Stephanie Smith
I grew up in the mountains of Montana and Idaho where my family spent a great deal of time tromping the woods. My mother taught me to see the world of texture, line, color and how the landscape changes with shifting light. My father pointed out windows, or microclimates; little worlds created by the protection of a rock or tree that allowed an orchid to thrive in just that small space or the hollow of a rock that collected water and provided protection from the wind allowing a flower to bloom in the desert. Both taught me to look for and see all that was around me.
I was first introduced to kiln formed glass in 2002 and quickly became smitten with the art. Historically ancient Romans and Egyptians practiced kiln formed glass techniques to make small functional and decorative items. We have since seen innovations in technique, scientific understanding of the physical and chemical properties of glass and a modern set of tools that make it possible to further artistic expression and exploration in glass art. Working with glass combines art and science and it is important to understand the physical and chemical properties of glass or it is difficult to draw out its beauty and the many design possibilities it offers. I have studied with a number of accomplished glass artists who have pioneered and perfected many of these innovations.
In the studio I enjoy the many steps involved in creating glass pieces: cutting, piecing, kiln fusing, cold working--sanding, sawing, carving, and slumping to the final shape.
Beyond seeing the beauty of the glass, I also enjoy experiencing my work through the other senses. Walking into my studio and feeling the textures of the glass and the heat of the kilns, smelling the binders in the shelf papers burning off as the kiln heats, hearing the kiln click as the elements heat and appreciating the "scritch" of a good score line when I am cutting glass or the "snick" of a good break are all part of the enjoyment of creating a new piece.
I notice my parents' early efforts to help me really see the world around me come out in my glass; small windows or microclimates of line, color, texture and light playing in the larger landscape of the pieces.
I recently moved from Montana to Idaho and to a studio space overlooking the Salmon River Valley, one of those special places my parents taught me to really see the world around me....
 


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