Fused glass artist to show her work at Craftsmen's Christmas Classic
Fused glass artist Nancy Wasserman brings with her a genre of art not normally associated with holiday arts and crafts shows – Judaica.
“A lot of Jewish people never even come to these shows,” says Wasserman, of Washington, D.C. “They don’t want to see a bunch of reindeer and Santa Clauses and holly. But I’ve found that people are always excited to see other religions represented at Christmastime at these shows.”
In Wasserman’s case, she has become a regular at the annual Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic, which will take place this weekend at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. And, she adds, even those of the Jewish faith have been coming to the show to check out her work.
“They’re not used to finding well-made art that represents Judaica,” she says, “but little by little, they’ve been finding me.”
Wasserman, who calls her business Glitzy Glass, specializes in creations made of dichroic glass, a unique kind of glass that displays more than one color, particularly when viewed from different angles.
Among the many items she makes from the glass – such as pendants, earrings, cuff links, pillboxes, purse hangers, serving plates and platters, and hair barrettes, among other items – two of her specialties are menorahs and mezuzahs, two prominent symbols of the Jewish faith. Pendants featuring the Star of David are also popular among Wasserman’s clientele, she says.
Wasserman, who will be among hundreds of artists featured at the Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic, says she has been an artist all of her life, having inherited her artistic skills from her grandfather, a successful gold jewelry engraver. She was a potter for some 20 years, then opened her own fine crafts gallery in Columbus, Ohio. She then moved to Hawaii and taught art to middle-schoolers.
It was in Hawaii that Wasserman was first exposed to making fused glass art, and she never looked back.
“I just fell in love with it,” she recalls. “I never touched clay again.”
Wasserman refers to the dichroic glass she works with as “magic glass,” because of its unique color-changing ability.
“You never know what the kiln goddess is going to do once you shut that lid,” she says. “When you open it, there are always surprises.”
In addition to being an artist, Wasserman adds that she’s also an expert at analyzing people’s colors in relation to what color would look best on them.
“Every person’s skin has different tones, and every composition of that person’s looks calls for different colors,” she explains. “So I analyze a person’s coloring and put colors of pendants on them to show how beautiful they look when wearing colors that are becoming to them. My work is an art form – I’m still an artist – but I’m also a person who loves to have contact with other people. I try to make their world a little more beautiful.”
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Want to go?
The Craftsmen’s Christmas Classic, featuring original designs and work from hundreds of artists and craftspeople across the country, will be held Friday through Sunday at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $8 for adults, $1 for children ages 6-12, free for children younger than 6.
For more information, call Gilmore Enterprises at (336) 282-5550 or visit www.gilmoreshows.com.