The inspirations of nature, family, and meaningful experiences and places mostly drive my desire to create in stained glass
I am gratified to have become associated with the Copper Country Associated Artists of Calumet Michigan. The enthusiasm and support of the other members helps to fan my flame of creativity. During my sophomore year in college I deviated from the art degree which I had planned to do, switching to classical music and music education; but I continued to imagine and draw up some of the visual ideas that kept tumbling around in my minds’ eye for stained glass pieces that I hoped to make someday. Stained glass working had been a desire of mine for many years when, as a mother of two young children, I finally signed up for a class in Sheboygan Wisconsin in the early 1970s.
The inspirations of nature, family, and meaningful experiences and places mostly drive my desire to create in stained glass. How light enlivens the beauty of the individual pieces of stained glass, by coming through them, reflecting off of, and seeming sometimes to even play with them, to me, makes stained glass have a very expressive nature to design with. Some pieces inspire the incorporation of some of nature’s own creations; such may be pieces of rocks, shells, wood, or vines. After that first class in stained glass I became self-taught, leading to years of making all kinds of stained glass gift items, door and window panels, and mosaic glass art on furniture. I began working full time in stained glass after my children graduated from high school. From a small studio space in Copper Harbor Michigan, I went to work for Bovard Stained Glass in Fairfield, Iowa, learning about and implementing many techniques important to the fabrication of large leaded stained glass windows and restorations. The next phase became Art shows throughout Wisconsin, and opening a stained glass store, Hearts Desire Glassworks, with a good friend, Anita Saunders, and her husband, in Waterford Wisconsin. Together we enjoyed opportunities to share stained glass work through years of teaching, retail sales, restoration work, and working with customers for whom we designed and fabricated custom glassworks. The store continues with Anita as sole owner.
I returned to live in, and be inspired by, the beautiful Keweenaw in 2013. I am enjoying the opportunity to create on my own again, and in collaboration with customers. Many a time someone has come to me saying “It’s always been my hearts desire to have a stained glass piece of…” expressing an artistic idea that they have. My works include traditional to contemporary stained glass gifts, home décor, door and window projects, and custom design. It is especially gratifying when a vision that I have, which may include a customer’s vision, becomes expressed through my stained glass creation, and moves into the realm of meaningful artistic expression to the beholder. Sometimes I feel that the visual effect of stained glass, like the auditory effect of music, both great art forms created in the minds and hearts of the artists, can send ripples of beauty and joy into the world. It feels good to be able to do even just a little bit of that creation.