We have a glass artist to meet. You will enjoy getting to know
Here is our interview with the artist, Steena -
Briefly describe what you make?
I specialize in fused glass bowls, platters, and trays. Fused glass is considered “warm glass” work meaning it is fired in a kiln to usually no more than 1450 degrees. To fuse glass two or more pieces of glass are cut, shaped, ground and cleaned into the desired shape and pattern. Then these pieces are fused together in the kiln. The fused piece is now placed over a mold and put back into the kiln to be “slumped” into the mold shape.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
I use Bullseye Glass exclusively for my work. Bullseye makes beautiful glass that is specially designed for fusing. It always turns out lovely. I have worked with many mediums in art throughout my life, but glass is by far my favorite. Its versatility and wide array of colors is wonderful to work with.
How did you get started?
My love of glass goes back many years. During a college trip to Europe, I became fascinated with the stained glass in the cathedrals. Upon returning home, I took my first class in glasswork and learned how to make stained glass windows. This served as a wonderful introduction to the world of glass art. From there I began to learn glass bead making and became intrigued by the amazing transformation that takes place in glass once heat is applied. These glass beads became parts of handmade jewelry that I gave to friends and occasionally sold at small craft fairs. A cross-country move and new neighbors served as my introduction to fused glass. My new neighbors commented on a glass bead necklace I had made which turned into a discussion about kiln formed glass. My neighbor’s mother taught fused glass. We talked about my fascination with glass she suggested I try one of her mother’s classes. I signed up for her class and was immediately captivated by kiln formed glass. Shortly after the class, I purchased my first small kiln and began perfecting the art of fused glass in my basement. After several years, I decided to relocate back to the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle area is renowned for its glass art and is a wonderful location to continue to pursue fused glass.
Where does the name of your shop come from?
I had a cat many years ago who would sit with me while I made stained glass windows. He was fascinated by the glass and the way the light reflected on it. Also, this cat was quite large. He would sit up next to me with his back legs straight out and his front paws to the sides. His large belly would spill over to the sides and this reminded me of the laughing Buddha pose. When I started my shop, I wanted to honor my now deceased kitty who hung out with me on my first glass projects.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
Most people do not allow themselves to do more than look at glass art, perceiving glass only to be something fragile that must be admired from afar. To me, glass should not be just a flat object experienced only with the eyes--glass is beautiful both seen and touched. For this reason, I endeavor to take fused glass from a two-dimensional object to a three-dimensional experience. To achieve this, I add glass dots, which are tack fused onto the glass base, adding both dimension and texture. My glass dots come from pattern bars that I have built, fired, cut into pieces on a tile saw, and re-fired into dots, creating tactile embellishments for my fused glass pieces
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Make the art you like, not what you think will sell. Your art will find its audience.
Glass is an ancient art and Steena does it so well! Go now and take a look at Budha Kitty Glass Then come back and tell this artist how much you appreciate the work!