by Sara Vogt & Chloe Quimby – July 30, 2015

Here in Tioga County, we are blessed to live among so many talented artists. Every day we enjoy their creations and passions that enrich our lives. Today, we once again delve into the life of a local artist, who recently moved to our area to pursue her artistry.

Originally from New Hampshire, Kathleen Schnell grew up in a family where handmade creativity was a way of life, a heritage passed on through the generations. Geneva French, Kathleen’s mom, and Catherine Moore, her grandmother, were among those who encouraged her artistic gifts to flourish.

The family chose to make a variety of products by hand through quilting, pottery, woodworking, carving, weaving, and rug hooking and braiding. Kathleen, however, fell in love with glass. Her draw comes from the dramatically different casts and infusions glass takes on in diverse lightings. Kathleen has been working with glass for over 30 years and enjoys the exploration of transforming it into unique, beautiful pieces of art. She began her work in glass doing stained glass, but has transitioned to fused glass most recently by taking classes at Cape Coral Art Studio in Florida.

Kathleen likes to use fused glass because through it she experiences the greater freedom of expression in colors and design, without the lines found in stained glass. According to the artist’s biography (provided on her website), we learned that fused glass is also known as warm glass or kiln-formed glass. Fused glass uses a variety of processes with different types of glass, varying amounts of time (2-24 hours), and a wide range of kiln temperatures to soften and change the viscosity of the glass. Sometimes a piece will be kiln fired more than once. It all depends on the visual effect Kathleen wants to achieve and the attributes of the glass. She offers artwork that is beautiful, as well as functional, and even does custom pieces.

The name of Kathleen’s shop is Cottage Glassworks. We asked her why the name “The Olde Cottage” was on the front of the building. She explained to us that before she bought her cottage, it was a shop that sold other types of crafts and artwork. Kathleen comments, “To have my own shop is a dream come true.” Cottage Glassworks is located at 13 Dantz Run Road Ext., in Wellsboro, PA.

When you visit Cottage Glassworks, not only will you enjoy getting to know Kathleen, but you will also find her surroundings a breath of fresh, country air. On the grounds is a farmhouse that was built around 1870 and beautiful gardens, and even some new baby chickens! Her land is also being cared for by a local farmer (Tim Webster). Kathleen lives there with her husband, Robert, and their two dogs, Ellie and Bailey.

During our feature, Kathleen displays a piece that one of our viewers has the opportunity to win! It is a flowered plate that can be used as a serving dish or a work of art to display, valued at $95.00. The details on how to win will be on our Facebook page. You can also watch Kathleen’s demonstration of a simple night-light project on today’s feature.