GRAPHICS PRO

Start Here October '20

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57 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 0 A piece sandcarved by Wiley Smith. The first sandcarved piece I did was of an eagle's head. (Images courtesy Braden Todd) THE GLASS-SMITH AND GLASSMITH2 This is where it all started for me. I grew up witnessing and consuming everything the glass art world had to offer, and my grandfather Smith was the one that led this world to me. As far back as I can remem- ber, I recall visiting my grandparents not at their home in Denver but at their booths at various glass shows. Seeing my grandfather and grand- mother Judy fielding customers and shuffling around beautifully carved glass was mesmerizing to me. I truly felt like I was a part of some elite family, almost as though my grandparents had superpowers that allowed them to create such beautiful works of art. In addition to my grandfather decorat- ing glass, he also made beautiful stained- glass pieces and some pieces even had a mix of engraved and stained glass. My grandmother made fused and slumped glass pieces in her glass kiln, as well as stained-glass stepping stones. I imagine she would still be firing glass today if I didn't steal the kiln and have her teach me her ways. I also loved seeing pieces that my grand- parents worked on together — carving and then kiln firing glass leads to a whole new world of art. The name of my grandpa's glass art business was The Glass-Smith, so I knew when I started my own business that I wanted to honor what he taught me, so I named my business Glassmith2. In the summer of 2003 on a break from college, I was able to spend two full days with my grandfather. In the allotted two days, my career and life's path were forever changed. There was no easing into the engrav- ing world—my first task was to washout, place, and multistage carve the ever- popular eagle head. Without my grand- father's advice and knowledge, I probably would've been lost and my learning curve set back by years. While I was able to spend time with my grandfather, I grilled him on tech- niques as well as equipment to buy and what equipment to avoid. I truly feel blessed to have been able to have this opportunity and time with my grandfa- ther and hope to be able to spread some of his wisdom to others as well. I grew up witnessing and consuming everything the glass art world had to offer, and my grandfather Smith was the one that led this world to me.

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