Meet Sheryl Scipione & Jordan Fuller. They are glass artists and owners of The Glass Bar in Needham, Massachusetts. They are also mother and daughter.
A Mother’s Work: Sheryl Scipione & Jordan Fuller | Owners, The Glass Bar
I first discovered The Glass Bar when my son was invited to a birthday party that took place in the glass studio. I had never seen glass work done before and it was so intriguing to watch and really fun for my son to learn. It wasn’t long before I came back with my daughter for drop in hours and we made our first mosaic together. After that, we were hooked! We started coming in for drop in hours pretty regularly. Working with glass is so fun and relaxing, but the best part is that no two projects ever look the same. And although you might have a vision for what your final piece will look like as you’re making it, there is such a fun sense of surprise when you see it after it’s been fired in the kiln.
Over the course of my visits to the Glass Bar, I’ve had the honor to get to know Jordan and to hear her and her mother Sheryl’s incredible story about how they both battled cancer at the same time and came to love glass art as a method of therapy while they were undergoing their treatments. It is so obvious when you meet them how much they love each other and how passionate they are about their craft and their business. I am thrilled to feature The Glass Bar in my A Mother’s Work portrait series.
Tell me the story of how The Glass Bar began.
The idea for The Glass Bar has evolved greatly over the course of the past few years. In the beginning, we were called Arte Mozzafiato (Breathtaking Art, Italian): a space focused on supporting many different types of art and artists. The idea began in 2011 when my mother (Sheryl) and I were both going through treatment for cancer. Surrounding ourselves with art, beauty, and creativity was the best way for us to cope with all of the ugliness that we faced on a daily basis. Originally manifested during a bleak time in our lives, The Glass Bar has transformed into a beautiful and comforting space for not only us, but also the many different types of people who join us for classes regularly.
Briefly describe The Glass Bar: who can come, what kind of projects are there, why is it fun, etc? The Glass Bar is a fun and interactive glass studio that focuses on bringing glass art as a medium to the community. Over the past couple decade’s glass art has decreased in accessibility due to the lack of studios and the expense of classes/materials, making it very difficult for many to try this medium.
We are very passionate about keeping glass art alive and accessible, which is why we have developed a teaching technique that allows people as young as 6 to learn the techniques of glass cutting and fusing. If you come in during drop-in hours, you will have the ability to choose your project (plate, nightlight, coaster, etc) and learn how to cut and design glass. Though you do not get to take your project home that day, each participant leaves proud, knowing he/she has made a fused glass masterpiece.
We also teach stained glass sessions in 1-day introduction sessions, as well as more advanced 6-week sessions. We are constantly researching and introducing new classes: in our future we are looking into frit painting classes and lead-caming, plus many more classes offering an introductory insight to new glass art techniques.
Drop-in hours are held Sat & Sun 12-5pm, in addition to days that schools are out/released early. Specialty classes & private lessons can be scheduled throughout the week. View our calendar for a list of upcoming classes: www.theglassbarboston.com/classes
What is your favorite part about owning a business with your mother? People always tell you not to go into business with friends or family, and it has been hard. But at the end of every long night or sleepless weekend there’s my mom with me. The hardest was in the beginning as we learned each other’s strengths and weaknesses when it came to running the business. Now that we have learned how to properly and effectively deal and communicate with each other we are closer than ever, we even spent two weeks traveling through Western Europe together last year. I don’t know anyone else who could put up with me for this long and still love me unconditionally.
What do you find is the most challenging thing about running your own business?
Sheryl: The hardest part is balancing my work schedule between two businesses, (Bookkeeping & the Glass Bar) raising my kids with their crazy schedule and finding time to socialize. The bookkeeping business kept the bills paid. I could work around my kids schedule and I got to work with some great people. Having The Glass Bar is great because I get to be creative. I love working with others to teach them (more…)