Friday, November 20, 2009

Vendor Q&A with Merina Art Glass and Jewelry

What is your craft all about?

My craft is kiln-formed glass, also known as fused glass. It’s a medium that dates back thousands of years to the Mesopotamians and then Romans. In this medium, you use the heat of a kiln to fire, fuse, and shape the glass.

How did you get started in your craft?
I began as a jewelry artist, working with beads and stones, and silver. But I began to hear about fused glass and loved the look of it. I took my first glass fusing class five years ago and was instantly hooked.

What inspires you to make what you make?
I love the beauty and versatility of glass and the fact that it comes in so many forms—powder, sheet, crushed, pulled—and I find myself drawing in it, carving it, molding it, shaping it. I’m inspired by abstract forms, tribal markings, and patterns in nature and I love vibrant colors. And glass challenges you because it moves, shifts, reacts, even changes color. I love that and find in my sculptures, vessels and jewelry, that I’m constantly searching for a new technique or language in my work so I can distinguish it from others.

What techniques do you use?
I sandblast, draw with glassline pen, cut, carve, even mold the glass. I also fuse, and tack-fuse the glass. I like dichroic glass but am challenged to use it differently.

What is your favorite piece/product you will have with you at the Handmade Mart?
I plan to have some new pieces inspired by tribal art and tattoos and my own blackwork.

Where has your craft taken you?
I’ve been so lucky to learn from some incredible artists. They’ve taught me not to be afraid of color, rough edges, and abstracts. It’s an entirely new way of looking at the world around me. So much fun!

Where can folks find your craft outside the Handmade Mart?
Artspring Silver Spring gallery store, Portable Rainbows Gallery in Baltimore, and National Capital Glass Guild shows. I’ll soon have a website up and running too and do personal showings.

Visit me at booth #2!

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