Jackie Steimke

The Art of Glass by Jackie
Handcrafted Fused Glass Items
Jackie Steimke

I am married and live in Glendale, Ca. My husband and I were born in this city. After marriage we moved away but eventually we came back.
I am a semi retired R.N. I stopped working full time in 2006 but keep my skills up as an independent contractor for a long term care insurance company. It allows me the freedom to choose my own hours and spend time with my passion: glass.
I do all my work out of my home studio and sell at various venues.

I got into glass fusing by accident. Around Jan of 2004, my husband and I were in Stained Glass Supplies in Eagle Rock to pick out some stained glass for a window. While there I noticed a flyer that the shop was having a beginners fusing class. I asked what that was and got talked into the class. Well I have been hooked ever since. I went from making very small pieces of jewelry and taking them to the shop to get fired, to now having not 1 kiln but 2. One is for smaller pieces and the other is for my large ones.
I have taken over my husband’s garage and our dining room is now my studio. I’m surprised I’m still married as he tells everyone he has no room anymore to work on any of his projects. I’m thinking of asking him to leave his truck outside so I could get another kiln called a “bathtub kiln”. (Yeah it is VERY large) however I’m sure that would definitely mean a divorce so I will have to come up with another idea.

I fuse 2 or more pieces of different colored glass together. They are fired in a kiln to high temperatures approximately 1500-1700 plus degrees, so they are perfectly food safe.
There are a variety of different shapes and forms I use. I make bowls, platters, vases, and jewelry. There are some that are quite large and have a free form look, others come in different sizes.

I go to the glass supplier with some modem of a plan in mind, however when I get there I go nuts. There are so many different color combinations to choose! I tend to go overboard
much to my husbands chagrin; but he’s a good sport. I couldn’t do it without him as he has the truck and the sheets of glass are very delicate and large.
Now on to the procedure: example of a bowl: I choose the colors (may be several different colors cut into different shapes or just 1 or 2) the bottom piece is the colored or patterned glass, is then cut into a circle. Then a clear piece is cut into a circle. They are then placed one on top of the other and fired in the kiln for approximately 7 hrs. When cooled the fused piece is put into a bowl mold. It is then fired again for approximately 5-7 hours. There are several variations of this I do but this is a good example.
I think the most fun of this is the planning and the putting together of the glass into some pattern I have chosen. The boring part is putting it in the kiln. When I am almost finished cutting and piecing I am already planning on the next piece.


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