Jodi McRaney Rusho: Glass with a Past

Featured Artists

You may know Judi Rusho by the Epic Kiln Carving post we shared on Facebook last week, or by one of her many jewelry pieces floating around on Pinterest.

Jodi is a glass artist who is known for stacking, tacking, slumping, fusing and etching discarded glass items into tasteful, functional art.

How did you get started in glass?


I was originally interested in lampworking, bought a kiln and couldn't afford to buy glass or any more equipment. Not being particularly patient, I promptly rounded up some bottles and started melting them. I liked the recycled aspect, and when other artists told me that it couldn't be done, I was in for the duration. I'm nothing if not determined. I began in 1999, and have learned so much since then! Happily, I finally made my first lampwork beads last year.

Why glass?

If you look around your home or office right now, I bet you'll see more glass things than you expect. Glass is everywhere around us, is critical to our lifestyles, and yet, for the most part, we are only marginally aware of it. Glass can be so many things, it can be gorgeous or dangerous, decorative or functional, frequently both. I find that fascinating. I also like sharp things, so glass is a natural fit.

How have your other interests/hobbies/career influenced your glass designs?

Architecture has always been an interest, the drafting classes that I took decades ago are definitely useful! I collect vintage sofas and structured handbags, which often influence future projects, and further the architectural feel.

My education is in economics, which has had a huge impact, I track every detail of every piece of art, or technique, analyze it and draw conclusions. This training helps me translate what I've learned into information that other artists can use. After 13 years, I have a lot of information!

What inspires you?

Textures, patterns and clean lines all inspire me. I've been known to pick up the lines from a mid century sofa and try to translate that to sculpture. I've taken home paper towels from restaurant rest-rooms because they had a cool pattern stamped into the paper that would look great on a texture tile.

What makes your work unique from everyone elses?

I haven't had any formal glass training, so I don't have a real feel for the boundaries. If I need a particular thing to finish a project or piece, I figure it out, even if it means learning some entirely new technique. The lines between crafts tend to blur in my studio. Right now I'm teaching myself ceramic slip casting because I want a particular mold.

My main strength as an artist is my ability to deconstruct a vision into a set of doable, solveable problems.

Whos work, glass or otherwise, do you most admire?

Oddly enough, it's furniture makers and fashion designers that I love. All things Eames and vintage haute couture.

Do you sell your work? If so, where?

Currently, I sell wholesale and directly from my studio.

What are some upcoming exhibits/shows that you are excited about?

The Glass Art Guild of Utah does an annual show in June that I have new sculptural work for, I'm excited to participate in that.

What advice would you give other glass artists?

Don't worry so much, it's just glass. I'm always surprised by how rigidly glass artists cling to the instructions and rules. Rules can be bent and amazingly cool stuff happens. Also, share. Shared information and inspiration is powerful and energizing.

Anything else?

Keep really good notes. They will save your project on many occasions.

Jodi can be found online at http://www.GlassWithaPast.com, or you can email her at [email protected].



1 comments
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Pam G.  •  April 11, 2012
Very good advice.
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Meet the Delphi Bloggers - Experienced, Knowledgeable Associates who Love the Glass Art The people who write Delphi's blog, work in our store or answer our Project Helpline are artists in their own right. When you shop from Delphi you get experienced staff can help you select glass for projects, find the tools that are right for your budget and help you get started in a new art. That's why we're here, and why Delphi has been able to successfully help people around the world be creative since 1972. That's the Delphi difference! Delphi was founded in 1972 on the belief that making art glass projects should be enjoyable and rewarding for everyone, from beginner crafters to professional artists. We pride ourselves on customer service and expert knowledge about the crafts our customers enjoy. With 40 years of experience and retail, wholesale and educational divisions, Delphi is dedicated to our customer's satisfaction. Delphi is located in Lansing, MI. Photo: Leslie Sunderlin, Customer Service Lead, Glass Fuser