The Magic of Glasswork with Anita Merina

“I literally spend hours just staring at my glasswork or my worktable, and think: ‘Ok I’m gonna give it up.’ And then my husband always says, ‘Just go down there and work, go and try this, get in there and immerse yourself.’

You know, I struggle all the time. That’s part of it: it’s pain and pleasure. Pain, pleasure, and definitely passion. And sometimes the pain is worse than the pleasure is, or sometimes the pleasure of something coming out… is wonderful. And, you know, I think that they come in waves, and you gotta ride some waves harder than the others.”

Anita Merina, educator and children’s literacy advocate turned glass artist, talks about glass working as a form of magic. When working with glass, she says, there are so many surprises and possibilities that, “you become like the magician, the scientist, the mad scientist…”

After 28 years in the education and editorial field and leading the National Education Association’s Read Across America program, Anita Merina picked up glassworking about 10 years ago. She is now following her longtime dream to be an artist with glass as her medium. She is the owner and creative mind behind AMerinaGlassworks and partner with Katherine Thomas in DC Glass Artists.

To learn more about Anita and her work, follow her on Facebook at AmerinaGlassworks or on Instagram at Merinaglasswork.

Some themes from our conversation include:

  • The surprising nature of glass
  • The importance of play
  • Finding your own unique way in your art form
  • Finding mentors
  • Connecting to your heritage through art
  • Passing on a spirit of creativity and resilience to others

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