Art Heals

Louis Comfort Tiffany's "Waterlily" - reproduction executed by Paula

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “Waterlily” – reproduction executed by Paula

Art heals. At work in my studio, I am completely absorbed, absolutely engaged. No matter what I’m doing whether it is design, selecting and gathering glass for the project, scoring and shaping to fine precision one tiny piece of glass, it doesn’t matter. It’s a meditation. I’m in my center, my bliss.

I’m inspired by the conversations I have with a glass artisans I am separated from in space and time who I will never meet except though the panel or lamp we will both touch because it needs to be repaired or restored. I learn how the original artisan worked to build the piece so I can de-construct and re-construct. It really is like a conversation. I always learn something, some new way to approach my craft.

I can’t completely agree that I made a conscious choice to work in glass. Anything made from glass is intriguing. I was led by someone else to a class for beginning stained glass and never looked back. That was over 30 years ago.

Rather than inspirational, the brilliant colors used for the stained glass rosettes I saw in cathedrals of Seville and Cordoba simply validated my preference for bright colors in my work.

Although I have dabbled in warm glass, my preference is for cold glass. It’s slow and requires patience with none of what you might call “instant gratification.” I was not born with patience, but I’ve learned it. The patience required for cold glass work spills a little bit into the rest of my life, which, if you ask my mother, is a good thing. Art heals.

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