Rebekah Santiago, Owner, Artist
Glass and “sparkles” have always grabbed my attention for as long as anyone can remember. Discovering glass fusion was an unknown dream coming to life. Earlier creative efforts were in the areas of sewing, crocheting or cross stitching, which I enjoyed but glass fusion allows for creation of items that bring light and color throughout the house.
Most of my adult life was spent working with people and computers in a medical office, training users on how to use medical management software, or doing software training webinars. This was good preparation for teaching others an art that can sometimes be somewhat technical. Dealing with a wide variety of personalities and learning styles was great practice for teaching in the studio. I am so happy to finally be teaching something that people really want to learn, not something that they have to learn!
My favorite method of fused glass creation is to take broken scrap pieces and turn them into an object of beauty – often using different styles of mosaic design. There are so many different techniques in glass fusion that I don’t claim to have an artistic “style” because I am too busy trying new looks and techniques. Sometimes I start a project with a plan, other times I just find a pretty piece of glass and get inspired, letting the piece take shape as I go through the creation process.
Rafael Santiago, MD, Owner, Artist, Veteran
An urgent care physician at the office, Rafael’s creative side was born in the glass fusion studio. Even though Rafael has always been “handy”, able to take things apart and put them back together without instructions, discovering glass fusion opened a whole new world of creativity.
Studying and training to be a physician really didn’t leave much time for outside hobbies for quite a few years. Being able to make beautiful pieces in glass has been a revelation for him that left-brained people can tap into their creativity too.
Time in the studio is time spent in another, peaceful mostly stress-free world. Rafael’s favorite designs to create usually involve straight lines or geometric patterns and he tends to prefer bright colors. That said, he is not above making playful pieces. Ask him about Olaf sometime when you are in the studio, unless you work for Disney.
Marissa, Studio Assistant
My artistic journey began in middle school when I attended an art show at the Discovery Center and I ended up suggesting to my art teacher that she should create a project for the class based on his artwork. Soon after, my art teacher realized how strongly connected to art I was and offered me a special opportunity to take a Ceramics class at the Springfield Art Museum. From that moment forward I knew that creating art would always be an important aspect of my life. I am currently an art student at Missouri State University working on completing a BFA in Painting and Ceramics. I am often inspired by elements of nature, landscapes, bright colors, and mandalas. I enjoy working in multiple mediums and glass has become my newest medium to love. Through working at Creative Escape Glass, I have found a passion not only for glass fusion, but also for helping inspire and encourage others to create. It brightens my day every time I help a customer to feel the joy of making something that they can treasure forever.
Emily, Studio Assistant
I’ve always been interested in artistic and creative things. From drawing (which, unfortunately I have discovered I am awful at) to writing to music to painting to glass fusion, I love being able to create something. In high school I got the opportunity to make real art for the first time in two art classes. The first one was basic art, which is where I realized I can’t draw. But the second one was called “Glass Crafts”, and it was the best class I’ve ever taken. That’s where I learned about glass fusion for the first time. I made a Sherlock Holmes mosaic (which is still the piece I’m proudest of, and I’m always willing to show it off), a plate and some jewelry. I really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I started here at the studio that I fell in love with the whole process. I love getting to work somewhere where I can not only create but help others to create. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I love creating pieces that use a lot of color, imagery and fun. Outside of work I love writing, and I’m currently studying Journalism and Political Studies at Missouri State University.
Calvin, Studio Assistant
I grew up between the jungles of Thailand, the capital city of Cambodia, and small town USA. It is my belief that diverse exposure has given me a perspective on how much beauty is in natural forms as well as an appreciation for how art transcends linguistic and cultural barriers. As a jack of all trades, with my background in construction and fabrication, I have developed an appreciation for mathematics and the high sciences as well as the arts, which reflects itself in my work. I have a deep-seated love of Renaissance era symbolism, angular forms, sacred geometry, and prismatic light interactions. I love all stages of the creative process, so helping people convert their ideas and mental images into pieces of art is always a challenge that I enjoy. Being exposed to so many different people’s ideas is my favorite part of working in a studio environment.