Meet Steph Mader.
In her childhood, Steph spent hours wandering through mossy woods, climbing trees, lying on her belly examining tiny plants. Those experiences led to a lifelong fascination with natural forms. You`ll see an immediate interpretation of her design origins in her work. Steph is a contemporary glass artist, working in colorful kiln-formed glass, but with a very distinctive and fascinating style of work.
Her current art forms include fused glass with sgraffito designs, and glass particle paintings. Sgraffito, derived from Italian word for “scratching”, is a reductive drawing method, where the image is the result of removing material rather than adding it. It is a different way of working, and she loves to engage viewers in an outline of the work: “I have developed my own special processes, layering glass colors and scratching away the top black-colored layer to reveal the underlying glass color. The process leaves extra marks which give the work a sense of animation, similar to a block print “, Steph explains. There is a hint of amusement
in much of her work and it directly relates to her sense of humor and her friendly, engaging manner.
During her thirty-year art career she worked initially as a sculptor, exploring ceramics, cast paper, mixed-media, stone and concrete. Since 1982 she has maintained a private glass studio, developing multiple bodies of work in cast, painted and kiln-formed glass. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee, the Peter Kirk Gallery in Kirkland, WA, and venues in Washington and California. Her work is in private collections throughout the U.S. She is currently showing her work in large regional art festivals and galleries in Northwest.
Steph enjoys working in the natural setting of the studio she shares with her husband, photographer and writer Jerry Mader. Their Tolt River Studios sit on the banks of the Tolt River in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Natural inspiration is never far away.
When you see her work, she will likely inspire in you an itch to learn. Steph has an easy and natural teaching personality. Fortunately for us, she teaches workshops in her glass techniques and in some other sculptural mediums at local venues.
A special opportunity to talk with an engaging maker and to understand how much work goes into her pieces is coming up. Steph will be a participating artist in the upcoming Sammamish Arts Fair, Oct 13th & 14th (http://sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com/), and you can find her via her website at www.StephMader.com.