Trisa Swerdlow: A Glass Act
Rocklin resident Trisa Swerdlow makes gorgeous fused glass jewelry and art, in addition to home and garden items, and is currently focused on learning new techniques like welding, as well as creating larger-scale pieces. With her recent appointment to Rocklin’s Art Task Force, she’s eager to promote public art and art programs throughout the city and surrounding communities. “I feel art is a powerful form of expression that connects us all,” shares Swerdlow. “Any emotion or experience can be communicated with art, [and] I strive to use this to enhance people’s lives.” As a member of Loomis’ High Hand Art Gallery, Swerdlow is also serving as the event coordinator for their Steampunk Victorian Holiday Faire on December 2-3, featuring 50 costumed artists and their work, live music, and photos with Steampunk Santa.
HLB: How’d you get started in glass fusing?
TS: About six years ago, my husband gave me a gift certificate for a glass fusing class at Rainbow Glass in Sacramento; [after taking it], I was hooked! Since then, I’ve studied glass fusing and painting techniques with some of the best teachers in the country and now teach classes myself.
HLB: Why do you prefer glass as your medium?
TS: My parents are both artists, and I’ve always been a maker. I’ve worked in a variety of mediums [and even made] a ball gown out of candy wrappers for a local candy store; as soon as I started working in glass, however, I knew I’d found my ultimate medium. There are so many different ways to use it, and I love the way it interacts with light, how it can be functional or decorative, and combined with other elements, such as enamels, to create your own imagery.
HLB: At what point did you start viewing yourself as a professional artist?
TS: I started selling things I was making to friends. They all told me I should [have my art] in stores and galleries, so I finally got the courage to submit some work to a show at Blue Line Arts. [One of my pieces] sold, and it was very gratifying. I was eventually accepted at the High Hand Art Gallery in Loomis and Gallery IQ in Rocklin, and now have work at both locations on a regular basis.
HLB: How do you handle days when you don’t feel creative?
TS: It’s inevitable that an artist [will have] a blocked period, and I’ve learned not to force it. If I’m not in a creative frame of mind I do something else until I’m feeling inspired. Sometimes I’ll spend time cleaning up my studio, which always needs to be done; if being in my studio doesn’t inspire me, at least my workspace will be ready when I do feel like creating!
HLB: What inspires you?
TS: I’m influenced by the diversity of my experiences, which are all reflected in my work. My art itself is about finding joy in everyday things and experiences; that’s what I express with my work and what I hope I bring to others. trisaswerdlowstudio.com