Switching Careers From the Cold and Dark to the Heat and Light of Glass
What led Helen Rudy, who was born in Africa, grew up working in a Welsh pub, and traveled the world at a young age, to become a glass artist?
Rudy moved to Vail, Colo., 10 years ago and became a construction manager. Instead of spending nights “cooped inside watching television,” she attended a stained glass workshop. And when a friend let her try fusing glass on a small kiln, “I instantly became hooked and found the perfect way to unwind after work and keep me busy,” she says.
Soon coffee shops and cafes began showing functional items Rudy had made, and the Pismo Glass Gallery in Denver followed. Within five years of her first pieces, Rudy and her husband (they met while bicycling near Mt. Kilimanjaro, of course) moved to Denver. Two years later, her hobby became a new career.
“My artistic style is modern and bold,” Rudy says. “The glass is all about being seen and making a bold, colorful statement.”
Often she begins by melting sheet and powdered glass into a design she had imagined and sketched for weeks. That slab can be reshaped two or three more times in the kiln. “If I like what I see, then I start progressing the idea to its final style,” she says.
“I am drawn to geometry and repetition,” Rudy says, crediting her travels and construction work. “I am inspired to create new patterns using color and transparency to see how they blend and re-form when put together.”
Company Name: Helen Rudy Glass
Product Categories: Glass: Fused, Functional, Sculptural; Home Decor: Lighting, For the Wall; Furniture: Tables; Styles & Themes: Contemporary, Collectibles, Signed by the Artist
Studio Location: Denver, CO