Meet the Artists of The Best of 2020

While we’re closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re reaching out to the artists whose work is featured in the Best of 2020 exhibition. We’ve asked them what they are working on, what inspires them, and how they keep their creativity flowing.  We’ll update this page as artists respond.

Vicki May Cook

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

VMC: I’m a college student at Western Michigan University so my studio practice has changed dramatically. I haven’t had access to a metal studio since the second week in March. My BFA exhibition was scheduled for the end of March so all of the pieces are completed and waiting for the fall when my exhibit is rescheduled (October 2020).

The only thing in progress is my website so I can have a virtual exhibit and review with my BFA committee. My home space is not set up (YET!) to do the soldering, forging, and forming that I normally do. What I have been doing is planning for the future (#1 – a functional home metal studio), researching grants/scholarships/exhibits, looking at graduate programs, working on drawings, and making little balsa-wood structures that could translate into metal later. In some ways this doesn’t feel very different from normal around [my] home: I always spend a lot of time organizing information, researching potential financial resources, researching tools/materials/techniques, etc. The organizing portion of work and studies has always taken up on average about 40% of my productive time.

I’m spending a lot of time in my yard watching spring unfold. I haven’t slowed down enough to do that in a long time.

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the crisis?

I have made a couple pieces in response to my feelings about the present (isolated) and the uncertain future of our economy. These are casual and impulsive exercises.

Vicki’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find more about Vicki on her Instagram: v.i.c.k.i.c.o.o.k, and at her website,



Ralph TR Steiner

OCM: What are you up to in the studio?

TRS: I’m planning to fire the soda kiln tomorrow, (Friday, April 10th), so I have been busy preparing for that. Shaping the wet clay into a form of my concept and design is fun, but the nuances of getting the glaze applied correctly and loading the pots in just the right spots in the kiln is a bit nerve racking. So many tiny variables have such profound consequences on the outcome of the piece. My hope is that I have maneuvered my pottery through the process well enough to find pieces that are beautiful to me in the end and hopefully, to others too. It doesn’t happen very often when everything comes together, when that one special pot comes out, when all planned and unplanned aspects seem perfect. It is one of the happiest moments for a potter. It’s what keeps us going–maybe our gambler’s mentality of that next best pot. I hope tomorrow goes well.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different lately? 

TRS: I am trying to slow down with the rest of the world. [I’m] trying to live in the moment. I am trying to be more introspective, trying to be more gracious, thankful, and more appreciative of all the good things that this life offers. One of the things I have enjoyed lately is rereading my collection of Ceramics Monthly magazines.

I hope when the world gets back to some semblance of normal [that] I don’t fall back into old habits, but learn from what has happened and what this virus will yet teach us. My art will certainly change to reflect my experiences and feelings, but just how, I do not know yet.

The photo (below) is of some of my glazed work that will be fired tomorrow.

TR’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can learn more about TR Steiner at his website,







Beth Schillig

OCM: What are you up to in your studio?

BS: Currently I am trying to continue with my “Connections Series”; the interlocking oval shapes.  I have enclosed a picture of my design wall and some fabrics for the next piece.  But, I am finding it very hard to keep focus during this time period.  I feel very distracted.  And I have had my sewing machines buzzing with making cloth masks and hospital gowns for family and friends as well as to donate.  During this time when we all feel so helpless and uncertain, making masks helps me to feel like I am contributing to the greater good.

Overview of my most used machines; I call it my “Bernina Island”. Bernina is the brand of sewing machine I use.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

BS: Like many artists, I spend lots of time working alone.  So, in many ways this time period is the same as usual.  But when someone tells you/forces you to stay home, it is not quite the same!  After a few weeks of this self isolation, I feel I should have lots of work to show for it.  Not the case, my concentration level is simply not there.  I have a hard time getting lost in my work and spending hours at it.  That is not normally the case.

OCM: How do you stay upbeat and entertain yourself in these challenging times?

I feel fortunate to have met a few other ladies who like to walk.  We meet each morning and walk 1 to 1.5 hours along a creek and nature area very close to our homes.  Since I live alone, this social contact has been wonderful.  I barely knew them when this started, but we are getting to know each other quite well!  Also I have been walking in the neighborhood in the afternoon with a few others who live just a few doors away, and we  chat with other neighbors along the way.  Getting to know more folks in the neighborhood has been a side benefit of this trying time.

And with texting, emails, Facebook and so many online videos and chats, it is easier to keep in contact with other humans.  This would have been a much, much bigger challenge and more isolating in years past before we had all these options at our fingertips.

Beth’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find Beth Schillig on Facebook at on her website,

All my work is done on my machines except the final step; the beading. Each tiny glass bead is individually hand sewn on.

I use a traditional sewing machine to create the ovals, apply various decorative stitches and sew it all together. The ovals are partially assembled prior to putting on the background.

A picture of my design wall. I audition various fabrics and colors for a new piece.







Patty Kennedy-Zafred

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

PKZ: At the present time, I am working on a quilt for an invitational exhibition  regarding the 100- year celebration of the right to vote for women; the quilt is based on images of suffragists from that time period, printed on hand dyed fabric.  Once that piece is completed, I am planning to work on another piece for the American Portraits series that will be three dimensional; probably a book.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

PKZ: My artistic practice is the same, since I tend to work primarily from home, unless I am printing, which I do at Artists Image Resource.  Since they are now closed, I am not able to print anything new at this time, and am looking at leftover prints for possible upcoming projects.  The isolation is more intense, however, because I can no longer meet other artists for meetings, workshops, lectures, etc.

Patty’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. Find more about Patty on her website, and on Facebook.



Carol McDonough 

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

CMcD: I’ve been working at home in my studio by myself for most of my adult life, so not much has changed for me, I do miss going to the pool and swimming but I subbed my old bicycle  and I ride up and down my rural road that is thankfully not too hilly.  That bike is the best $20 I ever spent, I just added a bell from an Etsy shop located in Wilmington, DE, my place of birth.  It was a little more dear than the bike but who’s counting?  Certainly not me, I’m an artist not a math whiz.

Speaking of art, my lifelong avocation: something is always on the percolator.  Actually, many things are sifting through my mind and taking up space on my table.  I visit and revisit each one playing with the possibilities until a deadline approaches (cue Jaws music), and I finalize with some decisions, epoxy and photos.  The final piece is a product of planning, serendipity and the moment.

I have found that most of my work morphs in the process and not just because of the firing.  I am speaking of my sculptures here.  I make my sculptures and then I look, ponder and realize what they are about.  It’s usually about me, (go figure), but I think it’s cheaper than seeing a shrink and I know it’s way more fun.  You can read more about my sculptures on my web page:

I also have an Etsy shop and I fill it with thrown and hand-built pottery and slumped glass sun catchers.  I make tiny turtles 25 at a time and I take custom orders that sometimes lead to a new line of work.  For example, my slow feeder dog food dishes.  My dog Kato is on a diet, mostly because “himself” over-feeds. Kato eats out of a small slow feeder dish that only holds two cups.  Mad Larry finds this hilarious: he’s my spokescat, and he has his own Facebook page.

When my husband built my current studio he said, “What are you going to do with all this space? You’ll never fill it up.”  HAH!!!

Carol’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can read more about Carol on her cat’s Facebook page, on her web page, and you can purchase her work on her Etsy site.


Laurel Fulton

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

LF: Unfortunately, since my studio was located on the University of Georgia’s campus, I no longer have access to the tools and equipment that I need to make the work I usually do. My “studio” has moved to the desk in my home.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation? 

LF: Well, my practice has changed to a more research-based focus. I’ve found myself consuming books much more rapidly.

OCM: What do you do for life balance during these challenging times?

LF: Get outside and reach out to people. I’ve also gotten to listen to some amazing zoom talks and discussions from Lola Brooks and Glenn Adamson. Oh, and I started knitting again.

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the crisis?

LF: I’ve been writing poetry and rediscovering drawing.

Laurel’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find out more about Laurel on Instagram at @laurelnicolefulton and on her website,


Sebastian Coleman

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

SC: I haven’t been working since this started.  I was at an art show in Florida on March 13, and the show was closed early.  I had been in Florida for shows, so I had my furnace turned off while I was away.  I haven’t turned it back on as of yet because it is very expensive to run.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation? How is it the same?

SC: I live and work on a farm in rural Ohio, so not much has changed for me.  I have been trying to work on my website to get online sales going.

OCM:  How do you stay upbeat and entertain yourself?

SC: I really enjoy cooking, and have been spending a lot of time cooking each day.

Sebastian’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find Sebastian on Facebook, Instagram and on his website.


Alan Firestone

OCM: What are you up to in your studio?

AF: I am working from home, I teach and I am preparing and conducting seminars via Zoom. I am also preparing for the summer semester at OSU which will be all online, so I’m trying to get ahead on that. I also see any emergencies among my patients who have problems with the oral appliances that they use to control their sleep apnea. Sleep is essential to health and often these patients have other health issues along with their sleep apnea, so seeing them is necessary.

My studio, Glass Axis, is closed. There is no opportunity get close to the glass and do that dance where I lead and try to get the glass to follow :).

OCM: How do you stay inspired?

AF: I’m busy, but it’s a little one-sided when I can’t get to the studio. I’m using this time to look at glass in my library of books, and on websites. I sculpt in glass, I like to tell a story, so I’m working on ideas using the pieces that I have at home [to create] stop-motion photography. It’s fun and it’s challenging – a new technique and an improvised studio on the landing on the staircase in my house.

Alan’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here.

Char Norman

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? 

CN: I’m working away in my studio-not much different from my normal schedule. I typically have several works in progress. Currently I have about four different things in progress.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

CN: My practice has not changed significantly as my studio is in my home. I mostly buy my supplies on line. The one thing that is different is that I do not have the opportunity to discuss work with my colleagues.

OCM: What do you do for fun?

CN: I have an active yoga and meditation practice. Also it’s gardening season and I love being outside digging in the dirt.

Char’s piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find more about Char Norman on  her website, on Facebook and on Instagram @charstegernorman.





Lucas Pointon

My most recent work has included sketchbook drawings and unfinished etchings both in steel and copper. These works focus on my interests in the “land ethic” and conservation. My time in isolation has given me the opportunity to read further into this idea from works such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I would like my work to move forward considering my relationship with the land, and my love of fishing and hunting. Hopefully sooner than later I will begin studies of mechanical automatons that reference these concepts.

Lucas’ piece in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find Lucas on Instagram at lucpmetals.

Trash Drawing

Hyena Study


Pamela MacGregor

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

PM: Yes- I have a new felted wall hanging in the works.  I have documented the steps to where I am on this piece.  Lots left to do.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

PM: My artistic practice is its normal stage.  We live on a small “hobby” farm and spring is a busy time. My creativity slows down as it gets warmer out.  I normally spend about six hours a day in the studio and seldom get off the farm it seems but several times a month.  I am a very solitary artist.

Pamela’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. 

Finnish Sheep Wool: the beginning

Wet down with soap and water and bundled for my rolling machine

Taking the resist out of the piece

Several days of doing and then I needed to rewet and continue with the shrinking and shaping process. This took almost a week for it to dry after the first time.

This shows how much the piece has shrunk from the original pattern with possible ornamentation

Finally finished with the felting and now on to the surface designs

Eileen Woods

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

EW: My studio practice and social isolation are one and the same.  I (and I am sure many other artists) are content working alone.  That has been my way for decades since college, so the recent rules of social distancing don’t change my methods, or frankly, my lifestyle at all.  In fact, my husband and I jokingly say that we have been practicing social distancing for many years.

My work has been interrupted during this pandemic, though, because I realized I should use my time to make a large number of face masks for my sister’s employees.  And then I felt I should make some for family and friends.  Having scarce knowledge of how to sew on a machine, it has been a learning experience.  We won’t talk about the quality of the product.

OCM: Have you created any art in reaction to the pandemic?

EW: I always work in series, and the two pieces in this exhibit are part of a large group of works called Cosmic Passage.  Because the series, and all of my work through the years, has addressed the theme of mortality, I suppose there is some relevance now.  When (and if) the world goes back to some semblance of normal, though, I do not want to have any work specifically about the virus.  I would prefer to not be reminded of it for a long time.

Eileen’s work in the Best of 2020 is here and here.

Beth Lindenberger

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? 

BL: I am working on some new hand-built porcelain forms after spending a lot of energy on a recent installation. I try to keep three to five pieces in progress so I always have work to do.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

BL: Having more unscheduled time has made me better plan studio time for myself. I normally work around a few adult education classes, and they frame my week. I really appreciate the engagement and focus this time allows. It is difficult to be so distracted by the news and lack of venturing out.

OCM: How are you staying active and inspired?

BL:  I have always cooked, and I enjoy baking bread. I like creating in the kitchen, and have recently been making fermented foods. Like the studio work, it takes focus. And the payoff is great!  Exercise and hiking outdoors work well for handling stress, for me. Natural objects are a resource for forms and surfaces, so being in the woods has an impact on me and my work.

OCM: Have you created any art in reaction to the pandemic?

BL: My work has been slowly shifting recently, and I feel that any life-changing effect will impact that. I like to think that my work will always be growing and changing. The studio is a place that allows for turning inward, making it impossible to not be affected  by that which occurs around you.

Beth’s work in the Best of 2020 is here and here. You can find more about Beth at her website, on Instagram at b_lindenberger, and on Facebook 





Franco Ruffini

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? 

FR: I am in my studio finishing a couple of projects and starting several others. They include finishing touches on a small silver cup with copper thorns and starting to raise a large copper form that I hope to incorporate into an Arts and Crafts style lamp (pictured below).

The silver vessel I am making started out as a small cup for drinking Scotch but evolved into a statement on social distancing and isolation. I prefer not to drink alone so the copper thorns I’ve added are an impediment to that.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different in social isolation?

FR: I tend to work alone in the studio so isolating has not made much of a difference. On the other hand, I do like to get together with other metalsmiths in the studio at the Cultural Arts Center to share ideas, get feedback on my work, and see all the wonderful work others are doing. Plus, workshops that I was looking forward to taking have been cancelled. That’s unfortunate for the schools that offer them, their instructors and the community of artists that would get together.

OCM: How are you staying inspired?

FR: I have been taking walks daily and reading voraciously. I have also checked in with family and friends around the country and in Italy to see how they are doing and coping with the situation we are in. It’s been good to reconnect with folks. I also play speed chess on line with folks all over the world – great fun.

Franco’s work in the Best of 2020 is here.

Frauke Palmer

Frauke Palmer’s quilt in Found Again,  The Watchersfeatured photographs taken in the desert, then printed on to fabric and pieced into a quilt. Her piece for Best of 2020, Rock Window, uses a similar technique. Here, she shares with us what inspires her work and how she turns nature photography into fiber art.

“My studio is the out-of-doors. That’s where I take my pictures,  that’s where I find my inspiration [and] that’s where my ideas spring forth. Back home I sit in front of my computer and relive all those moments out in the desert hiking through the wide open landscape learning about nature’s ways.

Rocks are a particular focus of mine, the large expanse of rock exposed in the deserts of Arizona and Utah.  Multicolored, etched with nature’s designs, they provide me with a palette of color and line that I incorporate into my quilts. Trees, their bark [and] their growth patterns [also] add to the possibilities.

These elements come together through the use of the computer which allows me to slice and dice my images, layer them, adjust them, blend them and manipulate them in myriad ways. What fun I have! And all the time I am reliving those precious moments out in nature while sitting at back home.

That all seems so distant now that we are all confined to our houses waiting for the virus to arrive at our door. What will the world be like when we emerge once again? It will be a changed world for us, but the rocks and trees will still be out there waiting, waiting for visitors.

Right now I am not working on any art. Hard to concentrate when there is so much danger and change out there. But I am sewing masks! Not as much fun as making art, but necessary in these difficult times.”

Frauke’s work in the Best of 2020 is here.



Martha Kotter

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

MK: I have finished a couple of pieces of spring wildflowers [that I started] in February.  I was inspired in March to take a larger perspective of the earth and its cycles as we descended into the coronavirus pandemic.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different in isolation?

MK: …My art is therapeutic for me. I am happy to have my dog and spouse working at home with me, so I am not in complete isolation.  I am a fiber artist and I paint on silk and my final pieces are quilted.  I am self-sufficient for the time being.  I have a huge stash of fabrics and threads in my studio.  I don’t have need to purchase supplies. It is nice to be free of deadlines and have lots of time to explore.  As a fiber artist, I have had lots of interest in other artforms like weaving, spinning fiber and painting on fabric.  I have time to explore right now.  I listen to audio books or NPR as I work.

One difficult thing is to stay focused on one task.  I am also making face masks for friends and family.  My garden is beckoning me especially with sunshine and warmer weather.  Gardening these days is very satisfying to me.  I am also enjoying more time in the kitchen and being creative with limited ingredients.

Equinox (in progress)

OCM: Have you created any art in reaction to the pandemic?

MK: “Equinox” is the piece that I am currently working on in reaction to the current health crisis.  It is reminding me of the cosmic perspective of earth’s  cycles, including the daily cycle, seasonal cycle, ocean currents and weather patterns.  Our current corona virus, too, has its patterns and cycles, though we humans can’t understand it yet.


Martha’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find more about Martha Kotter at her website.

Jack in the Pulpit

Nodding Trillium










Mary Lou Alexander

Mary Lou Alexander’s quilt, Big Bang #3, was featured in Found Again. She will have another quilt, Threnodyin the Best of 2020 exhibition this summer.

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

MLA: I am happy to be working in my studio every day and I’m so grateful that I have this obsession.  It’s the only upside to this awful time.

In many ways my practice is the same as always, but I have more time to give to it.   Since we have no social time, travel, shopping for groceries, etc., the studio is a refuge and a time consuming pleasure.

OCM: What do you do for fun?

MLA: I am cooking!  And eating!  We might be gaining a little weight but I’m confident that we can deal with that when the crisis is over.  Meanwhile, cooking dinner every night is a routine that is creative, fun and nutritious.

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the crisis?

MLA:  I haven’t responded to this crisis, but I am working on a large quilt that is inspired by global warming.  I’m trying to concentrate on one disaster at a time.

I’m attaching a studio photo of a work in progress and a few completed pieces on the wall (pictured below).

Mary Lou’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find more about Mary Lou on her websiteFacebook page and Instagram.

Growth #4

New Growth

Donna Marchetti

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

DM: I’m not able to be in my studio right now. I’m riding out the storm at my tiny little summer place on Lake Erie with my dog Snowy. Before I left Cleveland, I grabbed a box of assorted art supplies and some stitching projects. I’ve been working on painting/collage things like bookmarks (see photo, below). I can’t finish them until I get back to my studio, but I think they’ll be pretty when I seal them with beeswax and attach ribbons or yarn and a charm on each.

I’m also finishing up a stitching project (see photo, below) that I’ve been working on for several months. Not sure what I’ll call it, but it reminds me of seaweed, so I think it will have an ocean theme.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

DM: My artistic practice has changed because I’m limited by the materials on hand and the lack of equipment I would usually have. But that’s actually a good thing. It’s very freeing to look at a pile of stuff and [think], “Okay, this is what you’ve got. What can you do with it?” I joined an online group of artists who are following multi-media artist Seth Apter. I find it very inspiring to see what the other artists are doing, and I appreciate the support they give me in my work.

[In terms of] life balance – actually it’s all fine. I’ve got plenty of books and movies. I listen to music. My dog and I do long walks or hikes every day. I’m enjoying cooking, and I keep up with my exercise by doing my gym’s online workouts.

Having this time with no distractions has actually recharged my creative batteries, and despite the circumstances, I am enjoying that.

I’m also attaching a photo of Snowy and one of my very messy workspace.

Donna’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. For more about Donna Marchetti, find her on Facebook and her website.









Mikelle Hickman-Romine

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? 

MHR: I started to self-quarantine a little early, so it’s been a few weeks now.  The first week, I finished a couple of silk moth brooches for a solo show that was scheduled at Studios On High Gallery for this July (we’ll see if that still happens!), then began the next silk moth.  It’s been challenging—I have had to restart a few times, so to take a break, I wove a sun hat out of raffia!  That was fun.  Now it’s back to the Luna moth.


I have not made any work directly in response to this crisis, but I feel like the project that I was already working on is taking on some added meaning in this time.  I am developing a series of wearable brooches based on wildlife native to this region that has become rarer because of the impact that human civilization has had on the ecosystem.  I feel heartened by the resilience of the natural world as humans have curbed their activities in response to the threat to our communities, and I hope we will all take this time to reflect on our values before we devote our futures to thoughtless consumption and its destructive effect on the systems we rely on to sustain life.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

MHR: There are fewer distractions from my studio work, which is nice, and I feel like I have accomplished a fair amount of the work I was hoping to be working on before the quarantine.  But having a daily dinner with my spouse feels really important, so I have been wrapping up a bit earlier in the day to bake, or cook a nice meal so that we can enjoy our evening together.

OCM: What do you do for fun?

MHR: I am doing a fair amount of cooking and baking, which helps me feel like there is pleasure and order in life.  I read, and my spouse and I have been playing cards, and joining our friends for online happy hours to stay connected.  Also, I am enjoying my garden coming to life (and the squirrel who lives in the silver maple might be pregnant again!)

Mikelle’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find Mikelle on Facebook, Instagram, her website, and her online shop is here. 









Melinda Rosenberg

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

MR: The “Board Series” is directly playing in the space between painting and sculpture by setting up a contrast between an artificial (painting) versus natural (sculpture) treatments of wood.  The reflective wood texture, spray painted silver fakes a metal.  The glitter creates sparkles as one moves.  The colors are layered, disguising the wood until one looks closely where the surface is sanded through.  All of this hides the wood grain and natural color of wood.  Outside of this painted plank, the structure is made from found weathered woods.  The decay, old nails and stains show a history of these boards.  This forms the structure of the piece.  Linking these two treatments are painted striped shadows.

It may be hard to tell from the picture but these pieces are pitched, like the roof of a house, so the structure itself is sculptural.  Although this is a complex formal problem, my purpose is to question our perception – what is real, and what is not and what art, and painting in particular, has to do with that question.  It is also to have fun, which is more evident in person with the toothpicks, glitter and spray paint.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

MR:  My process is different in that I am more relaxed and thoughtful.  I am giving play to strange ideas…because why not?  I think it is good for my process.  It is the same in that my studio is at home, so my daily life has not changed.  I am a natural at social isolation.

To keep a balance I go for walks, and I am now trying to memorize poetry on the walk.  I am slow to learn, so hopefully I will be slow to forget.

Melinda’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. Find more about Melinda on her website  and on Facebook.






Joanna Manousis

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

JM: I have been finalizing what is my largest glass wall assemblage to date.  [Here are some progress images (below)], which make up just a third of the entire piece. The installation is comprised of 187 blown and press-molded glass pieces that have mirrored interiors. The installation was inspired by a paper origami piece made by Brian Gillespie, a software engineer from Seattle, WA who helped me design the graphite molds made to fabricate the glass.

The piece spans just under 17×6 feet. Due to not being able to install for photography, I am attaching a rendering.

Thankfully all of the glass fabrication was finished before the pandemic, so I have been doing the final maquette rendering and metal attachments at home. Unfortunately, due to renting glass facilities I don’t have access to a fully equipped glass studio at present.

OCM: How is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

JM: I have come to a halt. I am very dependent on kilns, a well-ventilated mold-making studio and glass polishing studio (cold shop) to make my work. So the isolation has definitely put a pause on my practice. That said, I am currently in my 8 month of my pregnancy, so I have had to physically slow down anyway.

OCM: Have you made any art in reaction to the crisis?

JM: No, but I have considered drafting and selling small sketches of ideas / finalized pieces as a way to make some income. My glass pieces take months and months to create so perhaps there will be work that spins off from this crisis in the years to come.

Joanna’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. Find more about Joanna on her Facebook page.







Kristina L. Malcolm

OCM: What are you up to in your studio? Do you have any works in progress?

KM: I am currently designing and building an anti-theft display for rings. Right now, I’m stuck on making it collapsible to transport for shows. I am also trying to make it so it can hang or be a pedestal. It’s a tall order.

OCM: Is your artistic practice different now that we are in social isolation?

KM: Many things are different for me. I’ve had to cancel all my workshops (which were the majority of my income). I’m also trying to get up the nerve to increase my presence on social media but that gives me a lot of anxiety. But [my] work has stayed the same. I’m very lucky to have amassed many tools in my career (I started in 1993!) and have a great home studio from which to work. I am used to making in isolation. Thank goodness. Now if I can only be inspired.

OCM: What other things can we learn about you?

KM: I’m an axolotl mom! And just for fun – alternative metalsmithing skills – I made a copper bracket when I needed to replace the battery in my truck and the old one didn’t fit.

Kristina’s work in the Best of 2020 is here. You can find more about Kristina on Facebook,
Instagram, and on her website.








Michael B. Hays

Michael shared with us a sketch and some photos of works in progress. Michael’s work in the Best of 2020 is here.