Artisan Spotlight on ArtFire 2.13.12
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio?
I began my creative journey in high school where my teachers bought my tie dyed macrame belts. I remained in fiber arts, making art quilts and soft sculptured dolls until the mid 90’s when I fell in love with kiln formed glass. My first gallery show was in the mid 80’s and I’ve sold my work at art shows and craft fairs since high school. My studio is a spare bedroom in my home that I commandeered along with an outside patio where I keep my kilns. I also took over a potting shed to use as my cold-working annex (after glass is fused in a kiln, it may need edges cleaned up or beveled via grinding equipment).
If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
Joyful! I’m a very lucky woman, living my life’s dream in an inspiring part of the world.
My family is very supportive and tolerates me staying on the computer for hours while I improve my technical & online skills.
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in the Columbia River Gorge, the heart of the Pacific Northwest. My little cabin in the woods is my refuge with abundant wildlife, incredible vistas; and I’m surrounded by a huge, colorful garden that takes up most of my summer spare time.
Where did you learn your medium?
I learned basic glass-working skills from Bullseye Glass, a major manufacturer of raw art glass. I was also fortunate to study with some of the pioneers of the current kilnforming art glass movement such as Ruth Brockmann, Roger Thomas, Avery Anderson and Richard LaLonde. I’ve always been creative, so applying my vision to techniques in glass has not always been easy, but when achieved very rewarding.
What are your goals with your ArtFire studio?
Whether it’s a gorgeous bowl that radiates color in your home or a chunky bracelet that you love to wear, I want to share my creative spirit and joy with others through my work. I infuse my spirit into every piece I make, sending a part of myself to you with my work.
How did you come to selling online: I grew weary of lugging heavy glass to art shows, combined with many gift shops and galleries that bought my work going out of business over the last few years. I thought on-line selling would be easier…until I began doing it. It’s at least as much work, but more fun and not heavy.
When 1000 Markets suddenly closed it’s doors, many of us migrated to several online venues whose names were being discussed in the 1kM forums. I found ArtFire to be intuitive, easy to navigate and very welcoming of me and my fellow refugees.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
Follow your dream. You CAN make it happen with hard work, determination, and a positive attitude.
Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
It keeps us connected. Handmade is precious, a treasure; and makes one feel inspired when wearing or holding something that was made by hand. Especially when you can develop a personal relationship with the artist. Living with art makes me feel enriched each time I gaze upon a special piece and I feel oh so luxurious when wearing handmade jewelry. We all have stories to tell and owning art tells of our own creativity and individuality.