I was interested in art while growing up, I was always drawing, painting or making something. I graduated from University of Florida with a Bachelor of Art in Education. I loved printmaking, silk screen, and ceramics, to name a few.
I took a glass fusing workshop several years ago from Newy Fagan and was hooked on all things glass. Starting out with jewelry, wind chimes and wall art eventually led to the desire to try flameworking and glass blowing on the torch. I proceeded to get a torch and started beadmaking and melting glass.
The process is as satisfying as it is exciting! The flame can get as hot as 2500 degrees. Each piece is made by hand from various colored rods or tubes of glass. Pieces are formed by heat, flame control, sculpting, and manipulation. The pieces are then put into a kiln on an annealing cycle to solidify the various parts into a solid whole. This adds durability and stability to the work. Glass changes colors during the melting process, what goes into the kiln is not what comes out. Heat, flame control, reducing or adding oxygen are all part of the process; the various metal oxides in the rods all react differently in different flame settings. This is an exciting and continual learning process. Torchworkers say it is not what you can make, it is what you can fix! There are so many techniques and color combinations to play with, I usually try an experiment during each session so opening the kiln the next day is almost like Christmas morning!