Licha Ochoa Nicholson creates glass vessels that flow and undulate, revealing detailed patterns and shapes. See more of her work at Taylor Kinzel Gallery.
I was raised in a large traditional Mexican family in Kansas City, Missouri, which was quite a challenge. Together with four sisters and one brother, I learned how to live together in a shared living space. This taught us at an early age to be independent and strong-minded. Independence became one of our strongest assets during those formative years.
My first introduction to the arts was through observing my mother create beautiful items with simple household textiles. From this, I learned to be creative with my hands and use my imagination.
My father’s domineering personality (some may call it stubbornness!) influenced me to believe I could accomplish just about anything I could possibly imagine. This personality trait was instilled in me as a child, and has led me to continue exploring the endless creative opportunities available to me.
I began working with glass in early 1980. At that time I chose stained glass, and created numerous window installations for churches, restaurants and homes.
In the late 1980, I had an opportunity to travel to Australia. While visiting Sydney I spent an afternoon at an outdoor art fair and happened upon a booth with kiln formed pieces of glass art.
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I had never before seen kiln formed glass, and wondered what it was and how it was made. I was so intrigued with this beautiful form of art that I knew instantly I wanted to learn how to create glass art using the same method.
After my return from Australia, I was unable to locate someone local to teach me the fascinating technique of glass fusing. I researched glass fusing on the internet and came upon the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington.
I decided if I was accepted to the school, I would travel the long distance to take glass making courses. The glass angel must have been watching over me, because soon after I applied to Pilchuck my husband was offered a job in Seattle.
Soon after we settled in, I learned I was accepted to Pilchuck Glass School! The path was paved for a new learning experience.
Since 1999, I have created fused glass art. As I expound on the endless possibilities this medium has to offer, it continues to inspire and motivate me. I’m finding new ways to tap the unlimited possibilities and natural beauty of fused glass art.
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