Judy and Howard fell into fused glass upon Judy’s retirement from teaching five years ago, when she found a class by glass artist Jack Bowman in a continuing education catalog. Neither knew what fused glass was, but the first class led to more classes, the purchase of a glass kiln, attendance at national glass events, and joining the Glass Art Guild. They continue to have fun and take more and more classes.
Judy has taken art classes since childhood and planned an art major in college, but her mother’s practical advice dissuaded her. She continued to take private oil and water-color classes. Howard is a much better craftsman, and he’s made some of their glass-working equipment, including a lap grinder made with parts from a treadmill and tire. Howard has become very artistic despite never having taken regular art classes.
Howard has found it doesn’t always work for him to follow his instructor’s advice, especially when one says he can’t do something that he really wants to do. When he first started, he wanted to make an American flag with its true colors, but was told to make the stars out of copper foil (which turn purple after fusing), because there was nothing else that would work. Howard tried punching stars out of fiber paper, incorporated them into his flag, and now his true-colored American flag light sconces grace the entry to their home.
The patterns that emerge in Judy’s work often come from nature: flowers, leaves, even weeds. Howard’s patterns tend to be more linear. They also differ significantly in the colors that show up in their work, with Howard tending to use black, white, and red a great deal, and Judy using the bright colors of nature and lots of different colors. Her favorites are blues and greens, which have a calming effect on her. Howard appreciates contrasts in colors. He is inspired by everything and just likes to see if he can create something new that he thinks up. Judy finds inspiration from taking classes or sometimes she just gets in the mood to create new things. The changing colors of nature often inspire the colors of her art.
They both create art because it’s fun! Judy loves to see how it turns out—it’s like Christmas every time she opens the kiln. Art means different things to them. Howard likes each piece until it’s done; then he doesn’t care about it and either sells it or gives it away. Judy finds it hard to part with some of her (and Howard’s) pieces. She feels that if one doesn’t have the beauty of nature or art around her, life is dull.
A really good piece of glass art created by either Judy or Howard will take a long time to create, as they both enjoy creating large, thick pieces, which require multiple firings and a great deal of finishing work.
The artists who inspired and influenced Judy include Van Gogh and Rie Muñoz; Howard also enjoys the Impressionists. Both have been inspired by their many glass instructors, most notably: Patty Grey, Kerry Transtrum, Newy Fagan, Michael Dupille, Tony Glander, Alison Klinger, and Janet Zambai.
Fusing Friends Art Glass:
Phone: (435) 654-1760; (801) 450-6533