Laurie’s artistic career began when childhood doodling evolved into more sophisticated rapidograph drawings, then shifted into serial explorations of various mediums. When Laurie was mesmerized watching Dan Dailey blow glass at Haystack-Hinckley School of Crafts in Maine in 1971, her course was set for the next 4+ decades.
She studied glassblowing at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and with Robert Coleman at Haystack, Maine. Upon graduating with a B.S. in 1978, she studied stained glass and assisted Roger Darricarrere in Chartres, France. Returning stateside, the desert beckoned and Laurie moved to Tempe and settled into creating residential stained glass for Robin’s Stained Glass.
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Her own stained glass company, started in 1983, provided her a living until the great recession, after which she concentrated on teaching flameworking and stained glass and directing the glass program at the Mesa Arts Center where she taught since 1998. Her flameworked art and related articles have been featured in 1000 Beads by Lark, 2014, Glassline, Glass Art and The Flow magazines. She studied flameworking from Loren Stump, Brett Pierce, Bandhu Dunham, Janice Miltenberger, Leah Fairbanks, Kristen Frantzen Orr, Matt Eskuche, Steve Sizelove and many others.
Laurie also takes oil color classes with Agustin Vargas at the MAC, being drawn to realism, works as a field tech for an environmental consulting firm, and leads dragonfly and butterfly walks for Maricopa Audubon Society.
Laurie is a true local artist in every sense:
In 2004, I began volunteering on a Sonoran Desert Tortoise survey with Arizona Game and Fish. My weekly visits to this boulder strewn, upland desert landscape gave me an intimate view of the flora and fauna. Their adaptations in the extreme environment are fascinating. The seasonal changes occur subtly, though at times are marked by emergences of immense proportions. Danger lurks, from Pepsis Wasps with a sting topping the chart on the Schmidt Pain Index, to the Giant Desert Centipede, to ants sneaking up your pants. And, of course, the rattlers, quietly waiting in ambush. The reclusive Gila monster, charismatic icon of the Sonoran Desert, send jolts of adrenaline and awe at every sighting in the wild. Their bite tenacious and excruciating. Ah, but their pattern can be brilliant while basking on a rock, or cryptic in dappled sunlight.
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