I grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana where I was constantly surrounded by the beauty of stained glass and beveled doors and windows. Just looking at the interaction of color and light through the beveled glass would simply amaze me. As a teenager I took art lessons; however, it wasn’t until I took a stained glass class in 1979 that I realized I had found my niche.
Stained glass was exciting to me and I started making windows, lamps, kaleidoscopes and 3-dimensional items, but it wasn’t enough. I still remembered the random bright colors that first attracted me to glass when I was a child, and I felt the need to explore the capabilities of glass even further in an attempt to re-capture that vision of a burst of color. So in 1988, before beadmaking was popular, I taught myself how to make beads using a propane torch and cut up strips of stained glass. With beadmaking, I liked the fact that there weren’t any lead lines to intersect the colors. Since I was having so much fun with beadmaking, and liked playing with fire, in 1989, using a special 3” kiln that would melt glass in a microwave oven, I taught myself how to fuse glass. I quickly graduated to a large kiln and found that learning how to control time and temperature to produce the desired result in glass could be both challenging and fun. I felt like I could “play” all day even though I was technically working. Now I create both funky and elegant designs using pure vibrant colors. Wanting to learn even more about glass, I took a class in glassblowing. Glassblowing has shown me how glass can be taken to the limits.
Working with stained, fused and blown glass in diverse situations for over thirty-five years has given me varied knowledge and experience. I have won numerous local, state, regional, and national competitions, and have judged state competitions. In 1990, I was commissioned by the White House Communications Agency to produce a newly designed crest dedicated to Air Force wives. Several of my winning designs are also published in books and magazines that are distributed internationally. Spectrum Glass Company has also published my designs.
In 2001, I became involved with the Hot Shops Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a very creative and cool place that houses over 80 artists from many disciplines, plus four anchor shops that produce glass, bronze, clay, and anything forged. I had a studio there for 10 years, and still maintain a connection with some of the artists. Some of my work can be seen in the glass studio there at Crystal Forge.
I have two children, two grandchildren, an African Grey Parrot, and a rescue dog. When I am not working with glass you will find me walking in the mountains or working in my garden.
My home studio is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs. I’ve had a bear in my garage and I need to protect my dog from mountain lions! However, living in this beautiful countryside helps remind me to live life at a slower pace and provides me with a never-ending source for designs. I find my inspiration by looking at everyday things around me, especially in nature, and giving them a different perspective. The angles of the mountains or a pile of branches in the forest might become part of a geometric design.