An artist’s one-of-a-kind, nature-inspired pieces brighten up homes and gardens

Kennith Bogan

As anyone who has usually been fascinated by glass, Kristin Quackenbush realized she needed to do the job with it in some capability.

In the course of both her schooling and her life, she’s experimented with various mediums, but glass was the most intriguing. When she moved back again to Wisconsin just after going to school in South Dakota to get qualified to teach artwork (she attained her undergraduate diploma at the University of Wisconsin–Madison), she began by having a glass bead-making training course in Racine.

That was her very first real introduction to the medium, but it wasn’t till she moved to Sun Prairie that she took a glass-fusing class at the now-closed The Vinery Stained Glass Studio. Now she has been fusing glass for about 17 yrs.

Unlike glass blowing, which consists of a furnace and molten glass, glass fusing will involve “cold” glass that gets fired in a kiln.

“It’s something manageable in a property as opposed to needing to have a furnace facility for blown glass,” Quackenbush says.

Most parts commence with a foundation of distinct glass that functions like a canvas. From there, Quackenbush works by using pieces of glass that have been reduce with mosaic nippers along with frit (floor-up glass) to make a structure. Utilizing glass glue, she secures the pieces and will insert far more layers of distinct sheet glass and additional pieces of frit and glass. Just after the structure is set, it goes into the kiln, in which all the levels melt together to kind a single unified piece of art.


Image by Nikki Hansen

Quackenbush compares the approach to creating panini: apparent glass functions like the bread on the bottom and top with colourful glass and frit performing like filling and garnishes, then the full development is baked. All the procedures are carried out in her property, and she has a kiln in her garage. Prior to owning her personal kiln, she would place every thing together at home and transport it to The Vinery to fuse.

“I get to engage in with transparency and opacity inside of levels of glass, as well as with broken bits of glass that should really be unsafe but, when handled appropriately, are not,” Quackenbush says.

Though she might try to do specific parts equally, no two glass pieces will glance beautifully identical for the reason that of improvements in the design and style or firing procedures. No matter of how numerous of her most well-liked sunflower parts she puts with each other, every just one finishes up distinctive.

“People typically question how extended it normally takes to make a piece, and there is not an uncomplicated remedy,” Quackenbush states.

Quackenbush is encouraged by mother nature, and it can be identified in just about all of her creations, generally in the form of trees, flowers and landscapes. It’s also a fitting concept, as she would make pieces for the residence and yard, which includes back garden stakes — her mother, mom’s mate and sister will support produce the copper frames for those tasks. In addition to nature, Quackenbush is also inspired by symmetry in style and design.

She loves generating things that individuals will exhibit in their homes, as she feels honored persons decide on to commit in her artwork that they will see daily. For her, glass is the ideal medium for vivid shades, given that they will never fade.

“There are some times when persons occur into my booth at an art good with their mouths hanging open up,” Quackenbush says. “I will constantly check with them if they appreciate shade, far too, and they constantly say, ‘Yes!’ I think colorful glass art attracts them in like it does to me simply because it delivers us joy.”

As an artist who generally sells at artwork fairs, Quackenbush has had many encounters at neighborhood fairs, but past year’s Artwork Honest off the Square — the annual July celebration on Martin Luther King Boulevard —was an anomaly. It was the initial artwork honest in above a year in the Madison region, and items obtained chaotic. She bought additional than at any time right before and required to make a ton additional solutions for her pursuing summer season displays.

It was at a person of these art demonstrates that she met the director of University of the Wisconsin–Whitewater’s university student center who aided her protected a solo showcase. Subsequently, the director supplied Quackenbush the prospect to design and style a 25- to 30-foot-lengthy piece for the university. Quackenbush eventually worked with two other artists (one specializing in watercolors and the other mixed media/collage) and an artist collective, Pastel Society, to share the responsibility of making a long-lasting piece on campus.

“That’s a person of those people issues that I imagine most artists would sense like [is] a really great life span accomplishment, to have anything on permanent display screen somewhere,” Quackenbush suggests.

Locate KristinQGlassArt:, @KristinQglassart

Maija Inveiss is an affiliate editor of Madison Magazine.


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