By Morgan Mays, Marketing Intern for Glass Axis
Rose McVey has been an instructor and artist at Glass Axis for more than 10 years. She will be teaching classes and her work will be part of the Glass Axis Holiday Sale Dec. 7-9. We caught up with her to learn more about how she became a glass artists.
Morgan: Rose, how did Columbus become home for you as a glass artist?
Rose: I moved to Columbus to go to school to become a veterinarian. I was in school for four years when I realized it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. My husband asked me if I wanted to pursue art, since it was always something I enjoyed doing in my free time. I transferred to Ohio State and I took some art classes, then weaseled my way into glass. It was awesome! Even just changing it in the kilns or working on the torch is really exciting. I love ceramics, painting, weaving and all these things, but I can do those at home. With glass, I get to work in the studio.
Morgan: What drew you to Glass Axis?
Rose: I began working for the glass director at Ohio State immediately and I have worked with him for 10 years. He got me the job here at Glass Axis. I wasn’t even aware that I was getting a job here. One day, a previous glass supervisor asked me to go to Glass Axis to sweep. So, I came to Glass Axis, and I walked in the door, and was given a broom. It seemed like a joke. I swept for a while, then I had to leave. Before I left, they handed me a job application. I began cleaning and teaching in all areas soon after, and have been here ever since — about 10 years now.
Morgan: How has the Glass Axis teaching experience impacted you?
Rose: One thing I heard in the beginning was, “how do you feel about making objects over and over again when teaching classes?” All these things are fantastic practice toward your own work. Being here, working with people, I can get to a comfortable place with the glass. It makes me push forward and feel confident. It is always a pleasure to work with someone interested in what I am showing them. I love working with new people, hearing new ideas. Even during holiday events, I like to focus on teaching family groups, rather than the sales I get. I like being a part of family experiences. It brings me satisfaction to see them enjoying their holiday get-together.
Morgan: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Rose: The best thing about the Columbus arts scene right now is the diversity. I love seeing pieces made expressing so many different lifestyles and cultures.
Morgan: I know that you are a working artist and instructor, and a mother of two young boys. How do you juggle your family and your career?
Rose: Glass Axis has been lenient so I can be home with my kids during the day, and teach in the evening. After classes, I work on my own art. I try to get here a few times a week; it’s a good way to get out of the house. I get out of “kid land” for a bit. I like being submerged in something I truly enjoy. Losing track of time is the hard part of it. Sometimes it’s hard to make myself stop working.
Morgan: What classes do you recommend to parents if they want to bring their kids for a glass class?
Rose: We offer all classes to ages 9 and up, and we hope parents consider if their child is ready to work with the hot torches or sharp glass, (although sometimes 9-year-olds are far better listeners than 40-year-olds). I would recommend any of our classes, depending on the child. Ornament class or plate making are ones kids usually enjoy. Kids can create their own design and get hands on with the plate. I would recommend jewelry making for slightly older kids.
Find Rose’s work and the work of numerous other glass artists at the Glass Axis Holiday Sale, Dec. 7-9. Classes and artist displays will be available Friday, Dec. 7 from noon – 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit www.glassaxis.org.