This week I am introducing you to Sheri Murray from Glass Matrix who lives in Duluth, MN with her daughter. Sheri makes our glass necklace pendents, earrings, bracelets, and hair clips.
How did you get started making glass jewelry?
Glass jewelry was a natural progression of learning how to play with glass. I took a stained glass class back in 2000 and was hooked on glass as a medium. From there I learned how to fuse glass (which is how I make my jewelry) and made plates, vases and naturally jewelry came out of it because I would have small scraps I didn’t want to waste.
You say your favorite color is dichroic. Can you explain what that is to folks?
Dichroic is technically the type of glass, not necessarily a color. It comes in lots of colors. Dichroic means 2-color, you will notice this when you hold it. If you move the piece, the color seems to change. This processes was invented by NASA. It is a way of depositing metal oxides onto glass. Each oxide brings a new color to the party. If you have ever seen the space helmets with the orangey shield, that is dichroic coating.
How is your jewelry made?
Each piece is cut, ground, fired in a kiln, re-ground and re-fired by me. I start off with sheets of glass and using a straight edge I cut the square shapes. If I want an irregular piece I will use mosaic snips. After my pieces are cut, I may grind the edges so they are a bit smoother. Once they are shaped as I like, I will stack the pieces and put into my kiln. There are numerous temperatures I fire my glass at. Each one gives me the flexibility to melt it entirely or leave some dimension to it. Each piece may be fired up to 3 times and takes about 12 hours to complete one cycle.
Out of everything you’ve crafted/created so far, what is your favorite and why?
I have made some large bowls that I use at home. Those are fun. Of course I love the earrings and pendants because the colors catch our eye and people always comment on how colorful they are.
There have been a few projects though that meant a lot. I am able to encase cremains into glass beads. Using this technique I have made Pandora style beads for people. I made a set of 3 for a gentleman and his sisters. Each had a simple yellow rose design on it (that was their mother’s fav flower.)
Do you still make the glass jewelry? If not, are you working on anything now?
I do make some from time to time. I always have ideas in my head, I just need the time to sit down and create. Currently I am a single mom, working full time (55+ hours during tax season) and going back to school. I am not sure what I want to be when I grow up but I have to start somewhere.
If you have new work, can you explain what got you started on something new?
I have been taking metalsmithing classes for my art requirement. I have always wanted to learn how to incorporate metal with my glass so why not take a hands on class. I have made rings and pendants and I can’t wait till I find some time so I can create some for the shop.
Is this a full time goal?
I wish! Of course I would love to do art full time but right now I have to take care of other things.
Anything else you’d like to include?
I do love creating and collaborating with others. I have worked with blacksmiths & leathersmiths to add my glass to their projects. There is always something that makes my mind wander and sparks a little glimmer of artsy insanity.
Do you have a Facebook page for your business? If so what is it?
I have actually changed my business name (and am in the process of another re-vamp) but my Facebook page is under Glass Matrix. Unfortunately I have not updated it in a while (divorce and life will do that to ya) but there are some example of past items. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or have an idea of a special project.
Sheri’s Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/Glass-Matrix-292227347696/