Helen's studio is attached to her private residence in Denver. She has four kilns of varying sizes; the largest being 30"X 60". (The picture shows the Big Bertha kiln with a custom range back splash laid out before firing.) The studio is well equipped with diamond grinders, wet belt sanders, glass saws, a sandblaster, a compressor, a mig welder and a plasma torch. Helen's husband is as big a toolaholic as she is; the only difference is he likes to shop! Helen gets the benefit because he scours CraigsList and gets amazing deals. Helen might ask for a particular diamond blade for the tile saw or need to know what reach the drill press has. Her husband built a large 4' by 8' workbench with interior shelves, which gets used daily for cutting and assembly. She also built a wall of narrow shelves to house almost 100 pound jars of frit, which is powdered glass. During the summer Helen can be found outside with a wet grinder polishing the edges of the glass. It is cold work and she likes to stack the pieces up so she can finish them when it's nice and sunny.
Helen is lucky that she has a large glass wholesale company within five miles of the house, which is a huge advantage for custom and creating new ideas and color palettes. A quick trip and she can have new colors and samples kiln-fired and ready for shipping to a client within a few days.
The studio has great French doors opening onto the rear flower garden. The dogs (Merlin and Chance in the photo) and cat like to sleep in the studio, as it is usually toasty warm, sunny and also has in-floor radiant heat. In winter the cat sleeps under the large kiln in the chandelier mold where the dogs cannot get at him and he can enjoy the peace and warmth.
Like most artists, Helen has a lot of home gallery items. These items are samples or ones that do not pass the QC test. Her house is known as the glass house because she has created unique sculptural displays in the yard showcasing some of her designs.
Helen hopes you enjoy the website and fused glass photos. Many of the pieces shown in the website are available in the galleries. Some are custom pieces, which she hopes will get your ideas flowing if you have a spot in your house that needs a little something special.