Exposure to the astounding stained glass in the Air Force Academy chapel in Colorado as a young child ignited my fascination with glass. I love the way light falls through glass, creating tinted shadows, or the way the angle of the light changes the colors in a piece of dichroic glass or lights up a string of glass beads. I have always been fascinated by ancient civilizations, especially ancient Egypt, and believe that I have ‘sand and palm trees in my soul’ — a mystical correlation with my love of glass, seeing that glass is created from sand… Sometimes I see myself as more of a designer than the traditional definition of an artist, although I know the two terms go hand-in-hand: ARTIST = One who practices an imaginative art : DESIGNER = One who plans how something new will look and be made : one who creates and often produces a new product or style. One of the most fulfilling aspects of being an artist is working with my husband, Jerry O’Connor. We have been creating collaborative pieces in Flagstaff, AZ for almost twenty years. Our projects yield distinctive works that often include Jerry’s beaded beads, seed beads, Swarovski crystals, and Picasso, artisan and vintage glass beads. My ‘glass lust’ grew when I caught the fever for dichroic glass, a process where layers of fusible glass are heated to high temperatures, melting into one combined layer. Every time I fire up my kiln, I am filled with excitement for the unique, beautiful dichroic glass jewelry and one-of-kind wearable art that will emerge.
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