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Jerilyn Guidry LaVergne

Glass / Sunset, LA / Master Craftsman

Artist Statement

I am so fortunate to be doing what I love and that is working in my studio. I am in another world when I am there. When I approach my workstation, I usually do not know what I am about to create. The way I feel greatly affects my work. With glass cutter in hand, I search for just the right piece of glass or the right color or shape...then I start working and a piece of art unfolds before me. I have truly been blessed to be doing what I love. There are many steps in the process of making any piece of work that I do. I start with a sheet of 2' X 2' glass in the color of my choosing. I use System 96 glass for everything that I make to avoid mixing up different co-efficiency of expansion glass. I use a glass cutter, band saw and glass grinder to cut my glass. Sometimes I even use a hammer. After I cut out a basic shape and before I begin the design, I drill holes for hanging and if I am making chimes, I drill holes for the chimes to later hang from. After cleaning the glass and drying it, I then stuff high fire paper into each hole to prevent the holes from closing during the firing process. Then I work on my design by layering glass on top of glass. Then I place the design in my kiln and fire it at 1440 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire firing process takes about twelve hours. My kiln is computerized so I program it to heat up and cool off as I wish. When completely cooled off, I remove my work from my kiln, clean it, sign it and from there take it to my beading station where I assemble the pieces. I use black tar coated nylon cord at the top of the piece for hanging and nylon coated stainless steel fishing line to string the chimes. I use various colors of glass beads to decorate each chime.

Biography

Born in South Louisiana in 1948, Jerilyn grew up in the small Louisiana town of Sunset. As a child, she always had a creative spirit which was exhibited in the clothing that she designed and made as well as other aspecs of her life.
She married her husband, Cecil in Lagos, Nigeria, gave birth to their two children Tisa & Tobyn in West Africa and spent seven years experiencing the West African culture which nourished her interest in all art forms. While overseas, Jerilyn also lived in London, England and Paris, France.
Upon returning to Sunset, Jerilyn's passion did not wane...but took a detour...nursing school. Upon graduating from LSU-E, she worked as a Registered Nurse at several area hospitals and at a local nursing home. She is now retired from nursing which frees up time for her passion...her gallery and art studio. Jerilyn has painted, woven baskets and designed mosaic masks and portraits.
Her open-mindedness and eagerness to experience many art forms eventually led her into fusing glass. Her fused glass works are truly a labor of love. Her designs are both utilitarian and flow with richness and energy.