Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Artist Interview with Sarah James

By Nicole Wilkinson
Today I had the pleasure of interviewing glass jewelry artist, Sarah James. As a local artist, Sarah has traveled all over the United States taking classes from world renowned torch glass sculpture artists known as lamp workers. She has taken classes from Lea Fairbanks in California, classes in Asheville, NC and from Lauren Stump, "King of Torch work Sculptures". Sarah has attended 8-10 classes where she has learned different techniques from large scale torch work artists. She then comes home and hones the technique into her own, applying what she learned to bead making and turning each bead into a miniature sculpture.

Sarah spends her days taking care of her family and working with her husband's building business. Her family is her number one priority and after dinner, she often gets to spend time in her studio working on new pieces. Even though she is running her children to sports practice and back and forth from school, she finds time to spend 20-30 hours a week in her studio.

For fifteen years, Sarah has been creating glass beads. Before that, she was a stained glass artist that naturally progressed to slump glass and then learned what she could do with a torch. After a fusing workshop using a flame, she was hooked. I asked her what inspires her and she said the ocean. The water, the fluid motion, much like hot molten glass, makes me understand her medium of choice. Anyone who meets Sarah quickly picks up on her fluid, laid back, easy-going personality. The tranquil nature of her mannerisms resonates with the liquid glass and the flowing ocean. Sarah is one with her medium and her surroundings. By living at the beach, and vicariously existing through her medium, one could say that Sarah has truly found home.

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