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Paula Marksbury

Art is a Journey describes my studio's philosophy of using and experimenting with different art elements to create interesting, fun and sometimes functional artwork. My inspiration for designs comes from the things I love – sailing, nature, paintings (like Monet), colorful images, colorful places...

Fused glass can be subtle, elegant and often, in my artwork – bold in color, shape, texture and design. I love color. I sometimes create functional pieces like bowls, plates, coasters, and platters as well as architectural pieces like sconces. I enjoy designing one-of-a-kind art objects more then production type pieces – but doesn't everyone. Each year I do a few multi-media pieces using glass, different metals and found objects.

My work continuously changes and matures as I discover new methods and skills. I use many traditional fused glass techniques but I love to make things up as I go and in doing so, create something new and wonderful. Of course, this reckless abandon sometimes leads to disaster but more often then not it adds an interesting touch to my work.

I enjoy working deep in glass, creating pieces I feel have more depth and texture. One of the methods I incorporate into my work is taking glass to a very high temperature and when it is molten, combing a design through it. I also like to do other high fires and pot melts to craft out-of-the-ordinary designs I can use alone or in other pieces. I use glass frit, powder and paint to create abstract designs and sometimes to add dimension to pieces using other techniques. I occasionally incorporate gold, silver or platinum into some of my creations. I enjoy weaving glass stringers to construct intricate patterns I can then use alone or in other work. I sometimes sandblast glasswork to give it a soft delicate surface or to etch words or designs into a piece after it is kiln-formed.

For me, fused glass is about the experience of rediscovering old techniques, the surprise of creating new ones by accident or design and the "a-ha" that always comes as I continue my journey of art and discovery every time I open the kiln.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: Five years as an apprentice to master glassblower doing platinum plating, design and all cold work. Three years working in fused glass. Two courses and one working conference in fused glass. All courses at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Next artist: Erline McKay