Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March's Featured Artist: Glass By Heather Behrendt

The artist whose name was picked out of the hat at March's meeting is Heather of "Glass By Heather Behrendt"!  Heather is fairly new to RNEST and it was her first meeting with us! 

Name:  Heather Behrendt
Business Name: Glass by Heather Behrendt
Etsy Shop:

Social Media:
Age:  29
Profession/Day Job: Pizza maker
Where in/around Rochester do you live? Walworth/ Gananda
Craft(s) of Choice:  Glass, glass and more glass

Besides your main craft of choice, do you enjoy any other crafts? I enjoy anything that is working with my hands. I've played with metal clay, ceramics, and some jewelry making. I try to limit myself, so I have some square footage in my house that is NOT devoted to crafts.

Did you go to art school or are you self taught?  I am mostly self taught. I took an art workshop class in high school where we learned stained glass, slumping, fusing and had a brief introduction to lampwork. At the time, I stuck with stained glass because there was no torching involved. Years later, on a whim I purchased a basic hot head kit and set up in the spare room of my apartment.  I've taken a few classes since then, but most of the learning was from trial and error and searching every internet source available to me

Handmade Heart Lampwork Beads

How did you get started with Etsy? I started with Ebay originally and had some success. I had a few years hiatus from torching and when I came back Ebay was completely flooded with imports and no more artists. Everyone else seemed to move to Etsy because it was a place for artists. I just followed.

In your creative life and work, of what accomplishment are you most proud ?  I am so proud of myself for devoting more time to my art. I had a full time job, but in the begining of 2012 I went down to part time. It is a challenge every day to make my paycheck, but I'm still working on it.

What inspires you, or makes you want to go dashing off to craft? Patterns really inspire me. I am obsessed with scrollwork patterns and maori symbols. Something about repeating patterns just gets me going.

How to do get past a creative block? Sometimes the motivation is just not there. I don't know what to make. Usually just getting myself downstairs in front of the torch is the biggest hurdle when I'm like that. Made to order work actually helps me because I have a "to do list." I always have tons of new ideas when I'm supposed to be working on bread and butter.

 What does your workspace look like most of the time?  I am not neat. My workspace looks like a haystack of colorful stringer bits. I find pieces of stringer stuck in my hands often.

What (if anything) do you like to watch/listen to while you create? I usually use Pandora while I'm working. I listen to anything from Queen and Jimi Hendrix to terrible cheesy dubstep to movie soundtracks.

Do you craft with anyone, such as your kids/grandkids/friends? I am a bit of a loner when I'm working. I only have one torch set up, so it's difficult to work together. It is something I would like to do.

Did you always want to be an artist? I actually was going to school to be a musician. I didn't think that art workshop class would have influenced me as much as it did. I've always enjoyed crafting, but never thought it would be my primary path in life.

What craft sound or smell do you love? The beep of my kiln being done and knowing I get to take a peek at my creations soon.

What craft sound or smell do you hate? My knuckle hairs burning. That "tink" noise when an hour long work of bead has cracked

If you could add to your craft/art line, what would you like to add? I'd like to add jewelry to my line. I've always just made beads for jewelry designers, but there's people who enjoy my work, but don't know what to do with the bead. I want to give them something they can wear and enjoy.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in selling your work? Lampwork beads are not trendy right now. Back in 2005, they sold for large amounts of money and were very appreciated. Right now, the economy is not the greatest and lampwork beads are a luxury item.

What do you hate about your craft? I hate when I invest time in an idea and it doesn't work out. I need to remind myself that it's part of the process.

What do you love about your craft? That feeling of accomplishment when I've stretched my abilities. When I open up the kiln and find a bead that looks better than I thought. When I get feedback from a customer about how happy they are with my work when they are holding it in their hands.


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