May 1, 2009

May's Featured Member- Susan Sheehan of Susan Sheehan Lampwork Glass

May's featured member is one of our team administrators and has been instrumental in guiding the EGA safely into 2009. Susan Sheehan of Susan Sheehan Lampwork Glass is a full time lampworker. She lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with her husband and 2 children. We asked Susan to tell us about herself:

When did you first become interested in glass?

It sounds terribly cliché, but I got into glass because of an artistic block. I was a photographer and for months everything I shot looked awful to me. I had lost the joy and dreaded finding new images for my note card business. I decided to take a beginner bead making class and suddenly found my creative spark.- What do you like best about what you do? I love the process. I enjoy sitting down to the torch, melting the glass and forming it the way I wish. I have an obsession with making tiny dots become flowers and colors play nicely together.

Is there a pattern in the way you select materials? In the way you use color, texture or light?

I love fashion. I’m not exactly a fashionista, but I admire clothing design and color is a big part. I browse Vogue, am drawn to small designer boutiques and often spend a day just window shopping to fill my mind with textures, form and color.

What inspires you? How are your inspirations expressed in your work?

I am inspired by the beauty of nature and my favorite places, sandy beaches and flower gardens, are often what I try to portray. Fortunately both of those are close enough all I need to do is go for a walk to get the juices flowing.

What are your techniques and style and how do these relate to the medium?

I think my style is dreamy and serene. I love the look of Monet with colors that flow into each other and let the viewer define their shape. I find my techniques lend themselves to less control and more submission to the glass and its ways.

What do you find most challenging about your work in the glass arts?

There is always something new to learn. It is what keeps me excited and motivated. Whenever I feel I have mastered something to the point of boredom I can throw in a new technique to spice things up. I think of the great masters and realize generations later their offspring are still rediscovering a new way to do what has always been done. I’ll never know it all.

How did you find Etsy? What do you like most about it?

I heard about Etsy from another bead maker. I love the interactive nature of selling on Etsy. Never would I have believed the amount of conversation I have with customers through e-mail. I really feel a personal connection and that is pretty amazing.

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