Hello and happy summer to everyone in the Guild from us in our little piece of heaven, our property neighboring the Willamette Valley Vineyards winery in Turner, Oregon. Here we have our two studios, our home and a small Christmas tree farm that keep us busy.
When we retired, Gerald in late 2016 and Rose in spring of 2017, we made plans to just travel abroad and see as much of the world and as many cultures as possible and for two years we did just that! As we both love history and art, we toured dozens and dozens of museums and churches marveling at beautiful paintings and amazing glass artistry. It was later that set our imaginations ablaze with ideas we wanted to capture and create in glass. One small issue, we hadn’t a clue where to start.
In 2018, in between trips, I looked up a stained glass artist friend whom I had not seen for 20 years, asking her if she would teach me the basics of stained glass and mentor me in my efforts. Gerald purpose built me a great little studio for creating stained glass, painting and sculpting. My friend, Claudette, did teach me the basics and continues to mentor me on my glass journey.
Once I was up and running, Gerald was hot to pursue his own passion to work with fusing and slumping glass. To begin that journey we both signed up to make our own sheets of glass at Bullseue and while there we signed ourselves up for a 3-day Tim Carey workshop Bullseye was offering in late Spring of 2019. We were, quite frankly, in way over our heads during that advanced glass workshop, but we loved everything we were being shown and found we were actually creating what we set out to make. The workshop cemented our mutual desires to create glass art in earnest.
An amazing part of the workshop experience is meeting other artists. It was our lucky day to meet and get to know Charlene Fort. She immediately recognized two things about us…..our desire to make glass art and our true need to educate ourselves further to be successful at it. She encouraged us to join the Oregon Glass Guild to get to know other glass artists who, she assured us, freely shared ideas and techniques and could point us to other learning avenues.
Gerald left the Bullseye workshop and immediately began building his warm glass studio, completing it in late 2019.
If there is a silver lining to COVID-19, it is that for two years, along with everyone else, we traveled nowhere. Instead, we enjoyed the gift of lots of time to experiment, design and bring to life glass art creations in two mediums – stained glass and fused glass. Our artworks are sold by Gallery at Ten Oaks in McMinnville, River Gallery in Independence and by the Halicuna Bay Mall in Salem. This year we also enjoyed participating in the Gathering of the Guilds in Portland.
We have learned so much from guild members, this past year especially, and we both thank each person who has helped us to improve our art by teaching us new ways to play with glass.