Sheila Hydle embarked on her new venture after the death of her father. "I wanted to use my inheritance to start something I'm passionate about," she explains. "I decided to do something different. Glass-cutting was the first thing that I felt passionate about. If my dad was here, I would still be in corporate America and unhappy."
But instead, she opened Glassateria, a studio that allows customers to become artists by working on their own glass-fusion project. "I love helping people feel creative and providing a place for them to let go of logic," Hydle says. "You can manipulate glass, but you can't control it."
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At Glassateria, you can choose a project -- everything from coasters to plates, bowls and vases -- that you cut and assemble; the glass is then fired in Hydle's in-house kiln. Seven to ten days later, you have a custom-made art project ready for use. Prices range from $20 for a small trinket tray to $65 for an origami bowl. Although Hydle continues to work on her own glass fusion projects, she says teaching others how to access their inner artist has become her new passion. "You have to dig in to figure out what you want to do," says Hydle. You can visit Glassateria on any First Friday; in the meantime, go to the Glassateria website for store hours and updates.