Beginning as a child I was involved in all sorts of crafts and dabbled in stained glass. I always have something in my hands. It wasn’t until watching glass blowing demonstrations all day long at the 1997 California State Fair, I truly decided collecting glass was not enough. I tried glass blowing with Phil Teefy in Sacramento which required strength and numerous kilns and tools. He referred me to fused glass which has lower temperatures and less kilns than glass blowing. Fast forward to 2022 and I have collected all sorts of kilns and tools in my studio.
I start out cutting sheets of glass using a hand cutter, and also use a ring saw and a tile saw—all with diamond blades. Grinders help to shape and smooth the glass edges—two grinders shape and smooth the glass, while a flat lap grinder polishes. Other tools to polish and smooth the glass are wet belt sanders, a dremel, and lots of handwork. Working with glass is dusty and dirty, often very wet, —you won’t see clean glass during the process. I am often wearing goggles, a respirator and gloves.
From ramping to soaking to fire polishing to fusing to casting, my glass work is kiln formed in an electric kiln with temperatures between 1250 and 1900 °F — different temperatures and time for the kiln forming process I have chosen. When I fire the kiln, I may not be able to touch my pieces until 24-36 hours later when they have cooled to room temperature. Pieces are usually fired three or more times.
My small kiln is 13” round and my large one is like a 24×40” bathtub. Glass stringers, powders, micas and paint are my favorite glass supplies. You might call me a glass snob, as I truly believe you should be able to see through glass art. You can find transparent glass in all of my work as I like the way light can transmit and reflect colors, light, and layers with the glass. I like to experiment with inclusions – from copper sheet and copper wire to gold leaf; and flowers and leaves to ash; as well as reactions between the copper and sulfur ingredients of glass. You might look at one of my artworks and wonder what is in there?
Fascinated by the interactions of color, intense heat, light, shape, texture, chemical reactions and inclusions my glass style is continually evolving as I innovate with glass art and the science of glass. I have enjoyed teaching elementary school students the Science of Glass and encouraging future artists. My work is colorful, unique, and combines mixed media with glass art. Introduced to the ancient craft of Kumihimo, I like to combine unique pieces of opal looking glass jewelry with Kumihimo style beaded braids. I express myself in glass and photography. I love to take photos of shadows, lines, ocean waves, nature and flowers. I integrate the photographs and memories into my glass designs giving my work a story as the journey to a finished piece. My kiln formed glass can be seen in jewelry, mixed media and glass art. My glass art is more impressionistic and natural which shows in my creation of one-of-a-kind baskets, bowls, baubles and art.
Glass is a night and weekend job, as I work in youth development and community engagement for the City of Sacramento with RFA as my second job—where I motivate the many volunteers and members as the President of Rocklin Fine Arts.
I also enjoy snapping photos—capturing shapes, patterns, nature, and feelings with my camera. To relax, I like to garden, read, make greeting cards and play with our chickens and koi. My goals for 2022—watch all the episodes of Blown Away, master alcohol ink painting, make 50 ocean inspired works, and create an art in the garden gallery with kiln formed glass and plants—imagine a glass koi pond and water lilies.
I show my work with Rocklin Fine Arts, at the Sac Open Studios Tour, and the Placer Artists Studios Tour.