Thursday, May 1, 2008

LEST Featured Artist Melissa Vess

MY LEST Featured Artist for May is Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations.
How long have you been working with glass? I Have been working with glass for almost four years.. and love every minute of it!
What is your favorite thing about working with glass? For people who have never worked with a torch and glass, my answer may seem strange. Working with glass is very therapeutic for me. The hissing of my torch and the gentle flow of melting glass is very calming. In fact it is about the only time I really take for just me.
What's your favorite piece? I can't say that I really have a favorite piece. Unlike many beadmakers that have a truly distinct style, I seem to always be mixing things up. My favorite set of beads was my Picasso Sea set that I made a little over two years ago. I had a "bad" batch of Riechenbach glass that was gorgeous wrapped in silver foil and reduced. I have spent quite a few dollars trying to buy another batch that would react the same, with no luck. Thankfully, I sold them to a wonderful designer that made an incredible necklace with them. I really enjoy working with enamels. The broadened color pallete and textures achievable with them make them really hard to put down. I am very cautious with the safety aspects of using them. I use Class A ventilation and a industrial respirator when working with them.
What's the hardest piece you've ever made? The hardest piece I have ever made was a goddess with arms and legs. I watched Patti Walton make the most beautiful goddess at a bead show in Denver, Colorado and I was just amazed. She made it look so easy and she was so generous to explain why she was adding glass where she was and talking about the human form. My torch was on minutes after I arrived home and I spent hours using the information, skills and techniques Patti shared. I had one that turned out beautifully. Days later I dropped her on a concrete floor.. So much for the arms and legs!
Who do you admire in the glass world? I really admire most all beadmakers. Mostly those who can create work that I can't... or those that have the ability to always seem to come up with new and creative techniques. I have changed my "favorite beadmaker" many times. I think my favorites change along with my skills. I will always admire Patti Walton. Her work is the definition of beauty, to me!
What's your favorite inspirational saying? I have a lot of favorite inspirational quotes.. For my work, I would have to say my favorite is by Mark Twain., " You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do? I have always wanted to Scuba Dive. Luckily, my family and I will be taking classes this summer followed by two trips, one to Cozumel in July and the other to Hawaii in September. It looks like I might just be lucky enough to learn from a fellow lampworker, Jill Knapp..which makes it very special!


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