First, tell me about your work?
I make one of a kind fused glass accessories and jewelry. Pendants, earrings, belt buckles and cuff links.
Each piece of wearable art is handcrafted my me, in my home studio. I love to use bright colors in bold combinations and love experimenting with tiny bits of glass called frit. I have unlimited patience when it comes to my craft so sitting with a pair tweezers picking up tiny pieces one by one is more meditation for me than it is work.
The whole process is very intuitive, and I tend to create my best pieces when I am sitting at a my desk (that is never perfectly organized) surrounded by hundreds of pieces of glass in all shapes and sizes. I let the glass speak to me, so I often have more than one piece on the go which always keeps things interesting.
How did you get started ?
I took a weekend course 2 and half years ago that was only a few hours long. I learned the basics of glass cutting and fusing and made the the most horrifying pieces! I didn't think about glass for the next 6 months until I moved into a neighborhood where one of Canada's largest glass retailers is located. I was drawn to the shop because of the bright pieces they had displayed in the shop windows. After spending almost 4 hours inside, chatting with one of the staff who worked there, I left with a few basic tools and some scrap glass to practice with. I started experimenting again, making pieces at home that I would then carefully bring into the studio to have fired in their kilns. The pieces started to get better with every firing and people actually wanted to buy them from me! So after a few months of this I made enough money from my sales to buy my very own kiln. The rest is history! I now live in a larger apartment (which happens to be right across the street from the glass shop) where I have my own studio set up that I work out of full time.
How old were you when you first recognized your interest and abilities in the arts?
I have always made things. I remember coming home from daycare as child in the afternoons and my mother would set me up in the living room in front of the t.v while she made me lunch and did other things around the house. I always had to have a box of crayons and blank paper in front of me. I would spend hours drawing the characters on t.v or creating random sceneries that I would just come to me. My pictures would always incorporate every color of the rainbow and usually had very little or no black in them. I was a messy kid, but my art materials would always be very organized. I have always loved making things with my hands whether it be my own clothes, purses, paintings, jewelry for friends and family you name it- I've probably tried it. I guess I was just born to be an artist.
Who has influenced/inspired your art work?
I am drawn to native art mostly for the clean lines, bold colors and the stories behind them.
Also, my father has always been a crafty man who could seriously make anything out of anything! When I was in grade 1 he made me a mini replica of my mom's kitchen for Christmas. The kitchen sink was made from a huge yellow salad bowl and the faucet was made from a vintage shower head. I totally get my creative instincts and my work ethic from him.
How has your art evolved over time?
Almost everything I have ever made has been through trial and error with lots of experimenting. I don't do well in formal institutions. I prefer to research techniques and teach myself, finding my own way so there are less rules and more fun!
With glass, there's so much to learn and everyday is a new challenge because there are so many avenues to take. I constantly challenge myself and I love doing custom orders mostly because some people have bizarre requests and it forces me to figure them out and ultimately find a solution that best fits their visions.
Where do you sell your work and how can my readers reach you?
I have an shop on Etsy (www.urbanfusions.etsy.com). I also sell my work in a few shops in the Greater Toronto Area. I do arts and craft shows throughout the year as well.
I can also be contacted at email@example.com
I have to add that the more I see fused glass the more and more I really love it and Jen's creations are spectacular. So, please go visit her shop, you never know what you might fall in love with!!
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