Glassworker and jeweler Leslie Hartman, owner of Hartman Glass Studio, joins our 2015-2016 Artist-in-Residence Christi LaViolette as a visiting artist at the opening of LaViolette’s new photography series “Life Looked Over: A Picture of West Texas History” on April 9 at Dan’s Silverleaf in Denton, TX. Hartman, who works largely with stained glass and sculptural glass jewelry, will showcase selections from her collection from 12:00-4:00. Her original work, which is popular in and around Denton, will be available for purchase.
We sat down with Hartman for some perspective on her craft and what we can expect to see.
Goliad: What drew you to working with glass?
Hartman: I was raised by a potter and a weaver and had always liked learning to make stuff. So when my degree turned out to lead only to jobs I didn’t want, I decided to teach myself glass. I’d always loved the color and light, how it could change the way a room looked and even how you felt in that room.
G: So would you say that you create emotional spaces with your work?
H: I would say that glass can change an environment in a way that allows people to feel differently, if they want to.
Funny, I’ve never thought this much about what I do. There’s the practical, physical part of the job that I like, but there’s this sort of dreamy, intangible element that is important as well.
G: Tell us something we don’t know about working with glass?
H: You learn a lot about metal when you work with glass. Pieces are held together with copper, lead, zinc. Glass is even colored with various metals like copper, gold, cobalt.
G: You make your living from your art. What do you want everyone who thinks this is a dream to know?
H: I consider myself lucky for every day I don’t spend in a cubicle. Making art of any kind for a living isn’t always easy, but you can always find a job you don’t like — you might as well try for the one you really want.