An affirmed non-artist, I “found” glass at the age of 50. After working for decades as an office manager and then energy analyst, it was a complete surprise when the right side of my brain kicked in. I hadn’t planned on becoming a glass artist. Even now, I am unable to explain why, on a whim, I signed up for a lampworking class. Melting that glass over a torch to create a bead was pure magic. I bought my first torch and went home and had a ball melting glass. But I was frustrated that I didn’t seem to have the ability to make the bead look like I wanted. So I went back and took a class on fusing. Melting glass became an immediate passion and I bought my first kiln that very same day.
Early in my glass journey I learned that the skills I used in an earlier flirtation with patchwork quilting transferred directly to my glass work. I have become known for my ability to effectively combine color, texture and pattern in my art pieces. Most contain a variety of highly detailed decorative accents. Some incorporate hand made lampworked elements. New, surprising details are always hiding inside, waiting to be discovered with each new view.
Following where my passion for glass took me, and with some gentle encouragement by a dear lady, I joined The Best of Missouri Hands (BOMH) and found a place for myself among the remarkable, accepting people there. Suddenly there were more doors open to me than I knew what to do with and opportunities to give something of myself back to the organization, including serving on the Board of Directors, and as President for two terms. Through my association with BOMH, I have been taken in, accepted and encouraged by all manner of artists, and been able to contribute to their journey even as they contribute to mine.
As a member of the Missouri Artisans Association/Best of Missouri Hands, I’ve had numerous opportunities to display my art in public. Perhaps I am most proud of having four of my fused glass pieces on loan to the Missouri Governor’s mansion as part of a BOMH exhibit of glass artists. My work, as well as the diverse glass art of 3 other BOMH members, was installed in a huge walnut cabinet in the Missouri Governor’s Mansion. The cabinet replicates the shape of the Governor’s Mansion itself and was installed in 2005 on the enclosed back porch of the Mansion. First Lady Georganne Nixon and her staff along with a BOMH committee developed the rotating display of BOMH artwork to keep the display fresh and focused on Missouri’s artists. The glass was on display from August 2010 – May 2012 and was featured as a part of every tour of the Governor’s mansion during that time.
I have had the delight of experimenting with blowing glass. I’ve made my first obligatory paper weights and even created my first vessels. This extremely demanding art glass discipline intrigues me and I hope to do more hot glass in the future.
The ability to use heat to create beautiful works of glass art, is ancient. As I look to the near future, there are so many ideas in my head and products or techniques on my list of things I want to work with, I know my glass art will provide a rich and active retirement.
Columbia Art League (since 2007)
Best of Missouri Hands Juried Artist (since 2009)
Best of Missouri Hands Board of Directors 2010 – 2011
President, Best of Missouri Hands 2010, 2011
Greater St. Louis Art Association (GSLAA) (since 2012)
Coatings by Sandberg “Dichroic by Design” International Contest – Honorable Mention for Fused Glass Piece “Jazz Seasons” (2011)
Chosen by Missouri Arts Council to create the MAC 2012 Awards which were presented on February 8, 2012 at the Missouri State Capitol.
Commissioned to provide fused glass gift ware to City of Columbia, Missouri for visiting dignitaries. 2012
Commissioned to provide a custom “Jazz” to be given as gift from Mayor of Columbia to sister city Mayor in South Korea. 2013
- Missouri Artists on Main, 321 S. Main St., St. Charles MO
- The Art House, 531 Court Street, Fulton MO
- Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Museum Store, 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO
- Columbia Art League, 11 S. 9th, Columbia MO
- Bluestem Missouri, 13 S. 9th, Columbia MO
- Orval Reeves Gallery, 606 N Cedar St, Rolla
- Gallery 310, 310 Main, Hannibal MO
Juried Art Shows
- Columbia Art League “Art in the Park”, Columbia MO (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011)
- Arrow Rock Heritage Craft Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)
- The Art Fair at Queeny Park, St. Louis MO (Fall 2011, Spring & Fall 2012, Spring & Fall 2013, Spring & Fall, 2014, Spring & Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
- Made in Missouri Market, St. Louis Botanical Gardens, St. Louis MO (Fall 2013, Fall 2014)
- Fall into Art (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) – a showing of local and regional artists in Columbia MO
- Affair of the Arts (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) – a showing of local artists in Columbia MO (Replaced by Fall Into Art)
- Big Red Box (2010, 2011, 2012) – Best of Missouri Hands Juried Member show in St. Charles, MO
- Celebrating Creativity (2010, 2011) William Woods University, Fulton MO – Juried exhibit of Best of Missouri Hands artists.
- Made in Missouri Exhibit , Silver Dollar City, Branson MO, BOMH Juried Exhibit, (2011 and 2012)
- State of Missouri Governor’s Mansion Best of Missouri Hands Exhibit – Glass Artist Exhibit, August 2010 – May 2012
- Fresh Art BOMH Show at Fresh Gallery, Springfield MO (March, 2013)
- “Out of Town – Open USA: 44 American Glass Artists” an on-line exhibit of the Contemporary Glass Society, June 2014
- “With These Missouri Hands” Juried Exhibit at The Lillian Yahn Art Gallery in O’Fallon MO. July 9 – August 28, 2015
- “Hands Across Missouri” Juried Exhibit at the Cultural Corner Gallery in Chillicothe, MO. June 2 – July 7, 2017
- Tutorial on Creating Fused Glass Pendants, February 2015 Premier issue of Artisan Jewelry Times
- Article on Bead Retreats, April 2015 issue of Artisan Jewelry Times
- Book Contributor – Art Glass Today 2, Schiffer Publishing, 2016
- Brad Pearson two day intermediate lampwork course, Columbia MO (2007)
- Karen Leonardo three day lampwork course, Columbia MO (2009)
- Missouri Bead Retreat, Lake of the Ozarks MO (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- Midwest Glass Experience four day workshop, St. Louis MO (2009, 2010)
- Mark Salsbury Glass Casting two day workshop, Columbia MO (2008)
- Best of Missouri Hands ArtSmart Annual Conference (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
- Bruce Baker two day workshop “Thrive! Don’t Just Survive”, St Louis MO (2012)
- Best of Missouri Hands Professional Development Meeting (2015, 2016, 2017)
- Delphi Glass chose my work to be highlighted in their annual catalogue with an “Artist Spotlight” (2009-2010 and 2011-2012 catalogues)
- Ed Hoy, the largest wholesale glass distributor in the US, chose my “Jazz Seasons” art to be used in their glass and supplies catalogue. 2013
- Slumpy’s, distributor of glass slumping molds and glass highlighted my glass art in their 2018 catalogue.