Saturday, November 20, 2010

Things that inspire me ...

In my blog you will read not only about me, but also about my friends, who all are creative hand-makers.
Today I introduce to you Alla Sharkova - ta da! :)

Original Stained Glass. Interview with Alla Sharkova
Jerusalem Menorah - Stained Glass Gift for Hanukkah
How have you started working with glass?

I have been creating different things since I was very young. I learned to sew at 6, to knit and crochet at 8, made my own clothes, worked with wood, drew with ink and ballpoint pens, had a photo lab in my bathroom… but nothing stuck for a long time. Then I moved to the USA and for a while had to work and study a lot, so I would only draw a little.

Blue, Red and Green Stained Glass House Candle Holder

Working with glass always seemed magical to me, something out of this world, not to be tried by mere mortals. I've always wondered how it was done but never had an opportunity to find out. Then one day about 10 years ago I found some tools, a book and a box of glass being sold at a yard sale. I bought it all and that same evening I cut my first piece of glass, wrapped it in foil and soldered it back together. As simple as that. The rest just came naturally with time.

Agate Geode Slice Stained Glass Night Light
 What do you sell and what is so special about your works?
I sell anything I think would be fun to make out of stained glass and have around the house: window panels, sun catchers, candle holders, night lights and refrigerator magnets. Stained glass is an ancient medium that is very capricious: it is flat and rigid and needs to be positioned and lit in a certain way. All this makes it hard to compete especially with computer-based art. I try to come up with the way for stained glass to fit into the modern lifestyle. I make and sell one-of-a-kind (OOAK) items that I would (and do) use in my house to make it more beautiful and whimsical.
Thousand Windows Stained Glass Panel

What is most important about your works?
I get a lot of ideas and try to create basic sketches whenever I can. When I make time to work with glass, I pick out a sketch that matches my mood the most. My sketches are very basic and each has a little story associated with it. I let my sketches transform depending on the music I listen to as I work, the story I came up with, and the glass that lends itself to the piece. Very often the panel evolves so much while I work on it that it is hard to trace it to the original sketch... For me this evolution is the greatest part of the process because the finished product then is not just a colorful pattern, it becomes an illustration, a postcard, a mood snapshot.
Two Garlands Stained Glass Christmas Tree Candle Shelter
Which one of your items do you like the most?
I honestly do not have a single favorite item. I would say that my two favorite themes are cottages and working with light. I love making bright little cottages that evoke a happy, cozy, peaceful feeling. I have made cottage sun catchers, plant stakes, night lights, candle holders and lanterns. All of them are different - one of a kind, though there are series. I had a lot of fun making my Halloween cottage lanterns and candle holders and they are very popular with customers. Glass interacts wonderfully with light and especially candlelight.
See more information and contact Alla at

View more photographs and purchase Alla's works at and

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