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I was born and raised in Emporia and attended Emporia schools and Emporia State University.  Most of my adult life was spent working in various clerical and data processing jobs.  My husband’s death in my mid-forties left me with only my job to occupy my free time.
I have always loved the art of stained glass.  As a child attending church, the beautiful windows fascinated me but I knew nothing about how they were created.  I just loved the way the windows sparkled in the sunlight and told a story without words.
I learned there was a glass studio and shop in Wichita and they offered classes to learn how to create stained glass.  I signed up for the classes even though it meant weekly trips between Emporia and Wichita.  It didn’t take long to discover I loved working with glass and quickly acquired the basic tools to pursue my hobby.
That was over 25 years and many, many projects ago.  For several years I made Tiffany style glass lamp shades, as well as all sorts of sun catchers and panels.  Eventually my family had acquired as much glass ‘stuff’ as they could handle, and I was wondering what to do with my hobby.   I was delighted when I was invited to join Prairie PastTimes.  It gave me a reason to continue working with glass and take my work in a different direction.
My father loved to fish, especially on the clear, rocky streams in the Flint Hills, and I was his companion while I was growing up.  We explored the hills around Lyon and Chase County, looking for good fishing spots and land owners who would allow us to access them.  I came to love the wide open beauty of the hills, and felt at home there.  So, when I started working on pieces for Prairie PastTimes, I decided to focus on the beauty of the hills as my subject.   I called my pieces ‘Glass Post Cards’, and made them small so visitors who wanted something to remind them of our beautiful hills, could have a unique souvenir.
Other subjects show up, of course, and this year I’ve begun working in a different technique called copper foil overlay, which creates a silhouette picture.  But the heart of any piece is the glass and I am continually amazed at the way it can be used to depict the interplay of light on hills, rocks, water and trees.  No two sheets of glass are alike and finding the perfect glass continues to enthrall me.

BluebirdJudy Dodson's stained glass at Prairie PastTimes