By Tamas Mondovics

Creating colorful images in the digital world may be the order of the day for many, including Denise Graf, graphics manager with the Osprey Observer Community Newspapers.

For Graf, however, the art of creating multi-color, decorative, usable pieces by means of glass fusion was much more than just an enjoyable hobby right from the start; more like love at first sight.mosaic parott

“I took one class and I fell in love with the art,” she said. “Each piece of my glass fusion work is a one-of-a-kind creation, which I do with friends and family in mind. The rest are special requests.”

Graf took her creations—all of which comes to life at her home by the use of a kiln in her craft room—to the Fourth Annual Twin Lakes Art In The Park Show in Valrico.

While she proudly displayed each piece and took her rightful place amidst the more than 80 vendors present, Graf explained the process used to get the job done.

“I create glass mosaics, jewelry, and wine bottle art – all using the kiln,” she said.  “My “painted” pieces are actually painted with powdered glass, by brushing the powdered glass onto the piece as if it were paint, and then fire the piece in the kiln.”

Graf began her new-found hobby about a year ago, which she said she welcomed as just that; a hobby. But things had quickly changed as before she knew it, orders were lining up.

The first piece, which actually sealed her love for the art was a glass multicolor mosaic parrot. Since then, Graf has created more than 100 pendants, a dozen mosaic plates, 20 plus melted bottles and just as many miscellaneous special orders for home décor.

The recent art show at Twin Lakes was Graf’s first event, but indicated that it will hardly be the last when she said, “I enjoy exploring all the possibilities that glass fusion has to offer and I have a feeling that I’ve only brushed up on the surface of the art.” Graf recommends participation in local shows by any artist and vendor trying to get their name out to the public. “As word spreads, I find my orders increasing, so I’m keeping busy with holiday and special orders for now,” she said.

For more information, please visit Graf’s Facebook page at CreativeGlassByGraf.


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