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Glassworks Northwest

Kristi Thorndike-Kent

"Why ornaments? December was always my favorite month of the year, with all of the excitement and promise of Christmas, decorating the house and baking all kinds of cookies. It is difficult to find quality, handcrafted ornaments of any kind that are made in the USA. And, being from Washington state -- the glass mecca of the United States -- I wanted to bring affordable art glass to the average person in the US."

Kristi has loved glass for many years (looks like candy!) so when she needed a creative outlet in 2006 she found a shop, bought some glass and some tools and got busy playing. She donates both her work (for fundraisers) and a portion of all sales to the local Humane Society and no-kill shelters to help animals in need. She was recently named "Artist of the Year" by Made in Washington stores, which carries a large variety of Kristi's fused-glass creations.

It wasn't more than a month later that she decided she needed a kiln so she could play with melting glass. She immersed herself in books and DVDs, and went online and combed websites for technical information. She also took some classes at the glass shop in Seattle and from some of the best artists in the business in Las Vegas. She tried mosaic, stained glass and fused techniques, and fell in love with fused glass.

She designs and forms each item with great attention to detail to ensure it is of the highest quality. She starts by sketching an idea on paper, then she selects the colors, cuts the glass to size and shape with a variety of glass-cutting tools, assembles/decorates the piece and fires it. Pieces are often fired to different temperatures or fired multiple times to get the right look. The pieces are then finished by adding ribbon, copper wire, a metal stake, etc. so they are ready to hang or display.