Beautiful colours are glowing at the Vigo County Public Library, Indiana, US, this month, courtesy of Wabash Valley Art Guild member and artist of the month Edith Acton. The beautiful colours are a consummation of types of glass that have been fired and fused together into artistic designs. Acton’s exhibit will be on display all month in the main library at Seventh and Poplar streets.

This specialized art form of fused glass is the current product of the ultimate crafter. Acton has a long history of trying and learning artistic forms including: sewing skills such as crochet and embroidery; photography; ceramics; and stained glass.

“The list can go on and on,” she confesses. “If I see an interesting idea, I want to make it, not buy it. A project is so much more interesting if you create it yourself instead of just making a purchase.”

Acton’s background reflects a lifelong interest in creating things with her hands. Having attended local schools, she went on to attain a bachelor’s as well as a master of science degree from Indiana State University. She began her career by teaching home economics for many years at a Terre Haute high school.

But it was after retirement that she became intrigued with a very unusual art structure she saw at a Florida art fair. They were lovely wind chimes made from fused glass. The glass artist was generous with her information about the process of fusing glass along with sources for how-to books and locations to purchase the basic products.

After her return trip, Acton learned that Terre Haute was not an easy place to get started with this new avocation; however, with patience and the internet she was able to get started. Finally she began creating … first with jewellery … later advancing into wall hangings … and today with award-winning glass displays. Acton explains it like this: “Although most glass designs seem to be abstract, there is always a basic idea that created a need to transfer it into artwork. There is no end to what can be accomplished with only a little imagination and inspiration.”

For the past 13 plus years, Acton has joined a number of local art organizations including the Wabash Valley Art Guild, River City Art Association, Arts Illiana and Indiana Artisans. In addition, her exhibitions have included those groups’ shows as well as displaying at The Gallery in Clabber Girl Museum, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, the Covered Bridge Art Association Gallery in Rockville and the Bicentennial Art Center and Museum in Paris, Illinois. Her jewellery has also been on display at festivals.

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