Turning a passion for glass into an art
By Lele Galer, Columnist, The Times
This week, we are looking at the artwork of local fused glass artist Patsy Keller. Patsy’s attention to detail is evident in each piece she creates. Her pendants, often including dichroic glass or mica, are both beautiful and wearable. She also makes colorful eye-catching vases, plates and bowls that dazzle in the light.
Her work is joyful and vibrant, a lot like the artist herself. When you ask about any of her pieces, she will explain with pleasure every detail of her process and the story behind that particular piece.
She has an engaging and delightful personality that is reflected in each of her mini works of art, and her fused art glass would brighten any home. You can meet Patsy and see her work at The Galer Estate Winery Pop-up Artist Show in Kennett Square this Thursday from 5-9 pm, to benefit the Chester County Art Association’s Building Fund.
Like many of us, Patsy put her passion for the creative arts aside while she raised her children and played an active part in the community. Then what started as a part-time hobby became a true passion. The first time she saw a fused glass pendant, Patsy knew this was something she had to learn to do. After taking a class and doing extensive research on glass fusing, she bought her first kiln, and eventually a second. Gradually, she turned their sunroom into a studio. She now makes larger art glass pieces, including plates, bowls and vases, in addition to her pendants.
“I like fused glass because it makes me smile. (Most of the time!) I love playing with color, and the way light brings out the personality of each piece. I enjoy the challenge of seeing what I can get glass to do, and I love its paradoxical nature; it’s fragile, yet strong, and can be whimsical or elegant. Glass definitely has a mind of its own, so the trick is to coax it to cooperate. It can be a lengthy process, but it’s fun. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I do.”
Patsy Keller grew up in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She has always enjoyed creative pursuits, including photography, composing music, making stained glass, and designing jewelry.
In 2003 she started a small business, Sundance Beads. She currently lives in Kennett Square, PA, with her husband and two sons, who have accepted the fact that their sunroom is now Sunroom Studio, and more often has glass and cutting tools on the table than dinner. Her work has been shown at Eco Boutique, Unionville Art Gala, the Radley Art Show, Blue Streak Gallery in Wilmington, & the Centre for Vibrant Living.
This is the second in a series of weekly articles that will highight one local artist every week. Lele Galer is an artist who has chaired numerous art shows, taught art history and studio art, public art and has chaired, written and taught the Art in Action Art Appreciation series for the UCFD schools for the past 12 years. She worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and wrote for the Asociated Press in Rome. She has been dedicated to Art History and art education for most of her adult life. Lele and her husband Brad own Galer Estate Winery in Kennett Square and she is President of the Education Foundation.