Tell us about yourself and your craft.
I grew up in the countryside of rural Minnesota. I couldn’t decide what to study so I designed my own degree at the UMN–majoring in contemporary African history, sustainability, and digital media. I took my first stained glass class in high school when I was enrolled as a PSEO student at a local community college and wouldn’t return to the craft until about 5 years later. Overqualified and underpaid, I was working full-time at a call center when I decided that I needed a change. I wasn’t challenged creatively and I missed making things with my hands. So I put in my two-weeks notice and started to get back into stained glass while working a side job in the health and wellness industry.
About a year later I was working with glass everyday and getting ready to teach beginner-level stained glass classes at @mplsmake! I taught my first class in February of 2020. Recently I’ve also fallen in love with designing jewelry. I’m focusing now on planning for future classes, working on larger projects to challenge myself, and using my skills to raise money to support the fight for racial justice.
What does your creation process look like?
My studio walls are covered with rough sketches of design ideas on scraps of paper. Any time I have an idea I like to sketch it up and put it somewhere I can see it. These ideas typically sit with me for a few weeks before I start working them into glass patterns. I spend a lot of time working out kinks in the designs because that’s important visually as well as structurally for building a stained glass window. Once I have the design ready to go it’s time to pick out colorful sheets of class, cut the glass, grind the pieces to fit, and prep to solder them together. The process behind stained glass is so much fun! I love creating a lot of content around that for Instagram because people really like getting to see how things are made.
Who or what inspires you?
Most of my work is loosely inspired by themes of transformation. The act of creating stained glass art itself is alchemic in nature. You’re quite literally transforming the materials by breaking glass and melting metal to build something entirely new out of those ingredients. I’m visually inspired by geometric design as well as the glass itself. Stained glass is so unique, you will never find two sheets of glass that are exactly the same.
Best and worst thing about being an artist?
There are so many rewarding and challenging things about being an artist. The act of creating something is what I love the most–being in my studio and building beautiful things. Running the business aspect of being an artist is the most challenging for me. It can be complicated and get in the way of time I’d rather spend working with my hands.
Tell us something about you (or your art) that most don’t know.
Most people assume that stained glass is a very difficult skill that takes years to learn. While it definitely takes untold hours of dedication and practice, it’s something that absolutely anybody could try out! I think that’s part of why I adore teaching glass classes so much. I absolutely love empowering people to try a new creative skill. The process is so much fun and I don’t think most people have any idea that they would also fall in love with this art form.
Where can we find your work?
My brand new website! And Instagram: lunarosaglassco. In addition to my glass and jewelry, you will also find footage from my glass classes, process videos from the studio, and pictures of my fluffy black cat, Daytona. I’m hanging out on Instagram pretty much everyday so come say hi!