How have you started working with glass?
I love making things in general and I have been drawing, sewing, knitting and making collages since I was very young. Working with glass always seemed magical to me, something out of this world, not to be tried by mere mortals. I've always wondered how it was done but never had an opportunity to find out. Then one day about 10 years ago I found some tools, a book and a box of glass being sold at a yard sale. I bought it all and that same evening I cut my first piece of glass, wrapped it in foil and soldered it back together. As simple as that. The rest just came naturally with time.
What do you sell and what is so special about your works?
I sell anything I think would be fun to make out of stained glass and have around the house: window panels, sun catchers, candle holders, night lights and lamps. Stained glass is an ancient medium that is very capricious: it is flat and rigid and needs to be positioned and lit in a certain way. All this makes it hard to compete especially with computer-based art. I try to come up with the way for stained glass to fit into the modern lifestyle. I make and sell one-of-a-kind (OOAK) items that I would (and do) use in my house to make it more beautiful and whimsical.
What is most important about your works?
I get a lot of ideas and try to create basic sketches whenever I can. When I make time to work with glass, I pick out a sketch that matches my mood the most. My sketches are very basic and each has a little story associated with it. I let my sketches transform depending on the music I listen to as I work, the story I came up with, and the glass that lends itself to the piece. Very often the panel evolves so much while I work on it that it is hard to trace it to the original sketch... For me this evolution is the greatest part of the process because the finished product then is not just a colorful pattern, it becomes an illustration, a postcard, a mood snapshot.
Which one of your items do you like the most?
I honestly do not have a single favorite item. Glass interacts wonderfully with light and especially with candlelight, so I enjoy making candle holders the most. I am also into making lamps lately - a stained glass lamp can make a huge décor statement. I also love using agate geode slices in my works - they are always gorgeous. Every item is my favorite while I work on it, and then the next one takes its place.
This interview is also available in Russian there.