Featured this month is the beautiful stained glass and fused and dichroic jewelry shop of Carol Rasmussen of Glass Cat.
Please give us a little background on yourself:
My name is Carol Rasmussen and I live in the suburbs of Chicago, ILL. I have been married for the last 22 years to a wonderful man who puts up with my passion to create. We have three shelter cats, all males. I was lucky enough to retire early and focus on my glass work full time for the last 7 years.
When did you first become interested in glass?
I have always loved the color and sparkle of stained glass. I first became drawn to this medium 30+ years ago. Not many classes were available and it seemed to be a much guarded secret. 22 years ago, on my honeymoon, glass crossed my path again as I found my way into a stained glass shop and we purchased a couple of pieces for our new home. After settling into my new neighborhood, I found a stained glass shop right in town and signed up for classes. What started out as a hobby quickly grew into a passion and I found my happiest days were the ones I could spend creating.
What do you like best about what you do?
I don’t know if I could pick one thing. I really love all aspects of the creation process. I would have to say I love hearing from my customers, what they like about a piece, how it has brought them joy.
I think this is something I struggled with early in my career but after years of experience I don’t really spend much time thinking about it. I have developed an eye for color and texture. Sometimes I feel the pieces choose themselves.
What inspires you?
Hmm, what inspires me? I love color and surround myself with it. You won’t find much black and white in my shop or home for that matter. I am always seeing color combos and patterns around me and trying to come up with new ways to use them in my work. There is seldom a moment when I am not thinking about glass.
How much time do you spend creating your pieces?
This is something I get asked at art fairs all the time. While holding a piece a customer will ask “how long did it take you to make this?” I used to struggle with the answer, trying to be precise. I think I now have the answer that is the most correct. It has taken me 22 years to create that piece as you see it. I have had many failures, pieces I would never put up for sale. I keep some of them to remind myself how far I have come. I do spend 40-60 hours a week on my business, creating, marketing, selling, packaging and I have to say—I love it all!
What are your techniques and style and how do these relate to the medium.
As far as style, I would say most of my stained glass work uses bright, contemporary colors and lines. I like cute and cuddly, so I try to reflect that in some of my work. My fused glass work is in its infancy and I feel I am still developing my own style.
What do you find the most challenging about your work in the glass arts?
Early on, I would say, believing in myself. Right now, focusing on one thing. I have so many ideas running through my head, so many projects I would love to tackle and new techniques to try. We, as glass artists, are lucky to be living in this time. New products are being developed at an astounding rate, and I want to try them all.
Believe it or not-Google. Friends and family kept telling me to sell on eBay. I did not like the look of it and did a search for craft malls, Etsy popped up. It took me about a year from my first look til I took the plunge. I used to sell in B&M craft malls, so it was a natural progression.
What do you like the most about it?
I love connecting with people from all over the world and knowing my artwork is spread across the continents. I love my Etsy Glass Street Team members. They inspire and teach me every day and I love the feeling of belonging to an art community. Etsy has made my dreams become reality and I know I can go as far as I want with the medium I have chosen to express myself-Glass.