Tanya Conlay

Glass / Natchitoches, LA


Glass is not a very forgiving medium and I love the challenge it offers. Using glass to make art requires an understanding of the scientific properties of the medium and how the application of heat effects the outcome. This part of the process appeals to the logical, no-nonsense side of my personality. While the artistic freedom found in the myriad colors, forms and techniques used in glass fusing appeals to my more creative side. For me, glass has become the medium that continues to capture my imagination.

Each of my finished pieces begins with one-eighth inch sheet glass, crushed glass frit, glass powder, or a combination of all three. Once the individual elements are cut and placed, the piece is moved to the kiln for firing. Depending on the individual piece, the finished work can be fired once, twice or more before it is complete. A larger piece with multiple firings can take a week or more to complete. There is a bit of mystery to the process, as what goes into the kiln doesn’t always come out as planned. That is part of the allure, and challenge, of glass.

I love color and try to infuse each of my pieces with lots of vibrancy. My latest pieces have focused on abstract floral shapes. No two pieces are ever the same, making each creation a one-of-a-kind work of art.


I grew up surrounded by artists. Both of my grandmothers were talented painters and my mother turned old linens into angels and paper into Santas. So it was no surprise when I went to college I chose to major in art. It was a surprise, however, when I switched to economics and graduated with an MBA. I found outlets for my creativity through the years—smocking, needlework, painting—but it wasn’t until I began fusing glass that creating art became a priority again. I have been designing and fusing glass in my home studio for the past six years and enjoy the challenge of using glass as a medium.