I am sometimes asked how I came to be a glass artist. Here is my story…
I am a third generation glass artist! My father and grandfather were both stained glass artisans who mastered their craft in Europe. My parents immigrated to the United States in the mid to late 1950’s. A few years later, my parents opened a small glass and custom framing shop in New York City. I grew up in that shop and have pretty much been around glass my entire life.
It never occurred to my father to pass his craft on to me, a girl. I didn’t think of it either. But I do remember that even as a child I was fascinated by stained glass. Sitting in church on Sundays I loved to watch the color of the stained glass windows from high above play on the tiled floor below.
I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Programming. I married a wonderful man, moved to Texas, and had two great kids. When we moved to Texas, I begged my father to make a stained glass window for me. He agreed, but never got around to it. Many years later I asked him again. This time he said, “Why don’t I just show you how to do it.” And that is how it all began in the summer of 2002. He insisted I design my own pattern, and use only hand tools. It was akin to throwing a child in the deep end of the pool to teach them to swim. But I remember thinking, “Where has this been all my life! Why didn’t I do this sooner?” It consumed me. I read and studied everything I could. I went to bed at night with design ideas swirling in my head.
When constructing a stained glass piece I still use the same time-honored methods taught to me by my father. The glass for each panel is cut by hand and pieced together using lead came, soldered, weatherproofed and finally finished with a hand-rubbed patina. When the design requires it, I also use the copper foil method of construction sometimes called the Tiffany method. The majority of my stained glass work is now by commission.
In 2009 I bought my first small glass kiln and started fusing glass. I love that I can make beautiful glass art pieces that are also functional. Now with a total of 3 kilns (affectionately known as Baby Bear, Mama Bear, and Papa Bear) my focus is mostly on fused glass. I create wall and table art, plates, bowls, candle holders, soap dishes, sun catchers, and so much more.
Quite simply, I love glass, the color, the texture, and experimenting with new designs and ideas. I am always looking for ways to expand my glass art. I have had the good fortune to take classes from some of the leading glass artists in this country. I am blessed to have the love and support of my family as I pursue my glass art, a passion that I believe has been in my soul all of my life, dormant waiting for just the right moment to flourish.