Tuesday, April 1, 2008

LEST Feature Artist Kari Carrigan

As a member of the LE Street Team I am going to feature a artist interview on the 1st of every month! This months feature artist is Kari Carrigan. Here's a little insight into Kari Carrigan of "Wee Gems".

How long have you been working with glass? I have been working with glass for 4 years now. My husband and I took a class together for our 10th Anniversary. I wish he would come out to the studio more often, but then again, that would mean less torch time for me!

What is your favorite thing about working with glass? I love the way that all stress seems to melt out of my body when I am working. I turn on the music or an audio book, and I can work for hours without realizing it! I have been known to run out to the torch to just pull stringers for a few minutes when I find myself getting stressed from the normal business of being a Mom to 4 kids. I light up the torch, and all seems well again. I think it is because of how hypnotic the glass can be. It is amazing to me that the solid rods become molten and with heat, tools, and a little imagination the glass will take on the form that I want for it. Okay, well most of the time it works that way, sometimes you have to follow the glass’s lead!

What's your favorite piece? I love florals and sparkle. I tend to kill the flowers in my yard even when I am trying hard not to. Luckily my black thumb seemingly has no effect on glass, as I am able to make them bloom in whatever shape or color I desire.

What's the hardest piece you've ever made? Hmmm, that is a hard question. I suppose it changes all the time. Whenever I try to push myself to try new techniques or ideas, they often don’t come easily. My angels and frogs are good examples of this. They were hard to make because they were different from what I was doing and what I was comfortable making. They pushed me to try different skills, and that is a good thing! Sometimes the hardest thing is getting over the mental block of believing I can’t do something. I didn’t think I could do frogs, I have wanted to for a few years, but was just too scared to try and fail. It took a friends suggestion, an hour or so of housecleaning to find the tutorial (why did I put the book on that shelf?), and finally a feeling of “why not just try” to get me to make my first frog. Now that is all I want to make! If everything came easily, there wouldn’t be a challenge or any way to grow as an artist.

Who do you admire in the glass world? There are so many! I have been fortunate enough to have taken classes from Larry Brickman, Kimberly Affleck, Stephanie Sersich, and Andrea Guarino who are wonderful teachers who not only just “teach” techniques, but rather share their passion for their art, pushing students to find their own voice in what they create. I also love the work of many other artists including Amy of AK Designs, Gelly , Amber of Naos Glass, Anastasia, Kristi Brokaw, and many more. That is what is so great about glass. We all use the same materials, but we each add our own vision and skills to the glass to make it our own.

What's your favorite inspirational saying? “The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do? Very fine and intricate stringer work. I just don’t have the patience needed to do the practice, practice, practice needed to get my skills to that level….yet.


Kari Carrigan said...

Thank you Nicole, It looks great!

Deborah Lambson said...

Great interview Nicole..I love these little windows into the artists world. I've noticed your work before Kari and will keep an eye out for you now. I love your wee gems!