Darleen Michael-Baker here, aka DarleenMB. I’m a little intimidated by the company I’ve been invited to keep but I’m going to set aside my feelings of insecurity and just jump right in!
Personal stuff first. I’m married to a wonderful man (say hello, Joe!) and we’ve been together a total of, let me see, 34 years. We dated for 2 years, lived together for 16, got married and HEY! We’re still together! No kids except the 4 footed variety, all of whom have wound themselves around our hearts and so we’ve spoiled them all rotten!
I’d been playing around with stained glass for about 15 years (this was in the mid-’90’s) when I started hearing rumblings about “beadmakers” and the crazy things they were doing. It sounded fun! So I checked all my suppliers catalogs, ordered up a kit from Ed Hoy’s and a video tape on making beads and proceeded to scare myself out of the whole concept.
The tape showed a woman (sorry I’ve forgotten who it was) holding a MAPP gas canister between her thighs while she made beads. I had visions of dropping hot glass in my lap, leaping up in screaming pain, the gas and lit torch rolling under the table and setting the house afire. Unhuh. Think I’ll pass, thank you very much.
Then we moved “out to the country” and Joe began converting the attached single car garage into studio space. I hadn’t worked with my glass for almost 2 years and the urge to melt glass came over me again so in 2001 I signed up to take a class from Ginny Sycuro in Denver.
And came home with brand new Minor burner, about 10 pounds of glass and a fire in my eye that has yet to go out.
I started out working in the garage because the new studio wasn’t done yet (you can visit my studio and see how it all came about by clicking here). I didn’t care as long as I could have some place to just PLAY!In looking back over my work I see that in the beginning I was just fearless. I’d try just about anything. Then I slipped into a rut. And ruts, for me, are death to my creative process. So when I found this group I thought WOW this could be a way to get out of the rut (which has gotten deeper the last year or so) and get my muse back!
I’m looking forward to sharing thoughts and ideas as I struggle to get back that desire to just play with the medium that I had in the beginning.
I won’t have much to share in the first couple of weeks because I’m scheduled to take a class with Kate Fowle Meleney on the 21st and 22nd and then with Michael Barley in October on the 14th and 15th. I’ll detail those classes over on my personal blog and I’d like to invite you all to visit both that blog and my website (just to see what’s coming out of the kiln on a daily basis).
So stay tuned! I have some ideas I’ve been mulling over and I’ll be writing up notes to share so you can follow me and see how they turn out!
Darleen Michael-Baker is a glass beadmaker who blogs out of her home studio in Sheridan, WY.