At the age 52, I discovered I was an artist. Before that I had designed jewelry, as a hobby while I ran a hotel. My journey to artist was abrupt. My husband gave me broken glass for Christmas so I could do mosaics while I recovered from a health issue.
That one gift led me to more broken glass, then a bead making class. I fell in love with the molten glass, watching it move, alive in the flames. I began making intricate beads and discovered I required a kiln to anneal these beads. While ordering the small kiln, the clerk queried if I would rather purchase a larger kiln to make plates, because the shipping to Hawaii was exactly the same.
You can find Jessica on Saturdays at the Bainbridge Island Farmers Market.
Front Street Gallery - An Artists' Co-op
18881-A Front St. NE, PO Box 2697, Poulsbo, Washington, 98370
Make my own plates Could I? I had collected glass for over 20 years but to actually make something of glass, I couldn’t imagine that. I did order that larger kiln, it came and I had no idea how to use it. Books were very scientific, with glass temperature versus weight versus some other things I didn’t know. So I stayed with my beads.
In 2004 we moved to Bainbridge and I found Pratt Art Institute in Seattle. I took a 6 weeks course to learn how to use my kiln, firing profiles and all the things that made no sense in the books.
That was the last class I took. I love to experiment with what I can do with glass without anyone telling me I can or can’t do it for some scientific reason. I let the glass colors inspire me, talk to me and teach me the power of no expectation. Every time a piece of glass goes into the kiln it transforms itself. Try as I might, I can not control the process, the glass is in total control of its own destiny.
I am thankful to those who like my work. I have pieces all over the country and in Australia, England, South Africa and Japan to name a few other places.
Color, whimsy and functionality are what guide me.