Hello and thank you for visiting my AMusinGlass website!
Who I Am
My name is Pilisa Connor and I’ve been an artist all my life, working in various artistic mediums, including sewing, needlework, macrame, painting, card making, paper making, pottery, and jewelry making. However, once I found the medium of glass fusing, I also found my passion and I put some of that passion into every piece I create. In my studio, I use my time to create fused glass bowls, plates, tiles and jewelry. The magic of this process is all in the heat of the kiln. I’ll tell you more about how I create my glass in a minute.
Before I started my glass business, I had the good fortune to start a software business providing PC-based networking software with a few friends back in 1986. Seven years later, it went public and I was able to retire at age 33. After leaving the software business, I founded a non-profit foundation working with indigenous healers around the world. I also ran a retail craft supply store in Sedona for 4 years. In addition to being an artist, I am also a creativity coach and a healer.
What I Do
Back in 2006, I was working with and teaching about Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and was introduced to fused dichroic glass cabochons, which many artists were incorporating into their PMC pieces. They were beautiful, but very expensive. I learned that I could use the same kiln I was using for my PMC work to create my own cabochons in the colors I desired. After creating my first few, I was completely hooked.
I start with layers of transparent or opaque sheet glass, powdered glass (called frit), thin rods of glass (called stringers), as well as other inclusions such as pieces of glass pre-cut into shapes, millefiori (an Italian word for “thousand flowers”) slices, copper washers, or pieces of copper mesh cut into shapes. As I work on a piece, I create layers from these different types of glass and the inclusions, usually ending with a layer of clear glass on top. I use a variety of inclusions to add texture and excitement to my pieces. The heat of the kiln melts all the glass together to make a new thick piece of glass, called a blank.
These blanks are then laid over a mold which will give the piece its final shape. In a second firing in the kiln, the glass melts slowly into a mold during the process called slumping and then holds its new shape as it cools in the kiln. The end result is a bowl, plate, or tile. I have other molds that will produce things like spoon rests for the kitchen, business card holders for the office, incense burners for your altar, and other objects of home decor.
The way the heat of the kiln changes the glass and creates a unique piece every time is just magical. Creating fused glass work is rather different than blowing glass or working with a torch. When you fuse glass, you can’t see the piece as it is being created, since the magic happens within the kiln as it comes up to firing temperature and then cools. In addition to the artwork that I sell in my Etsy store, I also sell to galleries. I am willing to do custom work, if you are interested in specific color and inclusion combinations. Email me for more information on custom orders and pricing.
Why I Do It
Fused glass is my passion and despite the occasional kiln disaster – and I have had my share – I will always love working in glass. You never know what’s going to happen when you close the kiln door and turn it on. Opening the kiln door after a firing to see what happened to my pieces is a thrill that I doubt I’ll ever get tired of. The way people react when they see my finished pieces is fun for me to watch as well. Seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they look at the various materials and colors that are trapped in layers within the glass is yet another reward. With all of this fun going on, how could I stop?!
How To Contact Me
You can connect with me here on my blog and you can send me a note through my Contact page. You can also connect with me through various social media sites at Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and BranchOut. You can also check out lots of photos of my work on Flickr.