Becky Ratliff
   The whole journey of life is to emerge as the complete person you are intended to be.  Exploring, experimenting and evolving—that’s how I characterize my life and work as a warm glass artist.
Like living in Montana’s Shields Valley, my journey to becoming a warm glass artist was not a destination I had planned.  As an art teacher, I found joy in exploring a variety of media: clay, warm glass, blown glass, stained glass, blacksmithing and jewelry.  I am mostly self-taught with the help of workshops, mentors and fellow artists.  Experimentation is in my genes: my grandfather was an inventor and tinkerer by nature, and my father experiments with glass and metal to create garden gates.  That influence created a curiosity to play and experiment that has led to wonderful failures and successes over the years.   Through the journey warm glass has provided a medium that allows me to create the things that capture my attention.
Warm Glass, is using a kiln to manipulate the glass I combine to make my designs.  The glass is heated to melt and fuse the pieces together, sometimes multiple times.  Then it can be heated in the kiln again to soften it to slump into a form chosen for the finished functional piece.  Or a mold can be made, glass can be melted in the kiln to run into the mold to create a 3-D piece.  Glass allows me a rich color palette to explore techniques that often resemble glazing from past clay work.  The journey continues every day with new studies and discoveries to bring my ideas into the final glass piece.   Much of my work now is functional because I love the thought of my work being part of creating memories with family and friends as they celebrate over meals together. 
My work is influenced by colors, shapes and textures of rocks in streams, large formations and shorelines, the sunrise over the Crazy Mountains outside my studio covered in intense white snow, the dark hues of a sky telling of an impending storm and everyday objects.

Persimmon Gallery
537 Electric Ave
Bigfork, MT 59911
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(406) 837-2288

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