Michelle Rodriquez: A Cowgirl and Her Kiln

Featured Artists

How did you get started in glass?

My husband Rich and his father used to have a custom stained glass window door company in Santa Clara, CA, so one day he offered to teach me stained glass.

You also do beautiful beadwork, which came first, beading or warm glass?

The beading came first and then my husband signed us up for a fused glass lesson at Ocean Sky Beads Glass in Oceanside, CA. I was so taken by it, that I asked him for a kiln for Christmas.

Who or what inspires you?

Discovering or making up new techniques inspire me the most, but I am also inspired by horses, animals and the sea.

You seem to be inspired by Southwestern culture and style, tell us more about that.

I grew up in Imperial Beach, CA, which is a border town to Mexico. I used to body surf at the beach in the summer and ride horses to the Tijuana River Valley State Park all year round. I also love Native American Indian Art and jewelry. I also have Central American Indian heritage.

You mention in your bio online that you enjoy experimenting with glass, how so?

I enjoy using all kinds of rubber stamps while I travel. I use them with the Delphi liquid platinum gold on the glass. I recently have been using all my scrap, hammering into frit, fusing it into pattern bars and cutting it into a variety of shapes with my Taurus 3 glass saw that my husband surprised me with from Delphi. My latest endeavor has been making and bookending slices from the glass bars I make into plates, bowls and jewelry.

How have other hobbies or interests influenced your work?

My other hobbies include painting, scrapbooking, oven bakeable clay work, wood burning, and making handmade paper. Because of the myriad of products available at Delphi, I have been able to purchase products that I am familiar working with, like glassline pens, fusible paper and glasclay. It makes me feel right at home with this new craft!

You sell your work online, any tips for making it work?

If you are building and maintaining your own website don't be afraid to seek help, switch sites if need be, and overall, be patient. I like to be very economical and sometimes that comes with a price when it comes to hosting photos in other locations, and the glitches involved with free programs. Sometimes it takes years to build a consistent clientele.

Any shows or upcoming exhibitions youre excited about?

I just had a booth at the Police Olympics Surf Competition in Oceanside. It was great showing the art to the children, who were very interested in the process of fusing glass. Right now I'm selling online and gearing up toward the opening of our glass showroom, which is just a fancy tuff shed in our sideyard!

Anything else youd like to share?

I'd love to share my website and email because I would like to share the stamping on glass technique and uses for frit and scrap. I also would love more ideas of new processes to try if within my beginner skill range.


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Donna C.  •  September 26, 2011
Great job Michelle! Love the article and can't wait to see the finished "showroom"!
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Patricia N.  •  September 23, 2011
Congrats Michelle!!! Your pieces are beautiful!!! I am so proud of you!


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