Carol Wood loves working with glass. So much so that she’s turned the basement of her north Derby home into a working glass art studio.
The result of hours of work in the studio are unique pieces of art, with a rainbow of colors and medley of shapes.
For Wood, who has been working at the undertaking for about 10 years, it’s not just about a having a simple hobby; it provides a lot of meaning in her life.
“Since my husband passed away, it gives me something to do,” she said. “It gives me a reason to get up in the morning and get going.”
She relishes the process of seeing glass turn from a simple, flat surface into creative – and useful – forms, and takes special joy in watching the way light dances off the myriad of colors.
Wood has only lived in Derby for six months, but had visited it previously. She moved here last fall from Santa Rosa, Calif., to be closer to her family.
As she put it: “Your kids are a powerful force.”
Son Tom and daughter-in-law Laura live in Derby and helped her set up the glass studio.
Along with raising her family, the 79-year-old Wood had a career as an English and drama schoolteacher.
Now retired, she has the time to dedicate to her art. Her well-laid out studio has storage space and a glass-cutting area, along with the stars of the show: two kilns. One is 120 volts, the other a 220-volt version, and both, she admits, can be costly to run.
It’s one of the reasons why she’s exploring the business side of glass art.
“It’s a hobby but if I can make enough money to cover my expenses, it will be good,” she said.
Cutting in a variety of ways
She also has taken out a Derby business license and a company name, Grand Glass, so she can buy her glass at wholesale rates.
The glass she uses is specially made, and is not like ordinary window glass, as it has to be able to take both heat and cold.
Wood also uses a type of glass known as dichroic which, under certain lighting conditions and angles, displays two different colors.
“It’s an expensive glass, but it adds a lot of charm,” Wood said.
One of the many attractions she has to glass are the endless variety of patterns and colors it offers.
And, since she’s now in Kansas, she wants to do works related to her new home, such as incorporating sunflowers into them.
Glass can be cut in a variety of ways, she said. After all these years of working with it, Wood is skilled with cutting glass just right – and using a tool to smooth its edges.
Nothing goes to waste with Wood as she finds ways to use every piece of glass in one creation or another.
Wood is going to explore local art shows to see what else is offered. Her hope is to be able to sell some of her creations.
She wants to sell her smaller creations in the $15-20 range and larger pieces in the $50-60 price level, which are lower than the prices she had in more…