Delicate work with glass: Jaci and Harley Trefz specialize in stained and fused glass artOne Jamestown woman and her husband produce solid pieces of art despite the delicate material used. Jaci and Harley Trefz operate Riverbend Studios out of their home, but Jaci’s love for glass got the two started.
By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
One Jamestown woman and her husband produce solid pieces of art despite the delicate material used.
Jaci and Harley Trefz operate Riverbend Studios out of their home, but Jaci’s love for glass got the two started.
“I loved glass forever, absolutely forever in any form, whether it was dishes or ornamental glass, or church windows or just glass, I love it,” Jaci said. “Then I had an opportunity to take a little introductory class at the Arts Center, it wasn’t a very big class and I think it lasted all of a half a day and I knew I was hooked.”
She now teaches and works with stained and fused glass.
That was in fall of 1999. Since then she has taken classes in Bismarck and Fargo working with stained glass. In 2011 she traveled to Portland, Ore., to take classes at Bullseye Glass Company.
“You get this idea in your head of what you want your finished piece to look like then you proceed how to figure it out, how to get it that way,” Jaci said, “and I have a whole pile of failed pieces. When I teach fusing I bring them in and say ‘This is what I was trying to do and this is what I got,’ and there’s lots of laughter around the room.”
She jokes that she wants to cover an entire wall at her studio with failed pieces. It is a trying process, she said.
Jaci once painted but moved to glass work for the increased challenge.
“I used to paint with watercolor and oils and acrylics and when you’re painting you’re always trying to capture the light in one form or another and when you move into glass, that work with light takes a whole other dimension,” she said. “Because you not only have the light being reflected from the glass, you also have light being transmitted through the glass and that changes the way the colors look and the way the pieces look.”
Part of the difficulty is getting the exact specifics right for each type of glass when fusing pieces together, something Jaci learned in great detail in Portland.
Jaci and Harley now do custom glass work out of their studio as well as teach classes.
She planned on teaching a class at the Arts Center this weekend in fused glass but it was cancelled due to a lack of participants.
She said she will teach another class if people are interested, or they can set up a one-on-one class by calling her home studio at 252-5032.
“It’s never boring. Regardless of what you’re doing with the glass, you take these sheets of glass and you cut them up and you put them together and you make something incredibly beautiful out of them and you have all the constraints glass brings,” she said. “With paint you can pretty much create your own colors and you create the images as you’re working on it and you can revise and redo as you go. With glass it’s not so easy — you’re stuck with whatever colors the glass already is.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org