Clare Shepherd, Glass Fusing
About 10 years ago, Clare Shepherd was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering after serving as an Army Logistics Captain in Kuwait. A therapist suggested she participate in their art program and she reluctantly tried her hand at glass fusing. When Shepherd moved to Maryland a short time later, a family member suggested she try a class at Maryland Hall. MD Hall's Glass Program had been in existence for a short time under the leadership of Gayla Lee. Shepherd tried a class and fell in love with the art form and the process. "The classes really pulled my out my funk," she says. "The art really was the therapy I needed and has helped me grow in so many ways."
Glass makes me happy.
What’s nice about art is that it brings people from all parts of the community together – we have doctors and lawyers and stay at home moms and retired people – all in one class and they learn from each other and get to know each other. When they come to the glass class they can find a common bond, everyone shares what they know and they share ideas.
I see these classes for many people as art therapy – like they were for me.
You can be abstract or literal and still do glass – we have all different types of people in the class.
I try to teach technique but each person makes what they want. I have 4 or 5-year-olds and I can know about their personality based on what they decide to make and how they approach it. It really lets you see someone’s personality.