If you have December 11th free from 1 to 3 pm, jet down to Childhood’s End Gallery at 222 4th Ave in Olympia to see Leila Carras’s lampwork demonstration.
Lampwork is what those in-the-know call the artistic manipulation of soft glass by torch and tools. It’s completely inspiring to see the glass rods go red hot and then watch as an amorphous blob of glass turns into a turtle, strawberry, or a singing snow man.
Leila has been working with glass for nine years and began this artistic journey when a customer left a box of handmade glass beads in the café where she worked.
“When I opened the box I was amazed. Where did these beads come from? I had always been into doing bead work, but the minute I talked to her, when she (the forgetful artist) came back for her beads, I was hooked.”
Not finding any classes in lampwork nearby, she bought a kit, read a book and started out on her own. Nine years later a dragon piece of hers has toured the country starting with the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. She is selling her work at trade shows, and a few of her pieces have been featured in trade magazines for glass work and bead work.
Steamboat Island Coffee Shop has displayed her smaller pieces, but to see her bigger pieces check out her website at Leilamae.com. She will do pieces to order, but if you have holiday presents in mind contact her soon.