Kathy Brill solders a new stained glass piece in her basement studio in Bath. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

Kathy Brill, the mastermind behind Kharris B Studio in Bath, sits with a smoking soldering iron in one hand while flipping through pre-cut uniform squares of stained glass in every color with the other. She lays an amber-brown square into place next to a complementing color and solder bubbles as the new piece is fused with its partner.

Brill said she decided to learn how to make stained glass art 20 years ago after she became “annoyed that people make illustrative pieces out of something that’s already art.”

She holds up a full plate of aqua glass to the French doors in front of her. When the light hits it, streaks of sky blue and lavender appear.

“When I look at pieces of stained glass, I just want to frame the glass,” said Brill. “I don’t want to cut it up and make a frog out of it. It seems blasphemous to have something that beautiful and distract from it by making a cartoon of some kind. I took a stained art class so I could make art that displayed how beautiful the glass is.”

Behind Brill, natural “found objects” like mushrooms, seed pods, and pressed leaves are strewn across a table, which she also made, in her cramped basement studio.

Brill and her husband, Ken, recently converted the basement bedroom in their home at 20 Webber Ave. into a store for her art. The couple previously operated a store in downtown Bath until it closed in 2018.


A table in Kathy Brill’s home studio is filled with “found objects” from mushrooms to pinecones ready to be used in her next art piece. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

Though geometric stained art pieces fill the windows of her studio and store, Brill’s art is far from limited to stained glass. Brill’s medium of choice ranges from objects found in nature like mushrooms and pine cones to small, detailed man made items like computer circuit boards and watch gears. She also woodworks and makes furniture.

Kathy Brill’s store in her home at 20 Webber Ave. is filled with her stained glass creations. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

Raised in Utah and Wyoming, Brill said she has always loved creating art as a way of recording the world around her. Her love of creating art with found objects started when she made fairy villages outside. She said returning to that medium later in her career is “a safe place.”

“I pick things out of ditches and when I go into the woods, I’m focused more on the detail of rocks, leaves, pinecones, weird sticks,” she said. “When you have all those materials, my brain is already percolating on where they would live, so creating these environments has been fun.”

One of Brill’s latest phases is filling the tiny compartments of old typeset drawers with a combination of “weird bits of stuff” like moss, rocks, old computer circuit boards and watch gears.

Kathy Brill holds a seed pod she plucked from a drawer bursting with them, considering how to use it in her next art piece. Kathleen O’Brien / The Times Record

“I like to put things in there that the person who buys it may not see for a while because it’s tucked in there,” she said. “If I was a kid, this is the art I’d want to look at. It just feeds my brain.”

Whatever she’s creating, Brill said she makes art as a way to work through and release whatever she’s thinking or feeling, whether positive or negative.

“I don’t make things to sell them,” said Brill. “I make things to get them out of my head, and I like to make things no one expects. It’s how I breathe. My frustrations, happiness, sadness, whatever I’m feeling, it manifests physically. I don’t talk about stuff, but if I make something … it helps.”

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