I found my passion for glass while working in a different career, on a different continent. It all began in 2003 with a voucher, a gift from my husband. He gave me the gift of time to attend a series of stained glass classes when our girls where still very little but super active, and it was almost impossible to carve out any “me-time” with no family around.
For the next 10 years, I pursued stained glass as a hobby, creating the occasional panel and a few lamps. At the time, we lived in suburban America, with no public transport, and the girls needed to be driven to and picked up from every extracurricular activity every single day. When finally my oldest was able to drive herself, I suddenly had a lot more “free time” hand and rekindled my love for glass by taking a fusing workshop with glass artist Ruth Mahoney. Everything else is history.
I began to build my first product line, one step at the time, while running an IT consulting firm for healthcare professionals fulltime. In 2016, we moved from the US to beautiful Australia and I realised that Australians value, appreciate and seek handmade products. I took the big leap and decided to focus on my glass art practice and setup a proper studio in Northmead, NSW.
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life working and collaborating within multiple disciplines and came to recognise my unusual combination of interests and skills as a strength, not a liability, for building A Fiery Heart.
Firstly, my happy place is my studio, with my pencils and tools, sheets of glass and of course, the kiln. But my work schedule also involves taking and processing pictures, updating the Website(s), writing captions, descriptions and the occasional blog post. While I love the process of making physical things with my hands, I enjoy anything that can be broadly described as being creative. Many parts of running a small business as a one-woman-show require just that (perhaps with the exception of all things accounting).
After almost loosing my life due to an undiagnosed rare disorder, I had to reinvent myself. As a perfectionistic professional at the time, it was extremely difficult to slow down and accept my own limitations. It took almost a decade to reach the point where I am now, content, focused, living in the moment, walking through and enjoying life with truly open eyes. I'm in awe of and inspired by the beautiful world around us, be it flora and fauna, architecture, art or even a conversation with a stranger.
On my blog “Thoughts & Inspiration”, I not only describe what inspires my collections but also explore what it takes to live a happy, creative, successful and fulfilled life. I dare to share personal (and I hope relatable) anecdotes, from raising kids, changing careers, living with a rare autoimmune disease and travelling the world to living in a more sustainable and healthier way.
I am very lucky to have the full support of my family and often rely on the help of my two now grown daughters, as both are becoming experts in their respective fields. Whether I am in need of a design critique, marketing assistant, model or sales rep - All I have to do is ask.
And then, there’s Lilly, my everyday companion and distraction. She’s a mostly cute, sometimes annoying and often opinionated Parson Russel Terrier who follows me around all day (and you can follow her, @lilpup.lilly).