A Serendipitous Art
Artist Profile — Joan Rosen
Sometimes a change for the worse ends up for the better. Northern Californian Joan Rosen was a dedicated white-collar worker for years. “I worked in the corporate world all of my life and when I started having health issues I couldn’t do the 9-5 thing any longer,”
Joan said it was a blessing in disguise. “I went to a craft fair and saw the amazing dichroic glass pendants that were being sold,” said Joan. “I fell in love with dichroic glass immediately.”
Joan dove in. “I researched fusing glass and I read everything I could get my hands on.”
She’s fervently crafted fused glass for the past four years. “I am a self-taught glass artist and have found my passion in working in art glass,” said Joan.
The craft-fair jewelry led to another idea. “I started with jewelry and thought of ‘jewelry’ for the home,” said Joan. Then tiles for walls, floors, countertops and swimming pools led to gems in the form of cabinet knobs and pulls.
What does she enjoy about crafting art glass? “The color, the fluidity, the uniqueness, the idea of melting glass and creating something so beautiful….” Color is key for Joan. “Color has a profound influence on how people feel each day,” she said.
Joan told me about the process of creating the custom glass knobs that she often color-matches to a fabric or a piece of granite for a homeowner, designer or architect.
“The first part of creating a set of knobs is to listen to what my client wants,” said Joan. “Then I find the glass, cut the glass, create the design, and then fire it in the kiln at approximately 1500 degrees.”
“Some designs will take three or more firings. Each firing takes about 10 hours and has to cool slowly. I wait until the next morning to remove the knobs from the kiln. It’s a wonderful surprise every time I open the kiln in the morning. So beautiful, sometimes it actually brings tears to my eyes.”
Joan admires many glass artists, but mentioned one standout. “Chihuly’s glass work is amazing and takes my breath away.”
Joan credits her sister for inspiration and the Internet for helping her learn how to make and sell her fused glass to people from all over the world. She markets her art glass through her Web site, Uneek Glass Fusions, and through her two Etsy shops:
Although Joan didn’t really choose to leave the corporate world, she wouldn’t go back.
“This has become my full time work,” she said. “I don’t consider it work though; it’s what I love doing, it’s my passion.”