Kathleen D. Curwen
I began my career in biochemistry and worked for many years in medical research and academia. Fifteen years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn the art of stained glass. I found a wonderful mentor who took me under her wing and taught me how to work in the medium. While I began working in the field as a creative outlet, for the last ten years I have devoted myself to working in glass on a full-time basis. Starting with an image – real or imagined – and transforming that image into glass gives me great joy. I never design or build a piece that I would not be happy to hang in my own home.
I design patterns in a variety of styles including Victorian, abstracts, geometrics, depictions of plants, birds, wildlife, and whimsical pieces that include shells and sliced agate geodes or antique plates. I also repurpose antique frames and windows to frame my works. I often use a circular diamond saw to cut background glass into complex shapes to eliminate solder lines that might detract from the ascetics of a piece.
I am drawn to stained glass as a medium because it allows me to use both color and texture in my work. What kind of glass will simulate the movement of water as a loon swims through a lake? Can I choose a piece of glass that will look like lace in a Valentine? How do I create an image that will look like snow falling on birch trees or rain falling on pussy willows? Can I depict a hummingbird in flight? For me, there is nothing quite like creating a glass image through which light flows, bringing that image to life.