Kay McKeever Allison didn’t start out as a glass artist. The art teacher at Lewiston Middle School started with mosaics, buying china at yard sales for her creations.

Then, two years ago, she decided to take a stained glass class at the Maine Glass Art Studio in Lisbon, where she was introduced to glass art.

Now the Auburn woman carefully crafts fused-glass art pieces in her kiln at home.

“When I make a mistake, it leads me down another path,” Allison said. “Sometimes you just have to let things go. That’s just the way it is.”

But Allison does not let anything go to waste. She sees trees, boats, rocks in the tiniest scraps of glass.

“I like seeing things in the glass – in the patterns.”

Starting with a photo she has taken, Allison layers glass upon glass, firing it three times before she is finished.

“It’s sort of like background to foreground, like a painter layering in colors.”

The background is fired at a higher temperature to give it a faraway look, while the final layer – the foreground – is fired at a lower heat to keep texture and create a sense of perspective.

“There’s a little element of surprise. You never know what’s going to happen in the kiln,” she said.

When Allison framed her first fused glass artwork, she was surprised that it looked more like a painting. It was then that she realized a whole new aspect of her work.

Allison has a show at Gallery 5 on Lisbon Street in Lewiston that runs through Dec. 22.


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