Background: Cheryl is a retired elementary school teacher of thirty years. She received her BA from Parson College, Fairfield, IA, and a Master Degree from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. During her studies at George Mason, she became interested in teaching gifted and talented students specializing in creative and critical thinking and problem solving skills. Creating curriculum which integrated visual and performing arts with all academics became a goal of hers.
After retiring from teaching and attending classes at the Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, Virginia, her interest changed to the creative arts. She enjoyed learning watercolor and drawing techniques; however, lampwork classes challenged and interested her artistic ability. Practicing lampwork began with making glass beads in her garage. Her world of creating colorful glass beads changed quickly when the Workhouse Art Center opened in 2008 where she has continued to take classes. Besides the well-known national artists who have come to teach at the Workhouse Ats Center, she has traveled across the country to take lampwork classes at other art centers.
Influences: Cheryl is inspired by the patterns and the use of layering colors in textiles, ceramics, and everyday objects. But most of all she is inspired by glass artists and instructors at the Workhouse Art Center and at other national glass art centers. “As with any art,” she summarizes, “it’s all about experimenting with new techniques and problem solving which often leads to new designs. Learning is the key whether it’s from observations of everyday objects, other artists, or self discovery.”
“Lampworking is a creative, challenging, and enjoyable visual art. Being apart of an art community like the Workhouse Art Center, offers an opportunity to learn, share ideas, and develop as a visual artist.”
Artistic Philosophy: Just like in a painting or sculpture, the elements of art can be used in glass beads to draw in the viewer. She sees a plain glass bead as a surface to apply the elements of art. Application of layering colors, swirling frit, laying down a stringer, pressing in a design, masking dots, and changing form and shape, all lead to creating a design on glass. As with all visual arts, a simple bead can become enhanced by changing the color, line, shape, texture, space, and form.