I don’t think that I have mentioned it yet in this blog but I am a stained glass artist. It is a medium that grabbed me by the throat and would not let go. I had always marveled at the beauty of stained glass windows, the light streaming through the translucent colored panes or the prism affect of finely beveled designs. Rainbow makers created by the hands of humans.
I fell in love with the craft of making stained glass windows in 2004 when I took my first stained glass class. I was immediately hooked. Glass as an artistic medium had everything that intrigued me as a creative, color, physical presence, hands-on techniques, and uniqueness.
Prior to glass, I had tried numerous things in my quest to find the medium that would best match my need for creative expression, can anyone say decoupage? How about macrame’? Now that’s going back a bit isn’t it? I tried painting, I tried drawing, I even tried interior design! Creating art on the canvas of a room with furnishings and accessories as my brushes. That was a bust too. There are only so many shades of beige that you can build a room around before you want to poke your eyes out.
In three short years, I went from kitchen table hobby to buying a stained glass business. Not the best idea that I’ve ever had, but I don’t really regret it. It was amazing being able to spend my days around the medium that I loved, glass. Unfortunately, my lack of business experience coupled with the economic downturn of 2008 laid waste to luxury item in our area, hence I closed my glass store just shy of two years after buying it.
That devastating disappointment seemed to extinguish something in my soul as well and as much as I still loved glass all my motivation and creativity seemed to have vanished along with my savings.
But that isn’t the end of the story. I made several attempts to go back into my basement studio and create; I just could not seem to ignite that passion again, like a lighter low on fuel, you can get a spark and maybe even a flame once in awhile but it always went out. Amid the left over merchandise, rusty tools, and scrap glass, I wanted desperately to fall in love with my medium again, to fill my life with my medium again, but alas I had to get a job. As all creatives know, we have to support our habit.
Fast forward to 2015, a friend of my youngest son’s learned of my past. He had been harboring some beat up old stained glass windows hoping to have them repaired some day. He had youngest son ask me if I would be interested in fixing them. Eh. Repairs were never my favorite thing, but the more I thought about it I figured ‘what could it hurt?’ I could make some extra money and maybe, just maybe, I would discover my old love again.
I am working on my second piece for youngest son’s friend. Glass and I are taking it slow and easy. We are discovering each other again, reacquainting ourselves with the joy, the amazement, and the satisfaction of creating beauty out of light. It feels good to be in my studio again and I think my studio appreciates the company too.