air plants (Tillandsia). Since air plants require no dirt to grow, they can sit in a wire basket attached to the panels and only need a spray of water every few weeks (depending on how much sun the plants gets). In addition to the panels, my husband and I cut glass bottles and then take the neck of the bottle and turn it upside down to make hanging vases which can hold air plants. Solder, wire and beads can be added to customize each piece. I primarily made these panels and vases for a show that I exhibited in during October so that people could purchase them for the Holidays. Once these plants are gone, I will go back to making designs that do not have living plants.
Where I see my stained glass going in the future – I am just happy to see and hear about people who have my work or are getting a piece for the first time, and the joy it may bring them, or a friend they are giving it to. If people continue to tell me the happiness it brings them or someone they love, then that is priceless. I will continue to make what I love to do and know it is appreciated.
I find myself being attracted to anything made out of glass with color. I love Chihuly. His play on color and design is fabulous. Glass blowers, glass bead makers and artists that fuse glass fascinate me. I’d love to try different types of techniques using glass. I guess I just need to find the time.