Want a recommendation of a great book to read?
Want to take riding lessons on a well-loved horse?
Want to learn about bravery and fortitude?
Want to learn to appreciate and make kiln-worked glass?
Call Robin G., a Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery member since 1990.
Robin started working with glass over 40 years ago, as a new mother, because shed always loved art, had been drawing all her life, and, she says, it was better than waitressing. She couldn’t afford to take a class, so she picked the brains of a friend who could, and started off her career as an upstart – making sun-catchers. She needed only a glass cutter, a pair of pliers, and a kitchen table, and got hooked, fascinated by the vital qualities of glass: its beauty, how it transforms with light, how it is always changing with the time of day, the weather, where it is placed.
Without much fuss she soon started a business in Crested Butte, Colorado, making stained glass windows, many of which she can still see as she wanders the towns streets. While she feels pride in these pieces, even stronger is the question that she asks herself of Who was that person who made those windows? Who was I then? What was she thinking and seeing?
Robin’s glasswork is constantly changing. Her designs are always new and very different from the ones before, and she is always experimenting. In the last several years she has started painting with glass paints on fused glass, and also using glass frits, which allow her to use her considerable drawing skills with much more freedom. Her secret is that she has no secrets, and when she teaches she communicates everything, from techniques to motivation, hoping that her experiences will inform others, and knowing that what comes honestly out of her will come out of no one else.
Robin’s abiding inspiration comes from what surrounds her. “Where I live now is so gorgeous,” (on 250 acres in the mountains above Lyons, Colorado), she says. “I am surrounded by horses in horse heaven, with all that space to run in and grass up to their backs.” Those horses, all seven of them, shape her days as she rides them, feeds them morning and evening, uses them to teach riding lessons, and dreams over them out of her studio window. She tells of a scene which inspired a recent glass piece called A Chat and Some Tea, when she looked out of her window to see 5 little birds sitting on her horses back, from which vantage point they could see the bugs in the grass. They’d hop down, eat the bugs and then back they’d jump, bouncing along as the horse trotted, looking for all the world like ladies gathered for a get-together. “That inspires me, and makes my heart flutter”, says Robin. Add this to the brave young artist who starts a glass studio with no money or experience, who looks beyond and deeper than appearances no matter how gorgeous or shiny.