Heart of glass
By RACHEL BRANT
Bremerton Patriot Staff writer
February 12, 2009 · Updated 12:59 PM
An Olympic College class sparked Dixie Armfield-Rogerson’s interest in working with glass.
Now, the Tracyton woman teaches her own glass classes in Bremerton.
Armfield-Rogerson began teaching stained glass and glass fusing classes inside Claywerks on Callow Avenue in October 2008. She said she bought goods at Claywerks and started chatting with owner Angela Perryman about her glass work one day. The pair then decided Armfield-Rogerson should teach glass classes at the Bremerton business.
“I’ve always wanted to own a glass shop, almost ever since I started doing stained glass 18 years ago,” Armfield-Rogerson said.
She was first introduced to stained glass when she took a class at OC. She worked in retail management for a number of years and the class provided her a creative outlet.
“It was a good stress release,” she said.
Armfield-Rogerson later took a glass fusing class and was hooked.
“I love this, I absolutely love it,” she said. “They’re just really good mediums to work in.”
Armfield-Rogerson teaches a couple stained glass classes and a few glass fusing classes at Claywerks. She teaches people all aspects of stained glass and glass fusing while providing all the necessary tools.
“When people come and take classes, I provide all the tools,” Armfield-Rogerson said. “The only thing they have to buy is the glass.”
Armfield-Rogerson said her classes are well attended and she keeps the class sizes small with about four to six people.
“My first class I had 10 students and that was just too many,” she said. “I want to be able to give them their money’s worth and give them the attention they deserve.”
If people cannot attend the regularly scheduled classes, Armfield-Rogerson said she will set up one-on-one classes to teach people the ins and outs of working with glass.
“If someone can’t make it to one of the scheduled classes, I’ll look at the calendar and schedule them in,” she said. “If it ends up being a one-on-one class, it’s a one-on-one class.”
Armfield-Rogerson also offers studio time so people can finish their stained or fused glass projects.
“Whatever we need to do to get them a finished project,” she said.
Armfield-Rogerson also sells all the supplies needed for creating glass works of art. She said she will order supplies, including kilns, for people looking for specific items.
“For me to grow I need to not only have people take classes, but buy products too,” she said.
Armfield-Rogerson said she doesn’t prefer one glass medium over the other. She said there’s a bigger interest in glass fusing because it does not take as much time to do, so it “is more of an immediate satisfaction.”
She added that a lot of people aren’t familiar with glass fusing. She describes it as taking compatible glass, putting it in a kiln and melting it together. People can make dishes, vases and other items through glass fusing.
Armfield-Rogerson’s favorite fused glass creation is called “The Peace Plate.” The plate has the Chinese symbol for peace on it. Her favorite stained glass creation is a colorful bonsai tree she made for her husband.
“I feel very fortunate that my hobby has turned into a business,” she said. “It’s really a pleasure.”