By Christopher J. Miller ~
Danielle Caldwell Ranson has found her muse in unpredictability.
“I love working in fused glass,” she said. “I use glass that has elements that react with each other when fired. I spend time carefully building my pieces, and, when fired in the kiln, the colors blend and move and create new results all on their own. That’s where the real fun begins.”
Ranson has balanced her career with her creative expression for more than 35 years. After studying apparel design, music, and ceramics in college, she forayed into the art world and has experimented with beading, woodturning, macramé, metal clay, metal etching, paper marbling, mosaics, and even rubber stamps!
This exploration always pushed her one step further, until she discovered the fascinating art form of fused glass.
“There’s an uncontrollable nature about my fused glass process,” she said. “You put it in the kiln one way, and it comes out the way it wants to be.”
Ranson’s method includes firing 12 to 24 layers into her pendants. Her jewelry resembles semiprecious stones like agate and jasper.
Through layering and design, she creates organic work with color combinations that even nature doesn’t provide.
But she credits a process called “coldworking” for making her finished jewelry truly unique. Coldworking is the process of shaping and refining glass without the aid of heat; grinding, engraving, drilling, and polishing are just a few examples. She enjoys this portion of the jewelry making process as much as fusing the glass.
Her fused-glass art includes necklaces, earrings, and stringer vessels that mimic cloth.
Ranson finds that her attraction to unpredictable experiences translates to both her corporate job and meeting new people.
“If everyone in our life were warm, kind, and gracious, then we probably wouldn’t stretch and grow,” she said. “It’s when we bump up against people that are different in their expression that we have a real opportunity to learn.”
Ranson has found that art is the perfect balance to her career and continues to find time to squeeze her art into the week. When people claim they aren’t artists, she challenges them to explore their creativity in doing the things they love.
“In today’s fast-paced business environment, finding creative expression just for the joy of it provides balance,” she said.
Because her work is about the joy of creating, she named her business Ecstatic Art Studio. You can find her work at several local art markets like LAST Art Gallery in McKinney, Art Mart at the Bath House Cultural Center, the Urban Artist Market, and through her website, https://www.ecstaticartstudio.com/.