Meet Tessa Smith, #ArtGlassFinest Spotlight March 2022
March is here and we have another amazing artist we want to introduce you to! Meet Tessa Smith, the incredible artist behind Tropical Daze Glass. Daydreams of tropical places, wild animals and warmer weather drive her work and it shows in every piece she puts out. We love her drive and passion for the craft and it's incredible she has only been doing this for such a short time. Without further ado, let's jump into the conversation!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, where you are from, how you got into glass.
My name is Tessa Mulrooney, I’m from Detroit, MI, and the artist behind Tropical Daze Glass. I work primarily with the Copper Foil Method creating contemporary, fun, vibrant stained glass designs. My dad has been a stained glass artist over the years so I grew up seeing the process of stained glass and being inspired by him to learn it.
How long have you been working with glass in general?
Although I grew up seeing the process of stained glass, I didn’t get in to creating my own glass art until 2 years ago at the height of COVID-19. I spent all my time in my studio creating, practicing, and learning every day and what started as a hobby grew into my small business.
What is the focus of your work, any inspiration behind it?
I’ve grown up in Michigan, a very chilly state during the winter months. I’ve always had a love for warm tropical places, fish, coral reefs, jungles. Dreaming of locations like that I feel helps me escape this cold weather. I also love to travel to warmer climates, so I try to use those trips as references for my art, like I just recently went to Hawaii. Hopefully one day I will live somewhere warmer but right now I just make art inspired by it.
How long have you used our products, and do you use them exclusively?
I have been using Oceanside Glass for 2 years and use the glass in almost every piece I make. My favorite are the opaque opals. They are super easy to cut and come in a rainbow of colors. I always know I can find the exact color I’m looking for.
Is there anything that makes our product stand out from the rest- a reason why you choose to use it? What do you look for in glass when you are sourcing it for your next project? (ie: color, texture, quality etc.)
I am usually always looking at colors first when choosing glass, because I have a specific idea for the piece I’m working on. I’m inspired by the color palettes of the 80’s and 90’s, lots of bright vibrant colors, pastels, and patterns. I can always find the colors I’m looking for when it comes to Oceanside Glass. I also love how easy Oceanside Glass is to cut. From using Water Glass, Opals, Streaky glass I know I won’t have any issues with cutting which is also perfect for those who are just starting to learn stained glass.
If you are teaching a class, what is it about? What will students learn? (If not a class, are you launching anything?)
Not launching anything at the moment, but over the holidays I hosted the first Holiday Hide and Seek. Artists from all different mediums participated in hiding artwork on the same day, leaving clues on their Instagram pages for their followers to search for. We had over 20 artists join in across the US and Canada. I plan to host another this year as well, which will hopefully be even larger!
Do you have any big projects in the works or coming up? Any works you are particularly proud of?
I’ve been working on going larger in scale with my pieces. I’m hoping to continue creating large panels, perhaps learning how to make a full leaded piece. My favorite piece so far is my Jaguar panel which uses Oceanside Opal and an iridescent pink Water Glass. It’s one of my largest pieces to date measuring 18” x 15”. I also just ordered a kiln and plan to create lots of fused work in the coming months.
Tell us one fun fact about you or your work.
One fun fact about me, I am a huge animal person. I have two cats and a dog which those who follow on Instagram probably already know because they are on my page just as much as my art! They hang out with me and keep me company when I am foiling glass.
Thanks Tessa from being a part of this incredible #GlassFam that we get the privilege of serving. It was a pleasure getting to learn more about you and your work and being able to share it with the world. You are such a positive light in the glass world, keep on shinning!
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