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By Stephanie Baness

Why glass? I am asked that question a lot. Art was a major part of my life growing up. In school, I was always drawing and trying different techniques; on the weekends my parents took us to various Chicago institutions including The Art Institute, Field Museum and DuSable Museum. After a robust art education in high school, I decided I wanted to be an artist, but when I went to college, creating did not come easy to me. While I enjoyed exploring different mediums like photography and drawing, I found it hard to express myself.  Although art was always in my life, I could not find the passion to make it the center of my life.  Fast forward to the end of a career in legal administration and the start of a long distance relationship, and I found myself at a crossroads. I took a leap of faith, moved Canada and went back to school to learn how to work with glass. I spent three years at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario learning many aspects of how to work with this elusive substance.  

Glass changed my life.  I cannot express how much I love working with this material.  Glass challenges me everyday, forcing me to think about what I want to make and how to achieve my vision.  For the first time, I understand having passion for art - I finally found my material.  

Today, I am working in my studio in Passaic, NJ.  I design and create everything here and I am happy to be a part of a vibrant community of artist and artisans in the New York metropolitan area.