Artists In The Garden V: Barbara Koteles of Glorious Glass Garden
Welcome to the fifth of a series of interviews about artists who garden. Today's interview will be with Barbara Koteles of Glorious Glass Garden, a glass artist.
1. What is your art, hobby or craft? How did you come to creating it?
My 24/7 job is teaching design and Art History, and my hobby/craft is fusing glass.
About 10 years ago, I began to hear about artists fusing glass using kilns. Our school had a kiln and scrap glass, so I experimented--unsuccessfully. Then I obtained a grant to go to Portland to a Hot Glass Horizons workshop, where I got it all figured out! Well, sort of...I've been fusing ever since, mostly experimental pieces.
2. What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is the unknown--I've fused a dollar bill between two pieces of glass, toothpaste, orange peel, pebbles, dried leaves, etc.--and tried all sorts of techniques to reshape glass, often heating it up to 5 times for the final result.
3. How does your garden or nature influence your art?
One day I gazed upon my garden (one that had been planted by the previous owner) and realized that in an abstract way, the flowers and leaves were artistic elements, and the laws governing design could apply to them. The following Spring, I began researching the bloom time of certain flowers, and rearranged and added a few things so that I would have blooms from Spring through Fall. I planted flowers with tiny profuse blooms next to taller flowers with large single blooms, sorted the greens of the leaves, and finally arranged all for stepped heights. Of course, this took several years! Now I tweak the colors, but most everything else is done. Next Spring, I'm making another garden so I have something to do!
4. Will you share a picture or pictures of your favorite plant?
My favorite plant, this one is a peach colored hibiscus near the aqua butterfly feeder.
5. Do you have a favorite public garden to recommend?
I would recommend Kew Gardens in or near London, I believe, if you ever get the chance!
Barbara, I agree with you that Kew Gardens is a lovely garden to visit. I have added a personal photo of my 2006 trip to Kew and the Chihuly glass exhibit.
6. Do you have any photos of your art in the garden to share?
7. What is the best lesson you have learned from the garden or nature?
The best lesson I have learned from nature is patience!
8. Do you have a gardening tip to share with fellow gardeners?
My gardening tip: As I mentioned, my favorite plant is the hibiscus. HOWEVER, they attract Japanese beetles by the hundreds, which is a terrible problem. I read that the gardenia tree repels them, and I love the beautiful soft and creamy petals and the strong scent. I planted one this year, and it was the focal point of my garden! All my colorful feeders and bird baths look marvelous around it! There are drawbacks, though: in my zone, the tree has to be taken indoors, where it will bloom if there is a lot of light. It is a finicky plant to grow; at times my beautiful blooms fell off before they opened. See why gardening has taught me patience? LOL I may try again next year. At least I had barely any Japanese beetles, so that was good!
9. Show us your favorite item in your etsy shop.
Blue Finch Birdbath
10. Share a favorite item from another etsy shop.
Design by Irmae
Because it is sculpturally perfect, like a flower, it is this little black satin dress.
Click on photo for more information.
Barbara, I thank you for sharing your creative inspiration and glass creations with us!
Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment if you'd like and stay tuned for the next "Artists in the Garden" interview.