Artist celebrates beauty of glass

Published 11:00 pm Monday, April 22, 2013

Ask Tara Sartorius what she’s doing with all those Sapphire Gin bottles and she’ll say that she’s making art.


And, she’ll be telling the gospel truth.

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Sartorius says that she doesn’t drink gin but she loves the beautiful color of the Sapphire Gin bottles and they are ideal for her glasswork.

Sartorius will be one of 40 featured artists at TroyFest 2013 Saturday and Sunday on the square in downtown Troy. Her booth will feature her porcelain work, jewelry, bowls, tiles and framed tiles.

Sartorius majored in ceramics at the University of California. She was first influenced by Greek pottery and was fascinated by the way that the images on the pottery and the forms worked together.

“I’ve always enjoyed putting graphic images on my clay pieces,” she said. “Glass fusing is newer for me but I’ve kept up with my ceramics.”

For years, Sartorius “threw” clay on the wheel but, when she had children, she had to find a way to quickly transition.

“When the children needed me, I had to be able to leave what I was doing,” she said. “You can’t do that when you’re working on the wheel. So, I had to work on ornaments or small objects – something I could throw a cloth over and leave.”

Sartorius’ booth at TroyFest will include pendants and “Nines.”

She calls the pendants, “chips,” and they come in various colors and designs. The

Nines are colorful tiles.

“The tiles all start with a tic-tac-toe pattern,” Sartorius said. “I like working with grids. All of the tiles are variations of the grid. Some of the tiles are framed and some are not. Sometimes I match the tile with a frame. Sometimes I’ll match the frame with a tile.”

Sartorius is never at a loss for ideas for art. It’s all around her all the time. Her mother made sure she was aware of that.

“I grew up around art,” she said. “My mother was an artist who worked in stained glass. She loved the museum and introduced us to many different kinds of art.”

Sartorius said her mother had a collection of art postcards that she put up in the kitchen.

“She would change them out frequently so I became familiar with many artists when I was young,” she said.

“So, even though I didn’t study art in high school, it was around me all the time. It still is.”