Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: glasswench

Kelli Graves' love affair with stained glass began several years ago, after a shoulder injury prohibited her from becoming a potter. A simple visit to the cathedrals of Paris sparked her interest - and after an Adult Education class in the craft she was "hooked like a trout on the line." Inspiration can come from anywhere. "I love color," she admits, "in general; intense, saturated, rich or subtle, it doesn't matter, color is a visual feast for me." She has a soft spot for patterns as well - especially tapestries, batiks, and henna art. "I love the play of light (I almost called my blog by that name), the way it filters through clouds, sprinkles through the leaves of a tree. The patterns and shifts of light from a coming storm, or approaching thunderhead. The soft, caressing light of dawn, and the brilliant, aggressive light of sundown." Artistic, even as a child, she remembers drawing "big fancy Jessica McClintock dresses." Eventually she moved on to gardening and picture framing - and even jewelry design. She had an interest in glass arts since high school, but never really pursued her love until the fateful trip to Paris. "I became completely obsessed with it," she explains. "It satisfies all my creative needs, from finding or making the pattern, to color and texture selection, to the detail of cutting and forming the puzzle pieces of the glass, to joining it all together, for that final glorious moment when you can lift the completed piece up to the light and discover the true character of what you have been imagining." While her art is just a hobby at this point (she is a skincare therapist by day), she admits that trying to turn it into a business "sucked the majority of the joy out of it." For that reason alone, she has resisted selling her creative works, even to friends and family. Only now is she allowing herself to get her name out there because she has so many ideas for projects - and nowhere to hang them all. "So I make them, enjoy them for a bit, and then offer them for sale to my friends - and now the world at large via Etsy." Please check out her Etsy shop: and blog:

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

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