Art doesn’t always have to hang on a wall or sit on a shelf. It can tell time, block the afternoon sun, keep you warm or serve pupu for a party. Meet 10 Island artisans who create stunning, functional pieces for the home.
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Jane Raissle is nationally known for her fused glassware; her work is recognized not only in local exhibitions but in galleries as far away as Kentucky in the Louisville Visual Art Association—for which only 14 artists are chosen nationwide. Although Raissle’s day job is as a reading specialist at Assets School, she spends her evenings and spare time creating colorful vases, Asian-style platters with upturned corners and her personal favorite, reflective bowls.
Raissle begins with sheet glass that she melts onto wire mesh over her kiln or through a flowerpot suspended over a shelf. The liquid then flows out of the pot and spreads onto the tilted shelf below; the different colors create different patterns and flow at different rates. Once the glass cools, Raissle then cuts selected pieces from the glass puddles into strips and molds them to become the focal point of the pieces. “I have more control with fusing the glass than a glassblower does,” she explains. “I play with the design and shape and mold the glass until I’m satisfied with it.” Raissle says she adds at least one transparent piece to the ware so people don’t mistake it for clay. Lastly, it is fired multiple times in a kiln where it takes its permanent shape. Her pieces range in price from $45 to $600 based on the size and design. “I hope that when people buy my pieces they won’t be afraid to use them,” she says. “I like that they enjoy looking at them, but also want them to interact with them in their home.” 254-4239, www.janeraissleglass.com.