Saturday, November 25, 2006

Water Colors

My choice of colors on any given day reflects the ebb and flow of my ever-changing mood. Today my pallette consists of muted blues and greens and purples. I don't feel morose, just pensive, I think. I'm aching to spend some time by the water. I think I'll head down to the lake this weekend.


I sit back behind the table and try to hide my eager watchful eye, waiting for a reaction from the passers-by. Please accept this, my color, my life, my day in and day out, myself exposed and laid out before you. Please smile back. Please be kind. Please respect that those funky colorful baubles are my heart, my soul, blood drawn from my living being and spread out before you--displayed in living color, highlighted by cheap fluorescent lamps.

I do this because I love it. But that is not all. I create because I am compelled to do so. It's my impulsion, my therapy, my strongest urge and my deepest contentment. It makes my soul soar and feeds an ache deep within me. It makes my heart weep one moment, and the next I'm singing along to my ipod and dancing around my studio.

A most sincere thank you to all who have supported my endeavors as an artist--you who have inspired me, you who have shown me where and how to find beauty in the world, you who have wrapped me in kind words, you who have enjoyed my work, you who have shared my passion with others. Thank you. You have allowed me to live as my true self, not only to make a living, but to make a life--a very happy one at that.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Buy Original

I've noticed recently that there are some pretty blatant copies of my work and designs circulating, especially in the Manitowoc County area.

Yuck. I hate dealing with this kind of thing. It makes my insides hurt. I hate the idea of someone copying or stealing someone, anyone else's designs. I know firsthand what it takes to be creative. I know what it takes to be an artist. I know what it takes to try and make a living as an artist. I know what it takes to nourish your creative side, to sit there with a blank canvas in your mind and play with colors and designs until inspiration hits.

I've also experienced watching customers mull over my work as I make notes on what sells and what doesn't. I've done the leg work of honing my product offerings after attending countless shows and listening to customer feedback. This is my living we're talking about.

But more than that, this is me we're talking about. I'm the one who sits in my studio hour after hour and day after day (loving it, of course, but that isn't the point). It's my insides turned outside and fused into each piece I pull from the kiln. Each item's color palette is determined by my mood the day it was made...or what I'd like it to be. I admit, sometimes it's wishful thinking. Each item is representative of some piece of me. For someone to take that cuts deep.

On the flip side, I know that it isn't the end of the world that others are mimicking my work. I guess I'm just expressing the meanderings of a moody artist.

They say that imitation/plagarism is the sincerest form of flattery. Somehow I don't feel very flattered...I'd describe it more as violated.

Moral of the story: When looking for my work, make sure you're buying Kate Gadd Glass originals. Trust me, it's worth it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Offerings...

I now have loose lampwork beads for sale on my website. Go to to see what's available.

I also offer wholesale for established shops and businesses. Contact me for more information.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Don’t worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to. It will stick to you and show up for better or worse in spite of all you or anyone else can do. (Robert Henry)

Happy Life

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever. (Isak Dinesen)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I think that if I lived alone, I would subsist almost entirely on Kashi GOLean Crunch, Cheerios, toast and peaches.

oh, and popsicles.

and grapefruit.

and I would have a chocolate fountain on my kitchen counter...always on....
surrounded by various tasty delights for dipping.

oh, and a banana to go with my Kashi.

Coming Home

Working with glass is so fascinating to me. For better or worse, I've chosen not to focus on one element of glassworking. Instead, I work in stained glass, fusing and lampworking--each of which requires a unique skill set and a much different approach from the other aforementioned techniques.

When I'm working, I really get into a groove. I have a system...a production line, so to speak, for each type of work I make. It's always so interesting to gauge my reaction when I attempt to shift gears from one technique to another. It's hard on me. It's hard to change my focus. And it always seems that no matter type of work I'm shifting to, it doesn't excite me...I don't look forward to it...I struggle.

Take today, for example. Rit and the dogs are out of town for the week, playing at the cottage with Rit's family up north. So, I've been taking advantage of the work time sans interruptions and pretty much stayed in my studio practically non-stop getting ready for a show this weekend. Okay, I admit that part of my diligent work effort has to do with my lovely air-conditioned studio and the lack of air conditioning in the house. With that said, back to my story...where was I? Oh, right...

So, I started out the morning bright and early working on some fusing projects. I thought I would just work on them long enough to get enough ready to fill my large kiln while waiting for my smaller bead kiln to heat up so that I could work on beads.

By the time I sat down to make beads, it was getting close to mid-morning. I hadn't spent time beadmaking since last week. I simply sat and stared at my torch. It suddenly seemed so foreign to me. We used to be best friends. I wanted to spend every waking moment at that torch. And now, I was almost afraid to turn it on.

Crazy. Afraid of what? Blowing myself up? Charring the glass? Making ugly beads? I don't know. It's strange that even a few days away from the torch can seem like years...a lifetime even. It all seemed so unnatural at first...winding the molten glass onto the mandrel, slowly and methodically shaping it, adding enamels and details, watching the interaction between colors and the play of light...

After a couple of less-than-stellar beads, it all came back to me. I suddenly fell back into the groove. The torch, the glass and I became one. It became effortless again. Without conscious thought, my hands moved--molding, shaping, detailing, watching--as I sang to Maroon 5 playing loudly on my stereo. I fell back into myself (if that makes any sense) as I relaxed into the warm glow of the molten glass. It felt like coming home.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Summer Bugs

I love summer. I love everything about summer. I love the sun. I love wearing flip-flops. I love playing outside in the daylight until 9 p.m. I love waking up early with the sun. I love hearing the birds sing. I love being barefoot. I love popsicles. I love gardening. I love grilling and eating outside. I simply LOVE summer!

There are, however, a few things that I have not loved about the past couple of summers. One, I hate mosquitos. Unfortunately, mosquitos love me. Apparently I have very sweet blood, and it seems as though mosquitos can track me from miles and miles away. Strangely enough, they also love my dog, Maggie. They don't seem to bother my other dog, Otto. However, Maggie and I find ourselves covered in bites each year when the weather starts to warm. Not fun.

Two, the past couple of years, the warm weather has carried to my door some rather unfortunate bugs...and by bugs, I don't mean the kind with wings, I mean the infectious, causes-you-to-be-bedridden kind.

Last summer was a bust...officially. It started off well enough. The sun came out, the birds started to sing, I started to do my usual summer shows. And then, out of the blue and without warning, it hit...MONO!! Yes, it is rare for someone my age (thirtyish) to come down with mono. Lucky for me, I tend to grab hold of all rare illnesses and infirmities. Let's just chalk it up to my oh-so-funny immune system and it's quirky sense of humor. It loves those good rare germs that all others seem to pass up. I can picture it now...I'm walking into the grocery store...I'm going for a cart...I pull one from the cart line-up...and lo and behold, some delightful prior customer has coughed, blown their nose, sneezed and grabbed hold of that cart. And just like that, my immune system thinks that mono sounds pretty rare and know, something new to share with fellow immune systems in the neighborhood. Yeah, real funny.

I remember when it hit. I was at a show and I thought I might be coming down with the flu or something. I was really groggy and just not feeling so hot. I was so sleepy that Rit took over my booth for me and I fell asleep in the car. TWO HOURS LATER, Rit came to rouse me. It was all downhill from there. I have never been so sick in my entire life. I thought I might die. It took me months to recover. And by the time I started to feel even remotely like myself again, summer was long gone. I had slept through summer. No popsicles. No flipflops. No playing in the late evening sunshine. No gardening. Nothing. No summer. I was devastated. I happen to also love autumn, but it wasn't quite the same. I felt cheated. My internal season clock was off. I missed the sun.

Fast forward to this summer. Obviously, I counted down the days with eager anticipation. I couldn't wait to feel the warm summer sun on my face. That old immune system...what a joker! Summer hadn't even officially begun yet when a particularly tempting pack of germs sauntered by. And there it was. I was in the thick of it when I finally succumbed to peer pressure and dragged myself to the doctor. What I thought was an eternally lingering cold turned out to be a nice, ripe bronchial infection. How delightful. So, I've spent the past couple of weeks moaning, coughing, eating popsicles, sucking on cough drops, and glued to my Advil Cold & Sinus(R) and Chloroseptic(R). I struggled to chug down some Nyquil each night and kept sore throat lozenges in my pillowcase. I know, I know, never a dull moment in my corner of the world. My sister-in-law Emily blames my immune system's lack of integrity on not being of "good Wisconsin stock." Could be, could be. We don't have such vicious cold spells or humidity in Utah. Nevertheless, I am on the mend, and I vow to resume my usual routine this week.

On a different note, the Art vs. Craft show yesterday was AWESOME! For those of you who weren't able to make it, you truly missed out. There were some odd things and some really cool things. The indie craft movement is weird, wild stuff. So much creativity under one roof. Some of the best booths are those run by my favorite indie crafters. Check out their sites: and There are many more. I'll post their links on my site. Thanks to Kim and Faythe ( for organizing such a fabulous show...again! Here are some photos of my booth from the show:

I would just like to point out my recent most favorite thing I've made. She's resting in the watering can in front of the table. That's right, it's a Garden Cheerleader garden stick complete with pom poms. Just stick her in your garden and she'll cheer your plants on to bloom-filled victory. I LOVE HER! I'm happy to say that she went to a good home yesterday. I'll miss her, but alas, the squad must go on.

I love these new rings I've added to my product line. They are super fun to make and to wear!

Tribal faces galore

A very smiley Rit, a great helper yesterday, watching over a myriad of pendants.

Anyway, great show, good time. I hope to see you all at the next Art vs. Craft show in November. I'll keep you posted on the details.

p.s. For those of you who received a bazillion emails from me on Friday, I apologize. Apparently, the newsletter software I was using got the best of me. I just couldn't get it to work quite right. I left the details about the show out of the first email accidently. My later attempts to rectify the situation went seriously awry. Again, sorry! Better luck next time!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Long Time, No Write

I know, I know... it's been much too long since I've written. What can I say? Life's gotten the better of me this past month! I was busy preparing for our local art association's first ever Studio/Gallery Tour. What a great idea! I'm fascinated by the work of other artists and to be able to view their work space and see how the inspiration and medium come together is wonderful. It was a great experience. And I enjoyed showing off my new digs to local art lovers.

Here's the final product of our weeks of labor and a couple of shots of me working on a bead:

What great fun! I absolutely LOVE my new space and I love working on my torch! Anyway, I've been working on fused glass rings...keep an eye on the website. They're coming soon!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Studio is Almost Finished!!!

I've spent the past several days working on my studio. It looks incredible. The interior walls are now painted, the trim is painted, the door is painted, the electrical is finished and the siding is almost complete.

Once the air conditioner is installed and my exhaust hood is in, I"ll be all ready to move in. YES!!I can hardly wait! Here's an updated photo.

Quote of the week:

"Men are tatooed with their special beliefs like so many South Sea Islanders; but a real human heart with divine love in it beats with the same glow under the patterns of all earth's thousand tribes." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Quote of the Week

So I've decided to start posting a new quote each week...hopefully something inspirational and awe-inspiring, but at the very least, something I like for some reason.

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (Howard Thurman)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And the Studio Saga Continues...

Wow...what a busy couple of weeks! My adorable studio is coming along nicely. I should be able to move in sometime before mid-May. Rit and I spent last weekend trenching for the electrical lines from the house. Not the most fun job in the world. This weekend will be spent working on the interior walls. Anyway, here are some updated photos of the progress. Is it the cutest lil' building or what? Any ideas on colors for the inside?

I've been working on some fun new products lately. Keep your eye on the website for upates!

Monday, April 17, 2006

My Dream Studio...

I'm so excited I can hardly breathe. I began feeding my glass obsession in a modest studio in my basement. Alas, it was too dank and dark. So, I moved upstairs into a spare bedroom at the front of the house. It was great. Two windows, an attached bathroom (however mini...)...who could ask for anything more?!? Well, apparently I could.

We live in a small house--a fabulous house possessing great character--but a small house nonetheless with small spaces and no storage. After having my studio on the main floor for over a year, I began longing for our guest room back...and more space for my studio. Plus, it would be nice to reclaim the areas to which "Kate Gadd Glass" has metasticized...i.e., the basement, the garage, the ledge in the dining room, etc. What to do? Well, we began looking for a new house, but to no avail. There are no larger fabulous houses possessing great character in this area. Hmph. Back to square one.

That's when the great epiphany descended upon us, a true ah-hah moment. Let's tear down our leaky, much-in-need-of-a-new-paint-job old shed in the back yard, expand it ever so slightly, and turn it into a one-of-a-kind Kate Gadd Glass studio/storage space for all of my glass-related stuff (and there is much). And so it began--the bidding war, the meticulous planning, the envisioning, the dreaming, the drooling, and the not-to-so-eagerly-anticipated all-day tearing down of the old shed. Wow. It was a true back-breaking day. But, thanks to our neighbor, Ed, we finished it in one day. And a clean slate appeared. Construction on the new pad begins tomorrow. I'll keep you posted. Enjoy the photos!


THE CLEAN SLATE...Let the fun begin!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I love this stuff!

How fun! My first blog! Although I've had a website for awhile now, this feels so much more personal for some reason. Crazy!

So I had a show last weekend in Kohler, the Spring Garden Market at the American Club. What fun! It was a two-day show--both long days. The preparation for the show and the show itself were physically exhausting, but I had a great show and I met some great people. It was such a reaffirming experience for me. I LOVE being a glass artist. I feel like I'm totally in my niche. I feel like I've found what I'm supposed to be doing. I love spending all day every day in my studio pulling creations from my mind. I love the energy of a show when all of the vendors are setting up and customers are just starting to arrive. The air virtually hums with it. I love it. I love seeing a smile spread across a customer's face as their eyes fall on one of my tribal faces. It's exhilirating to see a customer's eyes light up when she looks at herself in the mirror wearing one of my necklaces or pendants. I love chatting with people from all over the country.

I will never be a millionaire. Few artists are. But even fewer people in this world find the perfect job in which they can express themselves, unleash their creativity, relish some much-needed solitude, and feel perfectly alive.

Life is good. I love this stuff.