Developing a voice

stained glass panel, koa frame

I chose this image for my first blog entry because it marked a turning point for me as a glass artist.  This was the first piece where I began to explore my own voice as an artist.  This is one of the most perplexing questions for me as an artist- What do I have to contribute? How is my voice distinct from everyone elses?

I had always been drawn to the many stories of Pele and had recently come across this one in which Pele and her youngest and favorite sister Hi’iaka were on the brink of mutual destruction.  They had to come to terms with their mistrust of each others motives and then move past the hurt and anger.  As the colors suggest, theirs was an intense relationship.

The design of this piece was fueled by a very frustrating afternoon during which I felt my voice had not been heard.  The process of drawing was cathartic – my pencil was flying on the paper and I didn’t think about all the things you learn in art class.  By the time I was ready to start building, I had worked through my own emotions and had a drawing that was very different from what I usually produced.  Looking at the design now, there are many things I would change.  I hope that means I have continued to grow and be brave about using my voice.  But I will always remember this piece as marking the moment when I embarked on my own journey to discover my voice as an artist.

Michelle Caron
Caron Art Glass
Kane’ohe, Hawaii