When I'm interviewed for blog features, there is usually a question about my art background. Up until I started lampworking, I didn't have a background in art, so that is basically how I answer. But I recently realized that I do have a background in glass. It's a bit of a stretch, but it's there.
This blue neon cat was a gift from my dad to my mom. We're obviously a cat family. But my dad has always had a thing for neon lights. He has quite a collection. When a local business would close up shop, he'd often ask to buy their sign. Once as kids, I remember hiding from my sister under a bed and I heard a crack. Turns out there was a neon sign under the bed and I'd just snapped part of it off. We grew up around neon. So back when I was in junior high and a friend and I decided to enter our school's science fair, we naturally chose neon as our topic. It wound up being more of a science display rather than an experiment, but it sure drew attention. We called our project: Neon. It's a Gas! I think that was my dad's idea. For research, my dad took me and my friend to a glass shop, where we got to watch the process of neon-sign making. From the bending of the glass to the installation of the gas, we saw it all. Then, and this is the important part, we were allowed to bend some of the glass tubes in the torch. I really had forgotten about this until recently. That would be my first experience with a torch and glass. I think I've suppressed it until now, maybe because I did something somewhat unthinkable (more like stupid) that day. I remember being cold in the neon sign warehouse. So at one point I held the hot tube of glass up near my nose to warm it. Whoops. I accidentally touched it to my nose. The blister and scab that formed were there for a good week to remind me of my dumb move. On the bright side, I've never held a hot bead that close to my face, so I guess I've matured.
So there you have it. I've dug deep into my past (without the help of a therapist) and realized that my love of glass has always been there.
This blue kitty bead, that my husband bought for me from Dorset Hill Beads and that I adore, reminds me of the blue kitty neon sign. So now I've come full circle.