Friday, October 29, 2010

Introducing Gregg and Terri Addington of Graceful Glass!

Creativity has always been a word in Terri Addington’s vocabulary, but when her husband, Gregg, began to express his creative side, she was thrilled.  “He’s been supportive over the years as I had painted with different mediums, did some teaching, and finished several murals, but never in our 32 years of marriage did I expect to see him desire explore the arts through the creativity of glass.” Terri had dreamed of learning the art of stained glass for years, and Gregg had even purchased the equipment for her one Christmas.  But as she pursued a duel Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling, her schedule of being a full time student at Harding University did not allow her the luxury or the time needed to learn the skills needed for stained glass.  As Terri continued to dream, Gregg picked up her glass supplies and began to create.  “I teased him saying he had become the man of my dreams” says Terri.  “While it gave me great satisfaction to see him creative, my own creative spirit was a bit jealous.” While Terri continued to be amazed at the beautiful pieces Gregg was creating with glass, Gregg had not begun to scratch the surface of his creativity. Upon traveling to Oregon to visit his family, his sister spent time with him teaching him the basics of glass fusing. To wrap up his visit, his family blessed him with the money for his first kiln. In his discovery and excitement of his new found love, Gregg combined his creativity, many hours of research, and the extensive learning required to understand the science of fusing glass.  His payoff came when he could open the kiln with the great satisfaction of knowing the beauty he had created.   Gregg began sharing his knowledge with Terri, and both found there were rewards and challenges while combing their talents.  Thus, Graceful Glass became a husband and wife team of a work that consisted of much cutting, grinding, sanding, and most importantly firing glass sometimes several times over in kilns of extreme heat. 
“Our glass work has been a consistent metaphor of our marriage,” says Terri. “I don’t like my rough edges sanded off, nor do I like to be put in a fire of sorts with my husband and told to stay there until beauty emerges.”  Had someone told me years ago that Gregg and I would be working together, I would never have believed it. But we do not learn about God’s grace in easy times, but in the times that we have no strength to do as we know what’s right to do. Gregg and I are continually challenged as we can be extremely different in so many ways. Grace and more grace.” 
While the art of glass fusion is can be traced back to the Egyptians, it has become a well known expression of contemporary art. Gregg often does the measuring and cutting of the glass used at Graceful Glass. The glass is then put in one of the 3 kilns that he and Terri own, and then fired to about 1475 degrees with a long cool down period called annealing. The annealing process is necessary to strengthen the glass. Some pieces may be fired several times, taking about 18 hours each time.  When Gregg and Terri are satisfied with the piece, they often will ‘slump’ the glass into a mold while firing it again. Many pieces have ‘cold work’ involved, which consists of cutting and grinding to insure the desired effect is reached. 

Gregg has worked for years as a machinist, which has served him well to recognize the accuracy needed to produce good work. This has also helped Gregg with the tedious work of fashioning women’s jewelry. “I often have people compliment me on my beautiful jewelry” says Terri, “and it makes me so proud to be able to say that my husband made it for me.”  Terri has painted in oils for years, which has helped her to manipulate the glass paint she currently uses to create glass paintings. They both are on the “cutting edge” in glass work as they continually are exploring new and interesting ways of expression in glass. Their pieces consist of serving dishes, practical art, and wall art, as well as glass jewelry. They are looking to incorporate more natural elements such as wood into their pieces of art. Their oldest grandson, Caleb, is about to join them in designing some of their smaller pieces.   

Gregg and Terri Addington are residents of Searcy, having 3 children, and 3 grandchildren. Terri is currently working on a duel Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling. Both Gregg and Terri Addington desire to use Graceful Glass as an extension in their lives to share God’s faithfulness to others who desire more grace in their lives. 

Please visit us at the studio and see their beautiful work!  We are so excited to have them become a part of us!  Open 10-2...and it's NOT too early to start your Christmas shopping!  Hope to see you there!

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