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April Sanford - May 2024

What draws you to your specific/preferred medium?

My affinity for glass has a long history. I am well known by friends and family to be drawn to pieces while browsing antique stores, thrift stores and even on the side of the road (Pull the car over! I NEED to see this....) I have a growing vintage mason jar collection that I am proud of. Before diving into the world of stained glass specifically, I have enjoyed many fiddly crafts and projects such as crochet/knitting, puzzles and dabbling in needlework. When it occurred to me to put these passions together, I found what brings me joy.

Where do you draw inspiration for your forms/designs?

Inspiration comes from nature, requests from others and whimsy (my favorite). I enjoy how stained glass can make a house feel like home, it gives a personal touch when included in decorating. My intent is to create designs that give that special and personal touch to give good vibes!

Where is your practice now, what is your focus, where is it growing?

My transom inspired pieces have been doing well and I continue to enjoy creating them.  I am beginning to find my way into 3D designs. I am thinking about business card holders and trinket boxes, maybe even spinners!

Who were your mentors or what resources did you use to learn your medium?

I didn't begin my practice with specific mentors in mind. The internet is vast and I found myself drawn to nature inspired stained glass. Now, I find that I have inspiration from several artists that have elevated nature inspired designs and are able to capture that magic through photos. 

I learned how to create stained glass through reading books, a splash of your tube and after I figured this is a medium I planned on sticking with for some time a local beginners class. 

What result can a finished piece or your process yield that makes you feel rewarded or proud?

There is nothing like the magic of seeing a piece find its home. I wish I could do it for free just to see this happen. It is difficult to describe beyond using the word "magic" because that is what it evokes.

What challenges does your medium or process present and how do you adjust for or react to those challenges as they arise?

Stained glass is expensive. There is no way around it. Each design takes hours, if not days, to create into a usable pattern. The pattern is used to make into a piece that is cut out of glass, foiled and soldered together, then cleaned and polished. 

Glass is notorious for being fragile, if a piece is dropped, there is a good chance it is cracked. While it is possible to repair stained glass, it may take just as many hours to repair as it did to create it from scratch.

How do community art spaces like Art Hub enhance your ability to make, distribute, and celebrate art?

Being able to be a part of Art Hub's gallery has given me confidence in my work. It is a special place for artists to show the range of angles and perspectives in which we see the world through our medium. I hope that I am able to inspire others that create work at Art Hub as I have drawn inspiration from them as well.

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