Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Linda Bjornson, Stained Glass.....interview by Joyce Oroz
Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Linda Bjornson….a talented stained glass artist and founder/president of the Aromas Hills Artisans in Aromas, California.
Linda, please tell us about yourself, how you got started in the stained glass business and how did you learn the process?
My love of color and design led me to stained glass. I was lucky enough to have art all through school and was an art major in college. I have worked in stained glass since 1979, so have gotten a lot of practice along the way. As I am drawing a new design, I am always thinking in terms of what glass would enhance the design the most.
I got my start in stained glass by taking a class. Stained glass requires
several skills and I would recommend starting by taking a class as a good way to avoid frustration or some frustration anyway.
After getting a feel for the constraints involved in working with glass, I started designing for glass. After working up some of my new patterns into glass and with my heart in my throat I took them to a local store, the Craft Gallery, in Capitola where I lived at the time. And to my delight they bought them. That turned out to be my best account during the time I was selling to stores. As time went by and people saw my work, I started getting requests for custom work. They went along the lines of -
" I saw this window of yours I really like in a store, but I would like it bigger for our entry"
( bathroom, bed room, etc.) Then I started working with contractors like Paul Mahus, who I still work with today. From contractors to interior designers and the rest is history……………………
I have seen some of your exquisite work in person. These pictures are lovely. Can you tell us about them?
The first photo of the dolphin and me is one of my favorite recent photos of myself as I have done many stained glass creations that feature dolphins and I am often inspired by nature.
I was fortunate to be chosen the first Artist in Residence at the Pinnacles National Monument on the Park's Centennial year in 2008. I created the window "Return of the Condor" on a picnic table outside the little cabin I got to stay in. I demonstrated for the public and answered their questions at the Nature Center one weekend and at the Visitor Center the following weekend. The stained glass condor now hangs at the visitor center at the Pinnacles.
My "Koi and Dragonfly" window uses a fused glass koi created for me by Susan Bradshaw of Woventime studio. I drew the koi I wanted to size and with some ideas for coloring and she created it for me. It made the koi so fluid and somewhat rounded as well. A great effect. It opens up new possibilities to incorporate fused glass with stained glass. More of this work can be seen on my website. www.LBGLASSART.com
The last photo I've included is one of a pair recently created to enhance a view and to have flowers in bloom all year round. I have often done windows that allow the desirable part of the view to be seen while possibly screening for privacy or to exclude a less desirable view.
Linda, please explain your connection with the Aromas Hills Artisans?
I am a founding member and President of the Aromas Hills Artisans. This is a lively group of very diverse artists in many media who have formed an art non-profit to support, educate and enrich the lives of our community. We have events through the year that we sponsor or support. Aromas Country Garden Tour in the spring (the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend) that features Artists in the Gardens, Aromas Day at the end of August where the town of Aromas closes down the streets and has a party!
Go to……. www.Aromasday.com ……..for more info., Autumn Art at the end of October, where member artists give free workshops to the public, and Holiday Art Festival, the weekend before Thanksgiving where you can do all your holiday present shopping.
Go to the Artisan website for more details….. www.aromashillsartisans.org........
Linda, as a Master Gardener, tell us about your beautiful garden and pond.
I love to garden and our flower garden is another chance to use color and texture. We dug our own koi pond and as soon as we filled it with water Dragonflies appeared as if by magic! As you can see--that led to
stained glass inspiration.
Thank you, Linda, for your time. I am in awe of your talents and wish you well in all your endeavors.