Artfire Artisan Spotlight: Rachel Grossman, bellaartworks
Posted by pauljvguillaume on 07/08/2011 at 08:23:56
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
Rachel, a retired Homicide Detective turned artist, creates custom fused glasswork in her studio located in Yreka, California where she resides with her husband and children.
Rachel started making gifts of fused glass for family and friends only a year and a half ago. She created a glass steelhead for her father, an avid fisherman. The steelhead caught someone's eye, word of mouth spread, and what started out as a hobby turned into a thriving business.
Custom fish, as seen on her ArtFire page, are the most popular of her glasswork. However, Rachel also creates custom jewelry, dishware, lamps, and pendant lamps.
Rachel tries to maintain plenty of her artwork in stock, but she is also happy to create a custom piece just for you. Fishermen send in your favorite photo of your trophy catch, and she will recreate your fish in glass, mounted and framed. All the color seen on the fish is 100% glass, giving it a lifelike appearance. No paint is used, with the exception of the orange slash on the cutthroat trout. All pieces are one of a kind. No two are alike because each glass piece is individually created and fired.
Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in Yreka, CA a small rural community in Northern California. It is a wonderful place to live and raise a family because the community is very small, and the air is clear and the views endless. Mt. Shasta is in our county and can be seen from almost anywhere in Siskiyou County.
Where did you learn your medium?
When I was no longer able to work in law enforcement because of an injury, I was faced with a lot of extra time on my hands. My mother-in-law, Julie Grossman, is a talented artist and teacher. She taught me how to fuse glass, and, I have been hooked ever since.
How did you come to selling on-line?
We have such a small community, selling on-line is a must to reach out to more people. I have sold most of my work through word of mouth, and I thought this would advance me to the next level of sales, without a lot of cost and effort.
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
My mother-in-law, Julie Grossman, suggested ArtFire, as she has her store “julieannesofcalifornia” on ArtFire. She said it was becoming more and more popular in the art world.
What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
I never considered myself an artist because I had not been educated in that profession. I was very uncomfortable when people referred to me as an “artist.” But, after doing some shows and selling my work, I have learned not to sell myself short. Getting positive feedback has really boosted my confidence and has allowed me to reach even farther outside of my box of creativity. Anyone can be an artist, and don’t be afraid to claim that title and move forward to fulfill your dreams or goals.