Walnut Springs ArtBarn
My love for creating stained glass panels, windows, and suncatchers began years ago while living in Northern Virginia. Now living in Joplin, Missouri, my focus is creating fused glass art.
When I see a flat piece of art glass, I imagine the possibilities of it in 3-D shape that can only be achieved through the heating process in a glass kiln. I enjoy bringing out the personality of the glass through the color selection, the designing, the cutting, and the kiln-firing process.
Learning is lifelong, so I relish opportunities to broaden my skills by taking workshops whenever I have the chance. As a retired high school teacher, I enthusiastically enjoy sharing my love and knowledge of glass art with individuals in my home studio as well as in ArtForms Gallery in Pittsburg, Kansas.
I love creating dramatic fused glass vases that can serve as the focal point on a dining room table, side table, or even the fireplace mantle. Fused glass serving platters, glass bowls and vases will certainly add artistic flair to any décor as well as function for entertaining.
I also enjoy creating smaller glass art, ranging from beautiful fused dichroic jewelry to whimsical plant stakes! Recent additions are fused glass flowers, a personal favorite since they require no watering!
Once glass is placed in the kiln, it’s a nervous waiting game for 15-22 hours, depending upon the outcome desired. The first step requires either fusing the glass pieces together and/or fire-polishing to achieve the brilliant glossy sheen of the glass. The next step requires another 15-22 hours as the piece is slumped into or draped on a mold. Because of the thermal shock risk, the kiln cannot be opened, so these hours are nerve-wracking until the kiln is cool enough (100 degrees or lower) to open. If my firing schedule is spot-on, then the results are magnificent, but sometimes the “kiln gremlins” mysteriously jump into the kiln and the results are not the vision I had. If the “kiln gremlins” manifest their ugliness, the results are sadder than sad. But, if the “kiln gods” are benevolent, the result can be even better than my vision, which leaves me smiling!
Debbie Miller, a scientist at heart and a semi-retired college chemistry teacher, combines her creative side and love for dogs in crafting dog paws using glass nuggets, foil and solder. Relatively new to stained glass art, Debbie has a long history of crafting from Girl Scout days. Also a lifelong learner, Debbie has more recently undertaken ceramic art.