When artist Donna Rice was working as a glassblower, a cold worker, a lamp worker and a carver over the last 30 years, she was dreaming of working as a caster, her true passion.
“From the first piece I ever saw that was cast, I fell in love with it,” Rice said while sipping tea in her cabin-style studio, at Nature Scapes.
During years of commercial work as a carver, Rice worked on custom pieces for big-name companies such as Frabel Studio and Denali Crystal, including 45 days of custom carving 650 glass vases for Tiffany & Co., to be place in Trump Plaza.
But commercial work aside, Rice has reached a point in her casting career that every artist dreams of: being accepted into her first show.
Rice’s piece, “Fall Home,” was recently accepted to be part of the Inaugural Naples International Juries Contemporary Crafts Exhibition at Longstreth-Goldberg Art Gallery, in Naples.
“What I’m excited most about is that they are helping me put a label on my work,” Rice said. “For them to put a label of contemporary on my piece, that’s thrilling, because I want to be contemporary.”
“Fall Home” has been a labor of love for Rice for several years. In 1998 she cast a bird’s nest and wasn’t happy with the outcome — the detail was not right. Rice held on to that nest and recently rebuilt it with a rubber mold and new twigs for detail.
After a successful cast of the new nest, Rice created the branch base by molding together six different twigs. Then came the bird.
“I’m so excited to see ‘Fall Home’ in the proper setting,” Rice said referring to the upcoming show. “The work needs to move out of here (her stuidio) and into homes and galleries.”
Glass casting is a unique process with one-time creations and pleasant surprises at the end, but Rice explained that sometimes it could be a disappointment.
“Glass breaks. It doesn’t matter what kind of glass it is — it breaks,” Rice said.
To see her work, visit DJR Studio, located on the property of Nature Scapes Garden Center, 313 Old Brick Road, Bunnell.
“It’s the curious person that comes through my door,” Rice said.
She hopes to continue to educate her visitors on the process of casting glass and crystal and to spread the peace she finds in her work.
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