ABOUT EVELYN GOTTSCHALL BAKER
My professional career began as a Graphic Artist and Illustrator. As Advertising Manager and Senior Illustrator for the Department of the Army, I created highly detailed, exacting paintings and drawings. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree I became a Test Engineer for a large U.S. defense contractor. During this time, I studied watercolor and oil painting, and took classes in stained glass, which allowed me to pursue a part-time career as a stained glass artist. I chose to work in stained glass, as I wanted to explore a style different from my painting style, which was detailed and realistic. I took my first fused glass class in 2011, primarily to create components to incorporate into stained glass pieces. My initial interest in fused glass quickly grew into a passion, which I eagerly pursued by taking a number of classes, many of which were through D&L Art Glass in Denver. Now that I have retired, I am able to dedicate my time to following my passion.
Living in Colorado, I find it natural to try to capture the beauty of our local landscape into works of art using glass. My initial desire to simplify my style was well suited for stained glass, but as soon as I discovered glass fusing, I began re-introducing detail and realism into my art. During the past year, I have fully embraced this realistic style, and have begun to use both traditional and non-traditional casting and mold techniques to create sculptures that depict the beauty around me. I live in an area surrounded by 80% public land, and on daily walks am able study the intricacies of nature – What are the characteristics of the leaves? If I try to create this branch, what leaves are appropriate to include? What rock and twig samples should I take to incorporate into my pieces? How can I capture fallen leaves that were pushed by wind and water against the branches? I strive to take viewers to that place where I looked down and was inspired by what I saw.
During the past year, I have experimented extensively with glass powders, developing a unique method of sculpting glass paste into dimensional forms that are fired without the use of molds. My experience as a Test Engineer has proved invaluable in shaping the discipline necessary for the methodical, detailed testing required to create the complex firing schedules for this method, which must account for shrinkage, varying thicknesses, and the way in which heat affects individual components. It is my pleasure to share this technique through teaching other artists, as well as through the display and sale of the resulting sculptures.