Washington City woman creates unique art from fused glass – St George News

0

WASHINGTON-From stained glass designs to night lights and framed glass art, one woman is using her talent and creativity to create one-of-a-kind pieces right in her garage.

Nan Johnson stands in her garage studio holding one of her artwork, Washington, Utah, October 5, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“I have this love affair with glass. I buy more glass and just have to look at it and hold it up to the light. It’s so much fun,” said Nan Johnson, owner of Ruby’s Glass Studio.

Johnson is not new to the art world. Before computers and printers, she created posters for people as well as hand-painted storefronts. She also enjoyed the art of crocheting, sewing, creating silk flower arrangements and more. After her children grew up, she decided it was time to pursue something she had always loved – stained glass. She took a course from a local artist, Julie Dumas, which opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.

One of Johnson’s first was a stained glass heart with a dog’s paw in the center. She gave them to her dog-loving friends as well as a Woof Center employee who took care of her dog. The employee showed others and as word spread, she was asked to sell her art at Dewey’s Dog Treats in St. George. The bakery owner suggested she also sell her wares at the St. George Downtown Farmers Market. Hesitant at first, she decided to take the plunge and was shocked at the support she received from the community.

Ruby’s Glass Studio officially started in 2016 and is named after its Bernese Mountain Dog Ruby, who faced a tragic death the same year. In her shop, she focused on making smaller items, as large stained glass can be expensive and out of reach for most people.

Nan Johnson's glass art sits inside an oven in her garage in Washington, Utah on October 5, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Nan Johnson’s glass art sits inside an oven in her garage in Washington, Utah on October 5, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“I would do things that people can afford and still have a piece of that ancient art of stained glass,” she said.

Her daughter gave her a small kiln and encouraged her to add molten glass to her craft, which she does today. She has since bought a bigger oven and other machines. With the support of her friends, family, husband, and Kat Puzey, owner of the downtown Modern Farm and Artisan Co-op market, she decided to open her own shop on Etsy.

The glass used in her art comes from a variety of sources, including other artists, such as an artist in Croatia who provides swirled glass that she is unable to make in her own kilns. Glass varies from sheets to crushed glass powder – which is mixed with water, frozen, placed in molds and in the kiln to create dimensional objects.

Christmas night light designs by Ruby's Glass Studio are featured, Washington, Utah, October 5, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
Christmas night light designs by Ruby’s Glass Studio are featured, Washington, Utah, October 5, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Johnson said there was process and preparation included in each of his plays. Starting from sheets of glass that are cut to create strips, she cuts the glass into small squares. The edges of the glass are then cut to create designs such as individual petals for flowers.

“Basically, it’s about taking everything apart and putting everything back together,” Johnson said.

Once the designs are assembled, she uses a touch of glue and hairspray to hold the design in place. The finalized piece then goes through the kiln, which fuses the glass together. Each of the pieces is one of a kind and designed from scratch with its own ideas.

From California poppy to whimsical Christmas designs, Ruby’s Glass Studio currently offers 24 different night light designs, each offering the option of LED or incandescent lights. It also manufactures framed artwork, ornaments and business card holders. New ideas are constantly forming and she frequently adds new designs.

A variety of glasses sit on a shelf inside Nan Johnson's glass studio in Washington, Utah on October 5, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News
A variety of glasses sit on a shelf inside Nan Johnson’s glass studio in Washington, Utah on October 5, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“It’s just so much fun and fun that I do,” Johnson said. “Sometimes I wake up at night and think of something else I can create. So I get up and come here. My husband knows if I’m not in bed, this is where I am. .

To learn more about Ruby’s Glass and place an order, visit her online Etsy store. Buy his glass artwork in person at his display inside the downtown MoFACo store.

“I have to follow my heart and love what I do,” she said. “After all, there is a bit of my heart in everything I do.”

Photo gallery

Copyright St.George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

Share.

Comments are closed.