Artist of the month Janet Hill

August Artist

I found the artist of the month on Etsy. I liked her hanging creations. I hope you enjoy the interview and please visit her shop. Thank you very much Janet for your time and trouble. Dean

1. Do you draw your designs on paper or do you create on glass?

I actually do both. Certain designs will require a pattern, such as a hummingbird or a piece that has to fit in a certain size frame. But I create quite a bit of my work using pieces of glass left from other projects. I love this method because I really have no idea what the outcome will be. It’s like putting a puzzle together without knowing what the picture is!

color in motion
Wizards Window

Color in Motion was Janets first Etsy sale

2. Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

I find inspiration all around me. In the color and texture of everything I see in nature, other forms of art, and even pictures in mail order catalogs. To see what I mean, check out this blog post.

Rustic Art Panel

3. Do you change designs as you go?

Unless I’m doing a custom piece that has to meet specific criteria, changing a design in the midst of making the art is pretty much a part of the creative process. That’s why I enjoy making my own designs. I do use patterns from books for things like dogs and birds. Sadly, I’m not that kind of artist. But when I do use someone else’s pattern I usually modify it in some way to make it more what I want.

4. Do you have a process for choosing glass types and colors?

That’s an interesting question. When I have a design on paper, something somewhat traditional, I choose the glass based on the design. But a lot of the time I create the design based on the glass that appeals to me at the time.

Fly Fisherman Pencil Holder
Dimensional Butterfly Ring

5. Do you prefer the freedom of creating your own designs or do you prefer doing custom work for people?

I really prefer the freedom of creating my own designs, but there is also a lot of satisfaction in pleasing someone by fulfilling their vision. I’m fortunate in that much of the time I do custom work where the client gives me some idea of what they want,

but they don’t have anything concrete. So I still have quite a bit of freedom. And at the best of times I’ll get a client that just wants “something” which can also be a bit daunting. Recently a lady sent me a pile of dirty and broken old stained glass with the request that I make something new with it. You can see the dirty pile and the finished piece here.

Church Glass Adventure

6. Do you prefer small pieces or large windows?

I guess I prefer smaller pieces. I must have a desire for instant gratification. I have done some larger pieces, but they worry me. Also, I have a limited work space that really does inhibit my ability to work on anything very big! If you’d like to see my studio..

My Studio

7. Most of the calls I get about stained glass are people wanting repairs, do you do that kind of work?

I have done repairs, both on pieces I originally made for someone and pieces that were not made by me. It is satisfying to complete a repair job and also a challenge.
I try not to make it a habit, as my time is very limited and I would rather be making something new!

8. How long did it take to perfect your art?

I think I’m still in the process of trying to perfect it! But I’d say that it probably took a couple of years, working at it on the weekends in my spare time, to feel some real confidence in my abilities. And it continued from there.

9. What piece are you most proud of?

That’s a tough question! I have some favorites, but I guess the one I’m most proud of is the Braddock Church glass that I referred to in question 5. Not because of the visual effect of the art, but because of the story behind it, and how much it meant to the people there.

10. What effect would you like your artwork to have on people?

I want my artwork to be pleasing, to stimulate your visual sensibilities. I want it to add to the beauty of your surroundings, to give you visual pleasure each day. I really want you to think it’s cool, like I do!

Moon Dreams
Tiny Window

11. Tell us how you got started in to stained glass.

In 2002, I was itching for some new creative outlet. I had been doing needlework, making jewelry, and whatever other crafty things I could find to do. I looked around for classes in any medium that I hadn’t tried. It came down to stained glass or throwing pottery, and the pottery thing seemed like it would get pretty messy. I took a beginning stained glass class at the local shop, bought the basic tools, and started my most excellent adventure! Then, 7 years later, my sister told me about Etsy, where artists and crafters have the opportunity to open a shop to sell their work. I opened my Etsy shop on the last day of August, 2009. It’s been a challenge to work at Fed Ex full time, and maintain New Moon Glass, but I have a five year plan that I hope will allow me to retire and pursue my passion in glass full time.

Autumn Ring
Swirling Heart

At the time of this writing Janet has 40 items for sale on her etsy site. Please take a moment to look at her wonderful art glass. Janet’s Etsy Shop
All photographs Copyright Janet Hill 2010

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