Jennifer L Worden creates art from recycled glass in Akron, Ohio. We love the way she creates beautiful pieces from what others might waste. We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer L Worden Arts as a vendor for our 2017 Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart on December 3rd!
Tell us about your local business.
My business is Jennifer L Worden Arts of Akron, OH. I use post-consumer glassware in the creation of my art. Conferring a new, unexpected life to bottles, jars, windows and discarded dishware is the inspiration that makes this work possible. I melt, fuse and reshape glass, and employ other upcycled materials wherever possible, to create utterly unique pieces designed to please the eye, engage the mind and encourage a sustainable perspective.
What drew you to your craft?
I've been drawn to the different colors and shine of glass since my late teens. I started by making stained glass mosaics and turned to torch work and kiln firing when I wanted to create dimensional shapes out of the glass. I began by using commercial glass but felt I couldn't take creative risks due to its expense. When I discovered that I could use discarded glass to create beautiful pieces I found my niche.
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
It would have to be the first piece I had in a gallery show. The sculpture was abstract but inspired by staghorn fern. Seeing the piece hanging on the gallery wall gave me the confidence to realize that I was on the right path and to continue to explore my art.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very young I wanted to be a florist when I grew up.
What is your creative process?
For the most part, I don't sit down and decide I need to come up with a new design. I'm inspired by moss, ferns, fungus, and other botanicals and ideas will come to me while studying them. I strive to put a whimsical twist on their shapes and structures. Not all of my ideas translate to the glass but I enjoy the process of experimentation. Sometimes I love a piece from the moment it comes out of the kiln while others I have to live with for awhile and usually end up making a few tweaks to before I consider it a success.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Trust your gut, ignore that little voice of self-doubt, don't be afraid to ask for help or advice, and realize that you will have failures just make sure you learn from them.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
When you purchase something from a local artist or maker you are helping that person support themselves or their family while they pursue their dream.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I am driven to create and am truly grateful that this is my job. The flexibility to be able to work more on creative days and less on days when I'm just not feeling it is wonderful. I usually work every day, but wouldn't dream of trading it for a 9-5 day job.
What advice do you have for other women who want to start their own businesses?
For me, it has been very important to become friends with other women who are business owners and creatives. Being able to talk to someone who has had been in your shoes in invaluable. I think it takes a community to make your business a success. Many opportunities come about by word of mouth so it is indispensable to have a good group of business people/creatives/makers around you.
What is your favorite thing about Exploring Ohio?
Ohio is truly great. Whether you want to spend some time in nature, enjoy arts, music, theater, dance or sports there are many options throughout the state. The favorite activity of my family has been trail hikes and visiting some of the cool caves and caverns we have in Ohio.
Meet Jennifer L Worden Arts at our Ohio Explored Holiday Maker Mart!