Annapolitan Gayla Lee fell in love with glass at the age of 8 when she saw a glass blower a local Renaissance Faire. "I was fascinated by the heat, drama and energy of the process." she says. "I said, 'I'm going to do that." And so she did.
At 20 Gayla began an apprenticeship with Baltimore glassblower Anthony Corradetti. It was the beginning of a lifelong quest to learn about something that she describes this way - "Glass takes over your life," she says. "It's an addiction. It takes years and years before you can produce anything good, but it never ever gets boring."
She apprenticed with Corradetti for 4 years. During that time she worked her way up, learning new skills and teaching the basics to students in trade for time to do her own work. In 2003 she began to attend glass working classes at the Corning Museum of Glass. "I loved it," she says. "I knew I had to go back as much as I possibly could." In 2005 Gayla spent a summer at the Corning Museum teaching the public about glassblowing and returns several times a year to teach classes in glassblowing and kiln-working.
In the fall of 2005 Gayla became the primary assistant to Anthony Corradetti and worked with him for the next 4 years. During this time she was able to further refine her skills. Soon after, she bought her own kiln and began working more intensely with kiln-formed glass.
In 2010 Gayla left Corradetti's studio to pursue her own work full time. She was an Artist-in-Residence at Corning Museum of Glass in May of 2010 and exhibited at the Baltimore American Craft Council Show in 2010, 2011, and 2012. In the spring of 2011 she re-started the glass program at Maryland Hall where she shares her knowledge and enthusiasm for glass.
My fused glass work begins with colored sheet glass that is cut into pieces, assembled into my design, and fired in a kiln at about 1500 degrees F. In some pieces I also hand emboss copper foil and encase it between layers of glass. After the initial firing, the glass is heated again at a lower temperature over a mold to give it shape. My jewelry also begins with sheet glass. I cut and assemble it into a block or slab that is designed to be viewed in cross section. I fuse those pieces together to get a solid piece of glass with my design inside. Next I take the block to a glassblowing studio and I heat it up again. There I can use the fluidity of the glassblowing process to manipulate the block in a variety of ways. I can swirl, twist, stretch and fold the glass to alter the pattern inside. After the glass has cooled it can be cut into slices, called murrine, to reveal the cross section. Each murrine is then ground and polished before it is used in jewelry. While the process yields multiple murrine, the pattern varies through each bar, so no two pieces are exactly alike.
CLASSES & TEACHING SCHEDULE
I currently teach for the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY, and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis MD. My upcoming classes are:
Corning Museum of Glass
Introduction to Small Kiln Cast Glass
May 4 - 5, 2013
Fusing Flameworking Crossover
May 11 - 12, 2013
Geometric Patterns in Glass
July 29 - August 3, 2013
Glass Fusing 1
Tuesdays & Thursdays;
June 4 - June 20th
Fused Glass Dish
Glass Pattern Bars
July 20 - 27th
Introduction to Glass Fusing
Glass Pins, Pendants and Earrings
My work can be found at the following shops and galleries:
Glassmarket at the Corning Museum of Glass
One Museum Way
Corning NY 14830
The Glass Menagerie
37 East Market Street
Corning NY 14830
Artist Colony at the Greenbrier Resort
300 W. Main St
White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
For prices and ordering information please email me at :
Wholesale inquiries welcome.