Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Interview with GlassArtbyVicki

 This week we have Vicki from GlassArtbyVicki !

Please tell us a bit about yourself?
What do you create? How long have you been working on your craft/art?
I am a full time glass artist, studio owner, and instructor. I was raised on the Jersey Shore and started my professional life as an English teacher in the Bronx. (That feels like several lifetimes ago.) I’ve been living in WNY since 1980.

For the past 7 years,  I’ve been “turning hot glass into cool stuff!" I own Expressive Glass, a 9-torch studio on Route 5 in Buffalo (Woodlawn). Think of it as “a little bit of Corning in Buffalo's backyard.” I started out making glass beads by wrapping molten glass around steel mandrels (rods). Over the past few years, my work has evolved into sculptures. I have been gaining international attention for my miniature life-like portraits of dog heads. I love pushing myself and exploring the limits of my medium.

How do you promote your work to the world?
I wish I were better at this, but like most artists I know, I'd rather be creating than promoting. One of the best things I've done is contacting Kevin O'Neill from WGRZ TV. He came to the studio and interviewed me really early in the morning. Five of my students joined us at 5:30 am and were at their torches. It was fun and good exposure.
I send out newsletters from time to time using Constant Contact. I had a TV commercial running for 3 months as part of a "Western New York Works for Women" campaign. (Not sure I'd recommend that.) I've invited the local press to my studio and have gotten a few articles in the Hamburg Sun. I was also featured in an article in Business First and selected as Artist of the Month by I've joined the Canine Art Guild and gave a presentation to the Centennial Art Center in Hamburg on my art. I am constantly looking for opportunities to promote myself and my art. Unfortunately, it's very time consuming and there is no magic bullet.
What is the hardest part about selling online?
There are several challenges in selling online. I think the hardest and most critical are: 1) getting found by your target market, 2) taking photos that make the buyer feel like they have actually seen and experienced your work in person, and 3)regularly adding enough items to keep your presence interesting.

Where can your work be found locally?

My work is in several local stores and galleries, including Ashwood Artisans Gallery (East Aurora, NY), Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY), Enjoy the Journey Art Gallery (West Seneca, NY), Expressive Glass (Woodlawn), NY), Kazoo Boutique Gift Shop (Eden, NY), Memorial Art Gallery (Rochester, NY), Thin Ice (Buffalo, NY), and Village Artisans (Williamsville, NY). I’m looking to expand more into galleries and museum stores as I think they may be a better venue for me. We’ll see.

Do you have any up and coming art shows/craft shows that you would like us to know about?
I will be participating in the Roycroft Summer Show at the Parkdale School in East Aurora on June 29-30, 2013.

Do you do this full or part time? If full time how did you get yourself to that status?
I’m a full time artist. In 2009 I bought the old Dickies Donuts in Woodlawn and turned it into a teaching studio with 9 torch stations. At that time, I was still traveling all over the Us and Canada speaking to executives on how to collaboratively improve people performance in their organizations. I got REALLY tired of the traveling and decided that I could afford not to do that anymore. I quit cold turkey and became a full-time artist and instructor in January, 2012. I’ve never regretted it.

Have you had any formal training in what you do?
I began my journey in glass in 2006 when I took a weekend class in beadmaking at the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. Since that time I have studied with some of the world's most respected artists, including Loren Stump, Emilio Santini, Wesley Fleming, and Bronwen Heilman. Even though I learned a lot from each of them, it's really been the hours and hours and hours at the torch that have made the difference.  There’s no substitute for experience and tenacity.

Do you teach any classes in what you do?
Yes, I teach 3 levels of lampworking from making beads on a mandrel (steel rod) to off mandrel work. I also host an international instructor once a year at my studio.  

Where do your ideas come from?
I’m not really sure. They just seem to bubble up. Not being a trained artist (in anything but glass), I don’t typically sketch out my ideas. Sometimes I wake up with an idea I want to explore, sometimes it happens when I’m sitting at the torch. Sometimes I’ll get an idea looking at someone else’s work. As I continue to learn and practice new techniques, the ideas flow.

Where can you be found online?
In addition to my Etsy shop, GlassArtbyVicki,  I have a website, that I just redesigned and am working to optimize, a Facebook page, VickiSchneider3, and fanpage ExpressiveGlass. I have a Twitter account, but I hardly use it. I’m planning to start a blog. I afraid of the time suck. I think it would be easy to spend all day every day online if I’m not careful.

  Thanks Vicki for sharing your experience with us! If you are from Buffalo and would like to be featured on the blog please contact me for more information!!


  1. Awesome awesome interview! I want to come take a class SO bad. :D

  2. what an interesting piece! Amazing work too!

  3. Beautiful the side by side images of pets and the glass art work.