Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Featured Vendor: Shernise Allen

A skillful glass artist, Shernise Allen creates beautiful, whimsical fused glass artwork, accessories and jewelry. Come meet her at Little Flea this Saturday. But first, learn about her approach to the craft, her work and her inspiration -- in her own words.

"The paradox fascinated me. Glass is a solid with the properties of a liquid. At room temperature it’s “frozen”. When heated, it becomes fluid.

Fusing glass involves heating it in a kiln to high temperatures typically over an 18 – 24 hour period. This process releases the fluid nature of the glass. The glass itself comes in a variety of colors and forms: powders, flat sheets with and without texture, dichroic or iridescent coatings (to reflect light), chips and shards (confetti), strings, noodles, rods. Certain metals (gold, silver, to some extent aluminum) and minerals (like mica) can withstand these high temperatures and can be infused into my glass creations.

I love working with glass because of the way the colors and textures interact with light. My inspiration comes mostly from abstract artists like Kandinsky, stained glass in cathedrals and from nature. Yet I have also found inspiration from a magazine picture, people’s clothing or even a greeting card picture. Said simply: life inspires me.

My pieces often take 4-5 firings. A variety of elements must be fired separately at different temperatures. The elements are then combined and fired one last time to complete and assemble the finished piece. Deciding how best to display the glass becomes the next challenge. Sometimes I know how I want to display the glass and that can shape my design and color choices.

If you look at my work and smile or giggle, you have caught my dual message. There is always beauty to be found in life; and we should keep our sense of humor. Hopefully each time you view one of my pieces you will find something new and wonderful to reflect upon and enjoy because that is how I approach life."

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