For glass lovers, especially Hoosier glass lovers, owning a piece of the storied St. Clair glass might be enough inspiration to explore the craft. For Liz Perr-McColm, it was meeting Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s living greats in fused glass art, that pushed her over the edge.
“I received a piece of St. Clair glass as a wedding gift, and I was determined to have my own fused glass studio one day,” Liz says. “Then I met Dale Chihuly on one of his visits to Columbus, Indiana, and not more than a year later I was in a fused glass course at the Garfield Arts Center.”
In the meantime, she was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer, survived chemo and radiation, then decided to take early retirement as a graphic designer and pursue the art of fused glass full time. She was waiting on the outcome of her treatments when she applied to Indiana Artisan, and she got good news about both at nearly the same time.
“I consider myself extremely fortunate to be physically able to pursue my art and to have applied to Indiana Artisan,” Liz says. “To quote my oncologist ‘The universe must have something else in store for you. You are in the top one percent survival rate for this type of cancer.’”
Liz constantly experiments with different techniques and color combinations, and she believes the use of eye-catching color is just as important as composition.
“The endless combinations of glass color inspire me, and while the techniques used in fusing glass are endless, I use a screen melting technique and my own form of Pate de Verre, or glass paste,” she explains.
The result is always colorful and oftentimes lifelike and decorative in a way that is unusual for glasswork.
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