BATH

Joy Scott recently got a call from the governor’s office, asking her to produce a piece of art glass as a gift from Gov. Paul LePage to Alberta’s premier, Alison Redford.

Scott brought several pieces — a large one and several smaller ones — for LePage’s office to choose from.

“He was looking for something bright and vibrant,” Scott said. “Ms. Redford likes reds and oranges.”

LePage ultimately chose the large work.

It’s not the first time Scott has been so honored, by being asked to provide a special gift for a high government official.

JOY SCOTT was a potter before she dabbled in several other forms of art, including glass work. At top, “Red Sky at Night” takes on very different characteristics as she moves it around the studio, holding it up to natural light. “It’s a form of art that changes with the light, the position of the viewer.,” she said. At left, a piece comes together in Scott’s Bath studio.

JOY SCOTT was a potter before she dabbled in several other forms of art, including glass work. At top, “Red Sky at Night” takes on very different characteristics as she moves it around the studio, holding it up to natural light. “It’s a form of art that changes with the light, the position of the viewer.,” she said. At left, a piece comes together in Scott’s Bath studio.

A piece of hers was commissioned for a member of President Obama’s cabinet some time ago by an international economic development group. Scott can’t reveal the name of the person who will be the recipient, because, owing to a series of crises and mishaps, the now-former cabinet member hasn’t yet received her gift.

 

 

“They tell me they’re still trying to arrange an event at which they’ll give it to her,” she laughed.

Joy Scott was a potter before she dabbled in several other forms of art. She took a few classes while spending time in Arizona several years ago, and one of them was an art glass course. “I told my husband, that’s what I want to do,” she said.

It was a learning experience for both of them. Scott’s husband, Larry, learned to cut the glass into the sizes Joy needed for her work. Joy chooses different shapes and colors of glass, adds other items to the composition and then uses a kiln to melt the glass down to her preferred thickness and texture.

Unlike many other glass artists, Scott doesn’t fuse all of her pieces completely to a single monolith. She prefers her work to have some level of texture.

In addition to the large window and free-standing pieces, Scott also does jewelry, small jewelry boxes and framed wall hangings.

Each piece is unique.

“I didn’t go into this business to make a fortune,” she said. “I went into the business to make art. I could make a hundred lobster keychains and sell them to tourists every summer, and they’d probably sell, but that’s not what I want to do.”

Scott sells many of her pieces on a website called etsy.com. “I don’t really care for the marketing side of the business. I know we have to do it, or people won’t find us,” she said. “But it takes a lot of time away from what I really want to be doing.”

Larry helps come up with some ideas for marketing. He researches galleries that may be open to having a Joy Scott show, both in Maine and in other cities across the country.

Not all galleries can exhibit her free-standing work, which is why she has started doing framed work that doesn’t require backlighting.

In Maine, Joy has exhibited at Stable Gallery in Damariscotta, where the show did “very well,” she said. In past years, she’s also exhibited at various art shows in Bath and the surrounding area.

Part of the problem she is having is that photography has to be done carefully. “Lighting these pieces is difficult,” she said. “So we’ve gone to a professional photographer now. But even so, when someone buys a piece and takes it home, the light in their home will be different from the light here in the studio or the light the photographer uses, so the piece they bring home may not be the one they see and buy.”

She demonstrated with a large glass sculpture called “Red Sky at Night.” Moving it around the studio, and holding it up to natural light, the piece takes on very different characteristics. “If someone has this in a window at sunset, the background like would cause this piece to glow. A viewer would see things in it they can’t possibly see here,” she said. “It’s a form of art that changes with the light, the position of the viewer.”

To some extent, then, art glass buyers have to be somewhat adventurous, because the work they’ll exhibit in their homes changes from hour to hour.

Scott experiments with different styles. Many of the pieces in her gallery have a distinct mid-century feel to them; an architectural quality, in color choices that recall the 1960s or 1970s — harvest gold, burnt orange, avocado green.

Scott has experimented with different types of glass, too, including a dichromatic glass that was developed to provide protection for returning space shuttles. The glass pieces develop an iridescent pattern when subjected to heat or lasers. Many of the keepsake boxes and the jewelry Scott creates contains it.

She doesn’t like to name her pieces, but the galleries she is working with insist.

“I’d like people to find whatever it is they’re looking for in the piece. What if I call the piece ‘Oatmeal Cookies’ because that’s what I see, but a potential buyer sees ‘Moons of Saturn’?”

The galleries don’t want the modern naming conventions, either. “I can’t call it ‘Weave Number 14’, she said. “They want a more descriptive name.”

The work she sells in her Bath gallery ranges in price from $30 for earrings and $35 for pendants, small framed works and gift boxes, to hundreds of dollars for larger framed works and freestanding sculptures. Those selling in major cities can command higher prices.

But even so, she’d rather be back in her little windowless studio in Bath, working on the next piece.

“I get excited when something sells,” she said. “But I’m more excited when I create a new work.”

Coastal Art Glass is located next to Wilson’s Drug Store’s rear entrance at 233 Water Street. It is open by appointment. To visit, call 522-0888, or visit on the web at www.coastalartglass.com.

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