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Life & Work with Erin Glassworks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Glassworks.

Hello Erin Glassworks, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I learned how to do stained glass in high school, and fell in love with the medium.

It was something I knew I wanted to do, but without a studio space of my own, I couldn’t continue working. Despite this, I went out and purchased a box of small sample glass squares, and left it in my parent’s garage as a reminder that this was something I was going to be able to do again someday.

Late in 2019, the sample box served its purpose and I invested in second-hand tools and set up a small workspace. I relearned the craft of the snake design that went on to inspire my logo. February of 2020, I started Erin Glassworks, and it began to blossom as I found my creative voice.

As of Summer, 2021, I am doing stained glass art full time!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I never thought I would do stained glass as my full-time job. It is an art that I love, and unfortunately requires quite expensive tools and materials, so I started selling it to fund my hobby.

My little side business grew, and being someone who likes to be busy all of the time, I kept investing in it while working full-time managing a commercial fish house in Madeira Beach. In the spring of 2021, I was hurt on the job and as a result, ended up leaving my day job.

I was fortunate to have my small side glass art business to fall back on but ultimately planned to find another job because the thought of supporting myself with art made me nervous.

Despite that, I decided to give it a year and see what would happen, and so far it has been a blessing to wake up and do what I love every day (yes, I’m even thankful for all of the boring stuff that goes into a small business because it means I am still able to work for myself!).

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My work is inspired by nature, and the world around me. My focus turns toward the more unusual themes. I create a lot of work with snakes, and insects, with a lot of it coming from the Florida wildlife, which I now call home.

While stained glass is a very traditional medium, and the technique remains the same, I consider my work to be modern stained glass- fun and whimsical, playing with color, texture, and design, but still rooted in the history of this art. I am most proud of my piece titled Florida Natives which is on display in the Imagine Glass Museum in St. Pete.

It is a big piece I made on a time crunch to apply for their call to artists the theme is endangered and threatened animals from Florida and it is my first piece in a museum!

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I am usually listening to the Ologies podcast by Alie Ward while I work in the studio!

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