When the seven women of Fused Visions, a peninsula-based glassworking group, were working on their first show this past spring, they were a little nervous that no one would come.
âÄúWeâÄôve never done this before, as a group,âÄù said member Holly Hilt in April. âÄúWe want to introduce ourselves.âÄù
It turns out Hilt and the others had nothing to worry about âÄî Hilt now estimates that despite the threat of some late-spring snowfall, about 400 people stopped by Pioneer Memorial Park during the day to take a glimpse at the glass.
Encouraged by the turnout, the women, all from Sequim or Port Angeles and all with full-time jobs outside of glasswork, have been creating holiday-themed glass goods for their upcoming show.
âÄúWe want to stress holiday items,âÄù member Sandi Hokensen said, pointing out her large glass bowl painted with holly sprigs.
Member Emily Eccles said she has been working on a series of fused glass Christmas scenes, which she calls âÄúWinterland.âÄù For the pieces, Eccles uses ground glass to give the illusion of sparkling, falling snow. Eccles also cut small pieces of glass for the details on snowmen.
âÄúShe cut the nose, eyes, buttons so carefully, theyâÄôre so small,âÄù said Hilt. âÄúSheâÄôs amazing.âÄù
Meticulousness is a necessity in fused glasswork âÄî one tiny blemish can ruin hours worth of work.
âÄúIf thereâÄôs a single fingerprint, if thereâÄôs an imperfection of any kind, your piece will blow up or crack in the kiln,âÄù Hilt explained. âÄúWe have to be beyond conscientious, so itâÄôs fun to look at everyoneâÄôs work because they put in that much work.âÄù
To avoid such disasters, each piece is carefully cleaned, ridding it of any contaminates.
Due to the fact that they generally work alone, when they meet as a group, the women immediately begin admiring each otherâÄôs work. Hilt shows off a large glass bowl her mother, member Kristi Boddy, created. Across the room, Hokensen admires the work of member Susan Hafer.
The group also likes to educate the community about fused glasswork, something that is fairly unique and widely unknown. Hilt and Boddy, who sell their work through their company, Whitesbrook Fusion, said they are working with 60 children from Roosevelt Elementary in Port Angeles, teaching them how to make glass ornaments, which later will be donated to Olympic Medical Center FoundationâÄôs Festival of Trees.
âÄúTheyâÄôre learning a little bit of chemistry, theyâÄôre learning a lot of math,âÄù Hilt said of the sessions. âÄúHopefully, what they will be taking away is a sense of helping community.âÄù
Hafer said she puts more time and effort into her glasswork than any other hobby sheâÄôs had and her group members agree.
âÄúDoing this just makes us happy,âÄù said Boddy.
Who: Fused Visions, a seven-woman fused glass group based in Sequim and Port Angeles
What: Holiday show featuring jewelry, plates, candle cuffs and holiday-themed items
Where: Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St., Sequim
Additional info: âÄúWe try to be conscious of the current economy,âÄù said member Emily Eccles, adding that many of the pieces will be $10 or less. Refreshments will be available.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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