After college, glass artist Joan Ensminger says, she “chose commerce over art and pursued a career as a corporate marketing director.” But in 2007 she was introduced to the 5,000-year-old process of kiln-formed glass and with a rare sense of color and form (and a perfectionist streak) soon began designing and making gorgeous custom and limited-edition tableware and ornaments.
Ensminger cuts flat sheets of glass, assembles the elements into a composition and fires the design as many as four times in a special kiln at temperatures as high as 1,600 degrees. Then cold-working techniques (grinding, sandblasting, beveling and polishing) are used to finish each piece.
This weekend Ensminger is exhibiting her work at the Rhinebeck Arts Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and will introduce her new jewelry collection. Pieces are inspired by tribal design, the great Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí and honey bees.
Festival hours are Saturday, June 25, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, June 26, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Dutchess County Fairgrounds are located at 6550 Spring Brook Avenue (Route 9), outside of Rhinebeck village.