Sondra Francis -Glass Artist
My attraction to bright shiny things led me to a career as a gemologist. I spent many years chasing gemstones in exotic places. Glass has an appeal because of its many gem-like qualities—brilliant colors, textures, and optical possibilities.
With glass there are infinite possibilities for creating functional glassware and decorative objects. My glass art is done with fusible glass which comes in large sheets which are then cut in various shapes of colored glass. These pieces are then unified by placing a clear colorless piece of glass over the colored glass pieces. Additional glass trim pieces may be added on top of the colorless layer. Glue is used to hold the pieces together. When I am satisfied with the design, the pieces are placed in an electric kiln and fired to 1460 degrees F. At this point the pieces of glass melt together and a flat, solid piece is the product. If the piece is to be shaped it is put on a mold and fired to 1260 degrees F, which cause the glass to slump into the form of the mold.
Inspiration for glass designs comes from many places. I do my best creative thinking hiking and walking around Flagstaff which provides a rich landscape of color and texture. My cats, Latte, Baby, and Blue are perfect models for my “cat pieces.” My floral pieces are abstractions from nature. Some of my geometric pieces suggest the beautiful local mountain landscape.