Thursday, 14 May 2009

Spotlight on Glass Art by Cec Cohen

A beautiful piece on the theme of Shabbat by Cec Cohen of Glass and Light. Cec loves to weave Jewish themes into her work

When my husband and I came to Israel, we began a small business designing and delivering flyers and other advertising items. One of the first to respond to a post on Janglo was Cec Cohen. Making certain changes in her work and then moving, Cec decided to put the flyers on hold. In the meantime, my husband and I quickly discovered that the delivery of flyers can be very tiring, especially in the Israeli heat and the challenge of finding reliable printers who keep to their prices. We began searching for other avenues to use our skills and earn a livelihood in Israel.

Some time passed and we began networking through Facebook. Not sure who I would know on Facebook, I began connecting with previous clients and potential clients. Soon I was re-connected with Cec but in a completely different manner.

In our journey to sell our photographs, artwork and other items, we had tried listing 2 items on eBay. Excitedly I posted something on Facebook to let my growing network know that we were now selling online and quickly had a reply. Cec very kindly let me know that things on eBay had changed and she was having more success on Etsy. She also sent us a list of a number of other avenues to sell online. From that time on, I have had the privilege to get to know Cec more and to enjoy the beautiful glass art that she posts on Facebook.

Cec is a creative and talented artist who is only too happy to help another artist to get started and to be successful. Full of ideas, she is eager to share and offer advice and guidance.

When I decided to feature Israeli Artists on my blog, I knew one of the first to start with had to be Cec. Not only is her work beautiful but I am very grateful to her for introducing us to Etsy and online marketing.

When I asked Cec how she chose glass art as a medium and where she learned, she sent back the following reply:

"Re studying glass art, basically, I am "auto-didact," self-taught. While this means that you have to learn techniques on your own, it also means that you never hear what you can't do and you can figure out some pretty surprising things.

To get started, I took one 10-lesson "glass-design" class with a local teacher that taught basic foiling, construction and soldering techniques (but not things like cutting glass or creating patterns) and learned the rest from books. About a year later, when I needed some fused pieces for a synagogue panel I was making, I took a 6-lesson fusing course through Gil Rafel in Ashdod, bought myself a kiln and taught myself the rest. About that time I started noticing glass beads and decided I would teach myself. Over the course of a year I read as much as I could and started buying the equipment. A year ago, when we moved to Livna, I set up a torch station in my studio, took 2 torch sessions from a friend who makes beads, and one lesson from a teacher in the US while on a trip to visit my mother, and practiced every day. I still read a lot about techniques and try new things all the time.

I fell in love with glass art long before I started studying it. In fact, it is very expensive to learn so I saved money for about 2 years specifically for the "glass design" course. When I started the course, I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, but within 3 or 4 lessons already knew I was going to do everything I could to become a professional. It felt so right doing it; I felt like it was my destiny. At the time I was working in high-tech and, indeed, within 2 years left high-tech to become a full-time artist.

Unfortunately, with the current global economy, I've had to take on additional non-glass work, since January. My dream is to be back to being a full-time artist within 2-3 years. We start enlarging my studio in a few weeks, so that I'll be able to offer courses and workshops there, which will help."

An unusual plant holder another example of the glass art by Cec Cohen

Cec's work is beautiful and creative with lots of variety. You can help Cec attain her goal by visiting her blog

And her online stores on etsy:

Any other information you would like to know, you will find on either her blog or her online stores. You will find that Cec is very fair and does everything she can to make her customer happy. As she states: "customer service is a big part of my business ethic".

Enjoy visiting her stores and blog - why not visit her studio too? I am sure you will be happy with what you find. If you enjoy glass art, you can support her by purchasing one or more items or you can commission a special piece of glass art for Cec to make to your specifications. Looking for a special gift? Cec gift wraps without charge, will print up a note to go with your present, and will ship to any location that has postal relations with Israel.

It is a pleasure to know Cec and I look forward to hearing that she is happily working full time with her glass art.

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