Octopus suncatcher by Bradshaw. Photo courtesy of Bradshaw and Woven Time
One featured artist on the First Friday Art Walk crafts marine creatures out of glass – orange octopuses with dotted white suckers along curled limbs, green trout with brown stripes along their sides, and blue and yellow tuna.
Those are just some of the suncatcher designs by Washington-based artist, Susan Bradshaw. She says her son and his family live in Kodiak and connected her with the Frame Shop, which will feature her art this week. She credits him for also encouraging her marine-themed art. At least indirectly.
“Corey surfed when he was a teenager and drew me to the ocean, and I learned very much to like water and watching that water move and waves and wildlife.”
She says she wanted to be a marine biologist when she was younger, although she chose zoology instead, and says living on the coast in California also directed her art focus towards sea-based creatures. Bradshaw says she started fusing glass in 2005 and felt comfortable enough in 2007 to take her work to street shows and fairs. She now sells to retail buyers.
Bradshaw says it’s always a delight to see how the glass interacts, and it takes a bit of practice to get one design right.
“It probably takes four or five making runs where I make four or five at a time, and that would probably take about a month to bring in a new image to what I like. The octopus took longer. One of my favorite images is the octopus, and the Frame Shop is carrying that, and to reach what the octopus image in my mind was like took a couple of years actually.”
The method is a bit like making a sandwich.
“I have two layers of glass cut to shape and between those two layers of glass, I put powdered glass, crushed glass which they call frit. To make the image, it goes on a kiln shelf and goes into a kiln where it’s fired into one piece of glass. So, the imagery does float between the two layers of glass and it’s all melted together.”
You can swing by the Frame Shop Friday between 5 and 7 p.m. to see Bradshaw’s work. The store will also provide light refreshments.