Before you donate that old set of dishes you inherited from your grandmother to a thrift store, Judy Bosies challenges you to repurpose them by creating a new work of art.
Bosies, owner of Wicked Glass Art at 17Rox Artist Studios on Roxbury Street in Keene, creates landscapes, still lifes, portraits ‒ whatever her customers’ hearts desire ‒ out of what would normally be given away. She formed her business when she retired in 2019 after 40 years in the local insurance industry.
“I had always wanted to be an artist,” she said. After seeing a piece of framed glass art at a Vermont craft fair, she made her own with an old window from her father’s barn as a frame. “Everything I’ve done since has been based off of that piece.”
A customer hung that first piece, which incorporated crystal dishes in different sizes within the frame that Bosies had painted pink, on their front porch.
For many years, Bosies, of Swanzey, made glass art in old wooden window frames as well as regular picture frames and gave them as gifts to family and friends.
“Everyone liked them so I started doing more,” she said. “Then I started doing classes and people asked me to do more of those. Then those people wanted to bring more people.”
Bosies opened Wicked Glass Art at a local thrift store before securing the Roxbury Street space last summer, which was when she also did her first craft fair
“I brought 20 things and they all sold,” she said. She has since sold a total of about 200 pieces.
Glass-making workshops are a big part of what Bosies does in her studio. Each class, which she hosts for at least three people ages 8 and up, lasts about two hours; the cost per class ranges from $25 to $50 depending on the number of attendees. Right now, she offers classes in making sun catchers, flowers, China cup bird feeders and teapot rain chains in glass as well as more traditional framed works. Her class on cardinal design is especially popular.
The first hour of each class consists of creating a design, and all materials are included. Bosies’ studio is filled with shells, beach glass, vases and other glass in every color imaginable. And she does all of the glass cutting herself. The second hour of each class involves laying out the glass in the frame. Bosies uses a resin product to secure the glass pieces into the glass backing.
“It takes 24 hours to harden and it looks like fused glass,” she said.
Bosies promotes her classes as a great idea for a “girls night,” team-building exercise or birthday party.
“Adults love these types of classes,” she said. “They’re a great stress reliever.”
This spring, Bosies will be offering a couple of classes off-site, including at Frogg Brewing Company in Marlborough in April, and she offers them to anyone who wants to host at their own space.
Some bring photos for reference to create their piece, and for those who might be stuck on what to create, Bosies provides photos of her past work for inspiration. Others bring their own personal mementos such as vacation artifacts or family heirlooms to incorporate into their glass-making ‒ Bosies can also create custom pieces with these items. Her framed pieces range in size from 3x5 inches to 18x24. While people do hang the glass art on walls, Bosies actually recommends it be hung in a window where it can catch the sun.
To those who doubt their abilities, Bosies encourages them to accept the challenge. “People who come into the studio and say they aren’t good artists and don’t know anything always leave having made a beautiful piece of glass art.”