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Glass artist marks second year in her retail studio
It’s just her way of thanking the community for its support.
“I thought I’d just move into this space and keep creating,” said Lisa Stirrett, of her art studio and retail location in Silverdale. “I had no idea the amount of overhead and the work that goes into owning a small business. If I’d known, I’m not sure I’d have done it.”
But she’ll soon mark two years in her new building and wants to share that with the community.
“The community has supported us 100 percent,” she said. “We have great repeat customers. They’ll come in for a wedding gift and then they’ll come back for something for their office, or home or garden. They’ve been amazing.”
The celebration of the second anniversary of the Lisa Stirrett Glass Art Studio, 9536 Silverdale Way, will be June 20, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Stirrett has become a well-known Pacific Northwest artist. She works in metals, cast glass, gyotaku (Japanese fish printing), encaustic (a form of sculpting with beeswax) and fine art painting. Her work reflects her passion for the natural beauty of the sea and her Native American heritage.
The event will include food and door prizes and the studio will launch its new Products with a Purpose program.
Products with a Purpose started from her son’s desire to have the family take a missionary trip to Africa.
“He’s in medical school and we’ve talked about doing this forever,” she said.
She was looking for an African charity to help and, through a family in Port Orchard, found Walk in the Light International, which brings water, medicine, education and basic needs to communities in Burkina Faso, Africa.
So, as part of the anniversary celebration, Lisa and her staff have been creating tea light candles which will be sold with a portion of the proceeds going to help build a new health care facility in Burkina Faso. Her family plans to go to Africa in December to help build the medical clinic.
And, each month when the shop participates in art walks, a new product will be introduced and sold to benefit charities.
“We’re already booked out months,” she said, noting that they’ll sell glass mermaids to support breast cancer research in October and serving trays to support the local Salvation Army in November.
“The art walks are a time to introduce the community to new artists,” she said. “So this idea goes right along with supporting the local community and those in need.”
At the anniversary event, Stirrett’s studio will also open a new glass “play area,” a space visitors can use to make their own glass projects.
“People can come in and make their own pieces,” she said. “We’ll have it open so they can experiment that night.”
It will also be open when the shop is open.
Another important happening at the anniversary open house is the naming of Stirrett’s creation which she lovingly calls “the warrior.”
“For a long time I’ve collected metal with the idea of welding together a Native American warrior chief,” she said. “I’m 1/23rd North Carolina Cherokee and I’ve always had an infinity for Native American art.”
With the help of Bainbridge Island metal sculptor Dick Strom, Stirrett created the warrior which stands more than 13 feet tall. His spear point is a glass piece she made.
“I have some more glass feathers to add yet,” she said, of the sculpture that now stands outside her shop. “When people come by and see him, they have been suggesting names. So, I decided we’d have a naming contest during the open house.”
In the past two years, Stirrett said she’s learned an important lesson about owning a small business.
“I never really knew how important they are to the local community,” she said. “When someone comes in here wanting something that we don’t have, I refer them to another business that I know about. The relationships I’ve built are so important. We all help each other out, mostly by word of mouth.”
Prior to being at her current location, she had a smaller studio down the road. She and her husband, Steve, bought the former Farmall Tractor building in May 2011 and spent a year renovating it.
“This studio has been a blessing to me,” she said. “The girls who work with me are so amazing. This is not just a place to make and sell glass. It’s a safe, compassionate place to share who you are.”
For more information, call 360-536-2772 or go to www.Lisastirrett.com.