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My name is Kathleen Sheppard and I started working with stained glass in 2001. While I loved the vibrant colors and richness of the glass, I quickly became frustrated with recreating patterns designed by other people. As a result, I began to explore and develop my own ideas and patterns.

Working with glass is about working with light and colour. Unlike many other media, working in stained glass does not allow the artist to blend and mix colours the way a painter or a glassblower might. Therefore, as an artisan, I look for new ways to bridge the gap between the light and colour of the stained glass medium and rigidity of its technique.

In 2005, I began to incorporate other materials, including fibre, paper and metal into my stained glass. While I look for many different ways to utilize new materials, one of the key ways is by using a technique called “plating.” By inserting different materials between two “plated” or layered pieces of glass, I can create both a sense of depth to my glass and add a sense of movement and fluidity into a very rigid medium.

I make all my pieces using traditional stained glass techniques, but I add a modern twist by including other materials – paper, yarn, beads or polymer clay – to create functional and decorative glass items with a contemporary feel. Every item is unique with a different combination of materials.

Balsamroot Glass Studio is located in Lethbridge, Alberta.

For more information please send me an email at balsamrootstudio@gmail.com or visit my shop on Etsy.

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