After spending years working in the fiber arts, Linda Steider discovered the world of glass. She creates beautifully colorful and unique kiln formed (fused) art glass for home decor.
Linda is an avid gardener and thoroughly enjoys the outdoors, and her love of natural beauty and wildlife is reflected in the art she creates.
Steider Studios offers a variety of art glass, including bowls, glass paintings, mirrors, sculptures and even treasure boxes. Linda believes that everyone should live as joyfully as possible, and her work exhibits her passion for life.
After a 20-year career as a fiber artist, what first attracted you to working with glass?
It didn’t occur to me that I could work with glass, even though I loved and collected it in many forms, until a friend asked if I’d be a practice student for a class he wanted to teach. It was beadmaking on a torch, and I fell in love with melting glass in a flame, creating twisties and simple beads.
After only one or two lessons, our schedules wouldn’t mesh so I went to his source, Bullseye Glass in Portland, OR. I took every course they had to offer, on the torch and with a kiln, completely mesmerized with the process and the glass.
My husband, in the meantime, was worried that I would set up a torch shop in my fiber studio (that man knows me sooooo well!), so he brought home a kiln for my birthday!
How is your love of nature and wildlife reflected in your art?
Often it’s simply the colors I see and use for inspiration. Sometimes, I challenge myself to portray what I’ve seen; to share the beauty I’ve witnessed. After a hike, I can’t wait to get to the studio to play with color, channeling that energy into a depiction of space and light; texture and shape; or any glimpse of wildlife I was lucky enough to catch.
Who inspires you the most?
Oh so many, I can’t pick just one… Kandinsky, Picasso, Braque, O’Keeffe, as their images have been with me the longest. In the world of glass, I am inspired by Roger Thomas, Ruth Brockmann and Susan Longini, among many others. And every day I’m inspired by children’s drawings I have from my little niece and granddaughter for their joyful spontaneity and vivid imagination.
What is your favorite piece of art you’ve created?
That’s a hard one. I love most of what I make, but one piece that jumps to mind is a wall hanging depicting a lake filled with swans against a forested backdrop near Multnomah Falls. It was done using hand dyed fabrics and machine embroidery and sold from a show I had at Skamania Lodge when they first opened.
I also love my forest and celestial series. My favorite is usually the last piece I finished, but looking back I have a lot of favorites, probably too many to list!
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is having inspired others… To reach further and push themselves in a new direction after taking one of my specialized courses in powdered glass; or simply inspiring students to find the joy in their own work. Some of my beginning students have gone on to set up their own glass studio after taking a basic kilnforming course I offer locally.
Part of that accomplishment is proving – especially to women who say they have no talent, that they’re not creative or artistic – that we’re all creative beings and their work is indeed worthy and beautiful.
My heart sings when a student proudly beams while holding their finished piece or sets of samples they accomplished in my class.
How would you describe your artistic vision and creative process?
This is a difficult question because I don’t spend time thinking about it, I just follow my instincts and play.
My current vision is inner reflection and connections. Connections to family, friends, animals, my home and garden. Life’s paths and circles and how they seem to meander and overlap with randomness… Or is it with purpose?
Ideas form in my mind and the creative part is simply problem solving… how to get that picture in my head transformed into a tangible object made with glass.
I usually start by sketching. Trying to formulate the design to match the image in my head; or sketching my client’s thoughts and ideas (difficult because of course I can’t see those). Sometimes the idea shows itself to me in finished form and all I have to do is cut out the glass and assemble it.
I love to start with a clean studio, so if there’s time I’ll clean up between projects, but more often than not I’m working atop the remains of my last project. I keep my tools and supplies in order at all times so I don’t waste any time searching for them.
I might stare out the window for long periods of time, or move the glass bits around, arranging and rearranging for awhile. I sketch, doodle, then try to empty my mind to let the creative energy in. I don’t know what it’s called, really, but if I can get my mind to be still, and go to that place of daydreams something always “pops” in. It may or may not be for the project I’m working on, but it’s usually something I can’t wait to get started on.
Where do you go to relax and recharge?
That’s easy! My garden.
Linda Steider’s art glass is available at:
Posted by: Erika Pitera
Categories: Designer Spotlight