Charleston resident Erin Blitz creates colorful fused and kiln-formed glass. Her vibrant offerings include everything from keepsake boxes and centerpiece bowls to striking earrings and pendant necklaces. Purchase a piece of her art at Vintage Karma’s online shop.
Q: How long have you been creating? How did you get into making your creations?
Many of my earliest memories are of creating artworks. My father is an architect and I had two very creative grandmothers that were always crafting something, so I was encouraged from an early age to express myself visually. I spent a lot of time just making things.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Studio Art from the University of Puget Sound and later when my youngest child entered school, I completed my Masters of Arts degree at Eastern Illinois University with an emphasis in Ceramics.
Q: What drew you to your chosen medium?
Today I work in fused and kiln-formed glass and have been since 2007. Apparently flinging around 50 pound bags of clay can be bad for your back, so about a year after earning my graduate degree I had back surgery. I had to find some lighter weight materials to work with. I spent a couple of years working in felted wool, another two experimenting with batik, and flirted with bookmaking techniques, but eventually the new, unused kiln in the basement beckoned to me. I started melting some bottles and working with broken glass. When I discovered that I could purchase sheets of colored glass, the possibilities seemed endless.
Q: What is your favorite part of the creative process? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part of the creative process is the process. Literally, I like the steps it takes to create something; the more the better it seems. I also enjoy the magic that comes with a multi-step process: the newly developed photograph, the removal of wax from a batik, the “big reveal” when opening a kiln. These surprises, frequently but not always positive, keep it exciting. My husband the scientist likes repeatable results. Although I appreciate the concept, I like to keep trying something new.
The least favorite part of my creative process is that sometimes I just make things too complicated with all those steps. “Less is more” can be a beautiful thing.
Q: What inspires you?
Making art inspires me. Every time I take something out of the kiln I want to make something else; I could have done it differently, used other colors, made it larger, smaller or changed its form. Finding out that others like my work also inspires me. I like making things that are beautiful or attention grabbing, things for the home that give people pleasure or just make them smile.
Q: What do you do when you’re not making art?
When I’m not making art or thinking about art I’m probably making or thinking about food. I enjoy cooking and everybody’s got to eat three times a day if you’re lucky. I also work part-time at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston.
Don’t forget to visit Vintage Karma to check out Erin’s Featured Artist display!