I first caught the glass bug in 2002, when I was working as a full time graphic designer. I’ve always loved glass and had it in the back of my mind that *someday* I’d try doing some stained glass. But upon agreeing to host the equivalent of a Glass-fusing tupperware party my soon-to-be-mentor-and-all-round-great-gal Gail Stouffer from San Antonio Texas popped by with a bunch of glass and a small tabletop kiln and wowser, did we all have a good time! I discovered that there’s something wonderful and tactile about fusing glass, and I fell in love with the being able to layer it, and create new shades and shapes…and loving how the transparency is the integral thing about it. And then shaping it into useful items. Oh, yes. It’s just wonderful.
So, within a week of that fusing party, I ordered my ‘big girl’ kiln and got busy playing and learning about glass in my garage in Austin, Texas. Trial and error/experimenting is a wonderful way to learn! I’ve taken a few classes over the years (and have just thoroughly enjoyed a class on combining enamel and glass with the hilarious JC Herrell) but on the whole, I just like to do my thing, in my space, and in my time…letting the do-ing-ness of it move me forward. I also enjoy the collaboration that comes with commission work. I find it really nice to let another voice join into the creative process and have found that the synergy can move me in a new and exciting direction.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve made hundreds of pieces in a wide variety of styles. Below are some pictures showing my stands at various events, highlighting my Fine Art line, and, gosh, when I see it all together, it makes me feel so happy to know I created all that loveliness. I like to make.
I’ve got a wonderful studio space in England where I return twice a year to create new Kiln Formed pieces to restock galleries, and also to fulfill bespoke commissions. But most of my time these days is spent working with my oxy/propane torch, which burns at 1500° (C) / 2500° (F) as I sculpt smaller glass pieces of all shapes and sizes! Working with the glass, sculpting it while it’s in a molten state has proven to be incredibly exciting and rewarding!
Here I am, torchin’ it up, and there’s my bluebird kiln in the background. That’s a special kiln for annealing lampworked glass. Incidentally, it’s called lampworking because back in yonder days (round about 500BC to roughly 1900AD) torching was done in the flame of an oil lamp, with the maker blowing air into the flame through a pipe. That’d be a lot of work in addition to making your design stay in shape! I’m happy to use an oxygen concentrator to keep my flame hot. Note my super cool purple specs. Those filter the yellow flare from the torch so I can see what I’m doing.
Recently, my husband, a professional boardgame reviewer (Rahdo Runs Through), made a quick video of me working with the torch, which you might enjoy watching:
We currently live in beautiful sunny Malta, and the views of the Mediterranean Sea from my front window provide me with daily inspiration for my craft. We love boardgaming together, and hanging out with our adored beagles, Dobby (quite a good traveller, she’s a Texas beagle who moved with us to England and then to Malta, and who is now 13 years old, and sooooo happy to be back into a hot climate) and Taloula (an English beagle we rehomed 5 years ago via Beagle Welfare, she’s 10 now but still gallumps around like a puppy). I also keep chickens (6 Italian hens) and am attempting to grow some veg and flowers in the garden this year.
Thanks very much for visiting my site, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I love feedback, and hearing when people like my work absolutely makes my day! 🙂