Featured Artist: Janiene Fitzpatrick, Shoreline WA

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I have always loved rainbow colored and ordered glass — I am a RAINBOWAHOLIC. I also happen to be OBSESSED with dichroic glass jewelry, along with anything diamond-like and sparkly.

It really bothers me that most rainbow pieces on the market lack a good purple. After I had collected about 10 pieces from a local artisan I asked him to try to add purple to a tray of rainbow style pendants. I offered to buy the whole finished tray. He put it off for a long time because he busy making things for other clients. During that waiting time, I decided that it was unlikely that I was the only person wanting complete rainbows in my jewelry and art glass. I felt I wanted to try to fill some of that void with my design eye and art style so I started making glass pendants with all 7 rainbow colors. Dichroic glass became my go-to medium. I tend to make hidden channels in my pendants to allow a clasp to freely float all the way through. Over the last 8 years I have branched out into other things.

I really like thinking through the layers to complete a piece. Sometimes I have a solution for an addition to my project figured out in my head that makes an item more useful. I recently added battery operated light mounts and a hanging point to the back of a Barn Star mold, to make it be a lighted Christmas tree topper or a focal point in a wreath. Because of my channel work with pendants, I had good solutions for these additions already worked out.

My most ambitious project lately was 6 Fantasy Fairy Flowers in 6 weeks in 18 kiln loads. Thankfully, I had a very detailed tutorial and it all went smoothly. A true labor of love. I easily named each one of them and wasn’t sure I wanted to let them go to new homes.

Recently I’ve started making fish by building up frit in a slumping mold. From side spots, to the blush of color, to the surface spots again. It can be viewed from both sides in a display, or used as a sushi plate. They take about 3 hours and 15 layers to create and stabilize. I want to explore more of this technique.

I joined the guild to get experience in the Gathering of the Guilds at the Oregon Convention Center. I also like getting the “classifeds” to find people selling off their 96coe glass, supplies & equipment. Pre-pandemic I was a member of my local almost-monthly glass potluck. I liked being able to ask experienced artists about entering the small local shows, and how I could progress to round out my offerings. I also liked the live critique of my items, as it was more authentic than online.

But what I really enjoy most is being part of the glass community and seeing what everyone is making at all skill levels. Not just the finished for sale items, but the “hey I tried this and I kinda like it”. Seeing other people’s experimentation, including flops, sometimes helps me think about my own projects in a new way. It also highlights ideas that I had thought about and now definitely don’t need to try.

See more of her work at http://oldpandorasboxcreations.com