My fused glass art is a conversation with the world. I say things about my world, my emotions, and my state of mind that I can’t say with words. It is important to me to communicate with the world in this way. I use my glass as a palette, cutting, designing and placing pieces based on color, shape and what I am trying to say. I am compelled to communicate in this way.
The most important attribute that glass has, for me, is its transparency and how it reacts with light. I create landscapes, jewelry, functional pieces and whimsical pieces. My pieces are often not pretty. They have intentional cracks and flaws. They sometimes have little pockets under layers of glass. They are organic and one-of-a-kind. I have tried to express my despair about the state of our planet. I celebrate the planet in others. Communication is one of the most important things we do as human beings. Artistic expression is a sacred form of communication.
Shelley spent her childhood in central New York State. It was an idyllic childhood. She had horses and rode for pleasure. Her family had a garden and she participated in all the crafts in the surrounding area including preserving food for the winter. She moved with her family to Tryon, North Carolina when her father started teaching at Wofford College.
Her mother, a watercolorist, stained glass artist, and painter using acrylics and oils was her major influence as she slowly discovered she wanted to create art. Her mother taught her how to see. She discovered fused glass in the early 1990s when she took a class at Tryon Arts and Crafts. She immersed herself in this medium. She took a break from art while she raised her children. She returned to her beloved art in the early 2000s.