Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mary Winsett

Fabulous Fusions of Color & Pattern in Fused Glass Art...
Art Masterfully Made to Wear, to Use, to Light & Display.

Artist: Mary Winsett
Expertise: Fused Glass
Additional Talents: Ceramics, Printmaking & Paper Goods, Crafting
Materials: Glass, Cutters & Saw, Kiln, Sandblaster, Fiber Paper, Jewelry & Belt Fittings
Style: Abstract Patterns of Complementary Colors
Inspiration: Art from Around the World & Across the Ages
Common Creations: Plates & Platters, Light Fixtures, Belt Buckles, Jewelry
Home Base: Austin, TX
Spotted: Personal Connection

I owe much of my knowledge and appreciation of art to my mother, local Austin hobby artist Mary Winsett. Her natural talent for a wide range of techniques and passion for creating meant that I was introduced to crafting at an early age. Our after school activities ranged from painting, drawing and watercolor to ceramics, jewelry making and paper mâché. Over the years, I've grow up watching her learn new specialties and build upon her skill set. I've always loved her openness to try her hand at new art forms, but currently she has found a very fitting home in Fused Glass. She can make anything from pieces you wear to pieces for display. Lucky for us as her family, every gift giving occasion is a new reveal of what she's been working on with belt buckles for the guys, matching earrings and pendants for us girls, plates and platters for the chefs among us and of course, a few custom decorative works for special events. I'm excited to see when this favorite artist of mine extends her talent to reaching a wider audience through selling her craft.

Thanks to my personal connection with this artist, I've learned a lot about her approach. Glass art is a balance of Science, Skill and Safety with Vision, Exploration and Creativity. When working with heat, whether a blowtorch - Blown Glass, or kiln - Fused Glass, you never know how a creation is going to come out. And yet, for many glass artists like Mary, that is one of the greatest appeals. You combine colors to create patterns and designs, but you have to be open to what the fire yields. My mom often uses processes like pot melts and pattern bars to produce one of a kind pieces of glass with unpredictable lines, spots and swirls of color that are then cut and used to create each final work. As with many crafts, there are a lot of steps involved, but the final product is always worth it. From cutting and arranging layers of raw glass to several kiln firings to last touches for refined edges and matte or shiny finishes, each phase is important in its own right. I have always admired the vision, creativity and dedication that my mom exhibits. I hope you enjoy her work as much as we all do!

Photography by Annie Winsett