Deirdre Schaneman didn’t see herself becoming a glass artist when she took a beginner’s class about 20 years ago. But, as she describes it, she “was kissed by the flame” after making her first glass beads in the class.
“I never thought that I’d be somebody who worked glass when I started almost 20 years because it seems intimidating. Because it’s 2,000 degrees, it can cut you, it can burn you, it can do all these things to you. And really it’s much more accessible than I could have realized,” she said.
Deirdre has been working with glass since 2002. She has been in St. Louis for about 10 years and has worked out of Third Degree Glass Factory’s space for around 4 years. Deirdre mainly does lampworking — one of the oldest forms of glass work. In lampworking, the glass artist builds the piece from the inside out, working off a mandrel. From there, the piece goes into a small kiln so it can anneal at 960 degrees and slowly cool down. Deirdre says if the glass piece were left out and the kiln step was skipped, it would crack into a million pieces similarly to if an ice cube is thrown into a glass of hot water.
The annealing process can take several hours. After being removed, the glass piece can be used in a myriad of ways. For Deirdre, that means turning it into jewelry.
You’ll get to see Deirdre’s work up close at United 4 Children’s Lighting the Way Gala on September 9. Deirdre will create a pendant necklace live during the event. Her necklace and earring set will be available during a special live auction at the Gala’s in-person celebration.
Doors open at 6 p.m. at Third Degree Glass Factory. You can also join the Gala virtually. United 4 Children’s official program for all in-person and virtual attendees will begin at 7 p.m. The program will include an award celebration, silent auction, and connection to the organization’s mission. If you plan to join the Gala virtually, tune into United 4 Children’s Facebook page at around 6:30 p.m. to watch Deirdre’s glass art demo via Facebook live.
By attending the Lighting the Way Gala, either virtually or in person, you will advance United 4 Children’s vision of ensuring that all children can thrive regardless of race, zip code, or ability.
Learn more and buy your Lighting the Way tickets: united4children.org/ltw2021
To check out more of Deirdre’s creations visit @deirdreschanemanglass on Instagram or visit the gallery at Third Degree Glass Factory.