Making some scratch
Williams’ passion is lost art
It’s not hard to work with glass, but says Diane Williams it’s difficult to make money at.
Although she has offered her work from Glass Creations for many years, she supplements her income by teaching classes, selling supplies for hobbyists and doing stained-glass restorative work at churches.
“Our economy is so bad, this is not the most practical hobby,” she says. “I can see how it might not be at the top of your list. But as a creative process it is so satisfying because anyone can learn to work with glass.”
One of the hardest tricks, she says, is being able to afford to do it.
“Everything has gone up in price, I don’t care what it is,” she says.
“And I know it’s tough out there. Food comes before glass and bills come before glass. But it’s a dying art that needs to come back.”
Traditionally thought of as “woman’s work,” she dispels that myth by noting that at least half her customers are men.
She uses a small tool to cut the glass. It’s not sharp, as she demonstrates by running it across her hand.
“These never go out of style,” she says. “I’ve probably been in half the churches in Orange. Most of the work now is in restoration. The glass might be aging or have gone through a storm. A rock could hit it or a burglar could try to break in. There are lots of ways a window can be damaged.”
Another myth might be that a glass-worker stains the glass. It is actually bought already colored, and Williams cuts the requested design then uses a soldering iron to encase it in a metal frame.
She sells irons, hobbyists’ patterns and hand-held cutters, among other supplies.
As she browses through her scrapbook of previous work, she comments, “Here’s a tooth. This person wanted a wolf. Here’s a fish. This lady brought a picture of her cat and wanted that. Here’s one I did for some kitchen cabinets. Here’s a front door.
“And that’s the wonderful thing about all this is that anything can be done. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do. The other great thing is that there’s no time frame on the glass – it’s not going to change colors anytime soon.”
Williams can be reached at 920-5506.