Kathryn Bodine

Tippecanoe County

Kathryn A. Bodine
Fused Glass
Lafayette Art Museum Gift Shop and  Online

Most artists spend years refining their craft with the hope that one day they will hear an art dealer ask “Who’s representing you here?” …especially when “here” is Santa Fe.  For Kathryn Bodine, that question didn’t come late in her glass career, it launched it.

“I started taking classes from Sharon Owens right after she opened Inspired Fire in 2002,” Kathryn said.  “I was learning to make beads and lampworking, and Mike Byers came as a guest artist/instructor to teach glass fusion and slumping.  I created two plates and six pendants, and the following spring I was asked to make a necklace as a gift using one of the pendants. We were in Santa Fe, NM, where we were giving the gift to a special friend, and an art dealer saw them.  She immediately asked who was representing me in the area, and that night I started figuring out how much start-up money and equipment I would need.  That fall, I entered an art show and found a following.”

Lucky?  No.  While her glass story starts there, her life in art began much earlier.  Now more than a decade into her glasswork, Kathryn says “I always was fascinated with glass and glass blowing.  One of my earliest childhood memories is being at the Illinois State fair and seeing an artist make carousel horses and other animal figurines.”  She went on to earn a degree from Ball State, with a double major in art education and graphic design, and for years before and after that degree she worked in a variety of media, including ceramics, metalwork, fiber, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and drawing. “My first passion was black & white photography,” she said, “and my latest passion is fused glass.”

Kathryn says two major concepts influence her life and art, one being form and function, and the other is the simple mantra of simplicity is best. “I use bold, bright colors,” she says, “and I balance simple shapes, forms and lines with negative space.”

In describing what makes her work unique, Kathryn reinforces how her two driving concepts play out in finished pieces.  “Instead of a literal interpretation of a “real” object, I break down form to the most basic, elemental line, shape, texture, and size,” she said.  “My plates are intended to enhance a space with a shot of color and design.  The intent for my jewelry is to create a bold object of beauty that will elevate the wearer’s sense of self.  I also hope on some level they feel that same excitement I felt while creating what they now own.”

While she continues to use studio space at Inspired Fire, Kathryn also creates her fused glass art at her home.  “I follow along the path of past artists/designers like Kandinsky, Mondrian, Albers and Le Corbusier,” she said.  However, by intent, her work carries a Hoosier flare.  “I love the distinct seasons we have in Indiana,” she added.  “Each season inspires countless ideas that I use in my art.”  And according to one Santa Fe art dealer, and scores of clients and collectors, Kathryn’s onto some great ideas.