About Me (…continued)
I became interested in glassblowing while I was living in western Massachusetts in 1998. I studied there with Sally Prasch, a nationally recognized glass artist and teacher. She taught me the basic skills of lampworking various types of glass in a series of group lessons and also rented evening time in her studio to me while studying with her. After this, I shared space in a private studio with an experienced lampworker, where we traded ideas and inspiration while working together. I worked there until moving to Vermont in 2000, looking for a more natural and peaceful setting to live and blow glass in. Since then, I have maintained a private studio at my residence, learning new techniques and directions in glass through the use of books, videos, online resources and networking with other lampworkers. My workshop has a full wall door, which I open in the summertime, letting in the beauty and colors of Vermont to help shape and inspire my glasswork.
The two main reasons I chose to study and pursue glasswork were that I believed it would provide a continual outlet for my creative energies and would give me the freedom to work and live as I chose. I now live with my family in a small house with an organic vegetable garden and a glass workshop behind it. In addition to glassblowing and gardening, one of my passions is recycling and environmental issues. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle in my daily life and my surroundings and this is what led me to create my line of glass jewelry.
The idea evolved out of “recycling” shards of finished glass pieces that had broken for one reason or another. I would select the most interesting broken sections to bring back into the flame and polish off the edges for use as a necklace pendant. Because the glass piece was a small section of a larger work, the design and patterns would be unintentional, yet appealing for the uniqueness. I found that these sold well and began to think about creating a consistent source for these glass shards rather than waiting for a piece to break. I decided to work with frit glass for its ability to create endless patterns through the melting salt size pieces all the way down to a fine powder. Mixing different types and shades of frit gives my pieces all the way down to a fine powder. Mixing different types and shades of frit gives my pieces varying degrees of color saturation and depth.
I start the jewelry process by melting the frit into a piece of clear glass tubing using the flame of a specialized torch. As the glass heats and the colors combine, I use a blowtube to shape a vessel, which when cooled will be cut into pieces of varying sizes for use in different types of jewelry pieces. For more information on glassblowing, click here to visit my process page.