OCEAN PARK Barbara Lester of Ocean Park fell in love with fused glass projects five years ago. Now, she teaches classes both at Bay Avenue Gallery and in private homes when a few folks want to gather and learn the process.
Most of the fused glass pieces Lester makes herself and teaches others to create are used as pendants, pins, necklaces and even hair ornaments. Each creation is fired in Lesters kiln and the results are often a delightful surprise as the glass takes on its own personality during firing.
Lester describes her approach to fused glass as fun and experimental. She tries different combinations of shapes and sizes, combining colors and adding embellishments, such as millifoiri glass beads, high fire image transfers and spaghetti stringers. Sometimes, hand painting is also involved. Putting together pieces, she said, means enjoying a great time. Students assemble three to five pendant-sized pieces per class.
Ages of people who take her classes vary. She prefers the youngest be fifth grade age or older. But there is no maximum age. Smiling, she said, Cate Gables mother took my class twice.
A familiar face at Peninsula schools, Lester substitute teaches on a regular basis. She has a masters degree in teaching and is able to also bring her instructional skills to the art classes. Also an accomplished watercolorist, Lester is deeply involved in the Peninsula Arts Association. She holds the office of corresponding secretary.
In the photo at right, she is sorting through some of her fused glass pieces while holding down the fort at Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park last Sunday.
Lester can be found on facebook Canoe Creek Glass.