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Artist takes it one 'step' at a time

Staff writer

Frelna Crawford, of Marion, was visiting Jan Davis at Gallery 101 in early April when Davis showed her a drawing of her sculpture garden, which she plans to open by June 12.

Crawford noticed that the drawing included plain concrete stepping stones, so she went home and brought back a piece of art she had made — a concrete stepping stone with stained glass embedded in it, forming a pattern.

Before she left the gallery that day, Davis commissioned her to make 10 stepping stones depicting flowers for the sculpture garden. Other than the mandate for flower scenes, Davis left creative control in Crawford’s hands.

Crawford said she has always had an artistic streak.

“I’ve been doing the glass since 1997, and I’ve been drawing all my life,” she said.

She draws many of her own patterns for the glasswork.

“I do two drawings, a pattern drawing and a cutting drawing,” she said.

When the drawings are ready, she uses them as a guide to cut pieces of stained glass. Crawford has several methods she can use to cut glass. She has a frame that is excellent for cutting straight lines and angles, a handheld glass cutter for freehand work, and she recently bought an electric saw that works well for curves.

When the glass is ready, she arranges it in the bottom of a mold before pouring the cement over the top, kind of like the way pineapple upside-down cake is made, she said.

Crawford is taking her time completing the stepping stones. She has completed four of them and revealed two to Davis about a week ago — one showing trumpet flowers and the other showing a water lily and dragonfly.

“I’m doing it slow, because it takes a while for the cement to cure,” Crawford said. “It takes about a week for them to set up.”

Anyone interested in her glass artwork can contact Crawford at (620) 381-4637.

Last modified May 26, 2011

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