Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Torres.
Mary, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I have always loved working with my hands. As a kid, I was either making something or taking something apart to see how it worked. Back in 2005, while I was looking for the next creative outlet, I found a glass beadmaking (lampworking) kit. I thought it looked like welding with glass and being married to a welder it held a particular interest for me. It turned out to be only vaguely like welding, but it was a lot of fun. A couple of years later, I felt that pull to something else. Thanks to a lifelong love of glass and my time making beads, glass was in my blood I knew it had to continue to work with that medium. Enter kiln-formed or fused glass. I didn’t know much about it, but I knew enough about the medium to be dangerous and jumped in with both feet. I took as many classes as I could, taught myself what I hadn’t learned thru teachers and I’ve never looked back or regretted the jump. I find fused glass is where I should be and have grown more as a fused glass artist than I ever did as a lampwork bead artist. I love to learn and there are so many more techniques I want to learn and explore, I will NEVER be bored with this one.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
In a nutshell, I use sheet glass that has been specially formulated to heat worked. The glass is cut and put together to be fired in the kiln. They are fired to temperatures ranging from 1175 to 1600 degrees for anywhere from 10-30 hours depending on the desired look. Usually, the pieces are fired more than once to add colors, texture or shape. I enjoy making pieces that can hang on the wall because it allows me to work on a larger scale than my primary body of work, which are called drop-out vessels.
A drop-out vessel is made by stacking your glass to approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick and firing that in the kiln. After the first firing, the thick slab of glass is set on an elevated platform that has a hole cut in it and is slowly brought to around 1200 degrees. This allows the glass to slump thru the hole in a slow and controlled way to get the shape needed. Once the piece has fallen thru and is cooled it is removed from the kiln, it is trimmed, shaped and polished. I’m inspired by the natural world, I love color, texture, and movement and try to incorporate that into my pieces whenever possible.
Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
Because art is so personal I feel like the role of artists has changed based on how each individual artist thinks/feels it has changed. That may sound like a cop-out answer but, I know artists who use the current political climate as a basis for their work. That is their outlet and how they choose to present that piece of themselves to the world. My art is such a large part of me that using it to express my feelings about all of the unrest in the world, just doesn’t work for me. My art is my “happy place” and I want it to provide a “happy place” for all who appreciate it as well. I have to be excited about the project or idea and I surely want peoples glass-art to be half-full and not half-empty.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see my work in person at a few of the area art shows, like Bayou City Art Festival, First Saturday Arts Market or The Woodlands Waterway Art Festival. My website has a complete list of shows I will be attending, pictures of current and past work as well as news, information and a shopping cart (coming soon). I try very hard to keep my social media pages up to date as well.
- Website: www.marytorresglass.com
- Phone: 281-536-9422
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/marytorresglass
- Facebook: Facebook: http://facebook.com/marytorresglass
Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.