For the Love of Glass
I started fusing glass every day in 1992 after taking a glass fusing class in Berkeley. I was making plates and dishes in my kiln which was located in the kitchen. I loved the process of seeing the glass transform in the kiln into lovely bowls and plates.
My husband Gary and I tried selling them at craft shows but found it very tough. At that time glass fusing was the “poor child” in the glass world. No one knew very much about the process and people were very resistant to the products.
Our first show an “Oktoberfest” was our best show for the next year or two. However, we were next to the band and they played the chicken dance every 15 minutes or so. Way too many chicken dances for us.
After about two years of work and experimentation, we came up with a “marine scene” sculpture which we were able to sell at some San Francisco galleries. We made very unique fish, crabs and lobsters which were set in a background of specialty glass resembling coral and rocks. These were fused, slumped and mounted on a base of fused or cast glass.
Thus began our learning experience with consignment. Our first gallery was in the Nordstrom center in downtown San Francisco and they were wonderful. They sold our sculptures very regularly and quite a few plates as well. So I tried to find other galleries. I found a few galleries that would display our work. They frequently lost or broke my sculptures. Eventually our first gallery closed their doors and we stopped consigning our glass.
Two years ago I saw some dichroic pendants and immediaely had some ideas for making unique ones of our own. There was no real information available at that time and I spent quite a while working out some interesting techniques. One thing I discovered was that if a little dichroic is good, then more really is better.
While learning how to make pendants I started looking at the world of dichroic glass. I decided that offering some really useful sizes and shapes of dichroic glass would be helpful for other fusers.
I have spent the last 14 years photographing my own fused glass. So I decided to photograph each individual listing so my customers would know exactly what they were buying.
My husband and I wrote and distribute a short manual on the process of making fused glass dichroic pendants. We have also written a more comprehensive 30 page glass fusing manual with photographs and step by step instructions which provides all the information necessary to get started in fusing glass and making dichroic jewelry. It also has valuable tips for more advanced fusers.
For the last few years I have been concentrating on developing my technical skills and artistic sensibility in designing and crafting a unique line of dichroic jewelry. My husband, the engineer, has been helping me develop special and unusual techniques and capabilities.
I am now selling well on Amazon, EBay and Etsy and do about 7 arts and craft shows a year. It is great fun. Selling a lot of pendants at a show is so much more enjoyable than selling only one or two sculptures.
I have found my niche, making and selling dichroic pendants, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.Now we have decided to make them available on our own web site as well.