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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Featured Artist Merissa Geldner

Happy morning everyone!
It is a beautiful day in Eastern Oregon! I have my coffee and I am settled in! Time to share a New Shop with you!
Today I am featuring Merissa Geldner
Her shop is
When I saw her wine holder... I almost feel over! So, beautiful! Wow!
Ok... here we go. Get ready! Get comfy!
Tell us what you have in your shop
I sell stained glass art that have mostly nature themes. I employ the Tiffany method which involves putting glass together by copper foil tape and solder and by leaded method which involves came. Tiffany is appropriate for art that is hung indoors hung on chains in a window or hinged to windows and doors as shutters. Leaded glass is what is used for art that goes in a door or window that faces the rain and snow. Same can also be used indoors. I am currently working on 2 windows. I try to do a project weekly, but the windows take longer for me to do.
How did you get started with Etsy?
I was showing my art to a lady that runs an art gallery in Wynona Lake, Indiana. Her daughter was there and mentioned Etsy.
When did you get interested in making your Art
I was probably about 12 years old. My mom took lessons and I joined in. Life got busy and I had put off my craft. Later after college I restarted my interest. I had a front door with a long window in it. I made a Tiffany door window. I would put brackets on my front door and slide the window in. The window could be replaced with a different scene simply by sliding them out of the brackets and replacing it with a new one. I still have it 12 years later. I also had a nonfunctional fireplace. I made a “screen” for that and hung a light in the fireplace from the chimney vents.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I love art. I love color. I am a Christian and have a strong belief that all that we see around us is too orderly and too arranged for it to be a product of mere chance. As an artist myself, I marvel at the beauty I see that I can only mimic in what I make. I have a birding area outside my house which sits on a river. My parents live in the Brownsville-McAllen area in Texas and we visit wildlife preserves with a camera and I take pictures of the birds and flowers I see. This is what I use in my patterns.  
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
Art runs in the family. My mom is very good with oils and watercolor. She also has some very nice quilts. She has a website called Patsy Thurn Fine Art. I can’t remember who taught me my craft has it was years ago, but Kokomo Opalescent Glass has been very helpful in refining my work and teaching me other forms of glass art. One such form is shadow art. This involves putting my art on Copper foil tape and using solder and patina (coloring for the solder) to make a picture on glass. For examples of these see my glass dalles (Coy Fish and Gone Fishing). I used shadow art to make the mask on the Green Jay suncatcher and to make the veins on the Monarch Butterfly suncatcher. You can hang these according to your preference, defined lives versus shadow.
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
I want my name to be associated with stained glass. I want people to hear or see Merissa Geldner or GlassbyGeldner and think quality glass art. As I do have a full time job and I am active in the Christian ministry, I see my shop growing slowly. I enjoy what I do and want others to enjoy what I make.
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?
I typically work evenings. I go out in the ministry offering bible studies Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the mornings. So I have to be very organized. I do some promoting in the morning and on my lunch break at work in the evenings. On the days I do not go out in the ministry I work on a stained glass project. That is why windows take so long to do. I can do a suncatcher fairly quickly – they are small. Windows are more time consuming. So if I haven’t posted anything for some weeks, it is like because I am working on something bigger, or taking classes so I can offer something else. I have a wonderful husband that is very supportive. That is a big help.
Is this a hobby, part-time job, or full-time job?
At this point it is a jobby. It is a job in that I am committed to continue and keep posting. I also have an outlet I send work to locally. It is a hobby in that I enjoy what I do and as I am new to this venue, I do not yet make enough to quit my day job. Of course if you are doing what you love to do, it is not really a job is it?
Where else can we find you online?
I often preview upcoming projects on my facebook. I encourage people to follow me or friend me. I also have posts that show how my work is done. You can view one titled “How I Do It.” posted just this year.
Did you always want to have your own business?
I have had my own business before. I was a landlord until I got married. As I was moving out of state, I had to sell them. Out of state landlording doesn’t work really great.
Any other thoughts you want to share with us?
I have been asked if I do custom work. I typically do that for the locals in my area as showing and matching glass is easier in person. I do, however, look for ideas as to what my market wants. So any ideas as to what anyone would like to see is appreciated. I recently had requests for butterfly windows. I have some ideas floating around for that. Also I have a cardinal window that I am getting ready to start. Click onto my facebook link and friend me, all are welcome.

More about Merissa
I learned about stained glass as a child. I took classes with my mom. About 16 years ago I picked it up again. I would make "shutters" for my windows. These shutters were stained glass windows that were framed and hinged to the woodwork around the window. They could open so that I could still open my windows and let the spring air come in.

People who saw my work often wondered why I was not selling it. My marriage took me from Cincinnati where I was raised to Indiana. I refined my skills taking classes at Kokomo Opalescent Glass which sells stained glass by sheets and supplies and also takes in clients such as Disney.

I came up with the wine bottle holders. After googling them and not finding anything like the ones I designed, I knew I had something unique to offer. A curator, Merna Eisenbraun, at the Canal Street Gallery in Winona Lake, IN saw my wine holder and her daughter told me about ETSY.

So here I am. I do work full-time at a hospital and also engage in the Christian ministry, so stocking my shop is slow. I try to do something every week. I have plans for fire place screens, suncatchers, windows and wine bottle holders. Also these designs are my own. I draw much inspiration from nature. You will notice a lot of themes with birds or fish or other nature-type subjects.

I do not do custom orders as it is difficult to match the exact glass people want over the internet. However, I do like to hear from admirers as to what they might like to see and what colors they especially favor. This helps me to get in touch with the market. So hit that "Contact" button and leave me your 2 cents. One person emailed me about the coy fish dalle telling me about a memory it evoked in her. Love the stories. Let me hear from you.

Thank you Merissa for sharing with us!!!



  1. nice interview - I am also an Etsy seller........


  2. Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing

  3. Great feature, and what beautiful pieces she has!

  4. Just like you, I about fell over when I saw that wine bottle holder. So beautiful! It would make me want to keep a wine bottle in there just for looks. =0)
    Great interview!
    visiting from Blogging Buddies today