For our purposes, lets say that Babs Kall is a glass artist. This is really too simple of a title, as Babs creates, experiments and plays in many forms and mediums. In fact, that is one of my favorite things about discussing Babs’ artwork with her: her love of playing with new materials and making things for the simple joy of it. However, her glass pieces are especially beautiful and creative.
Babs has always been involved in art and had a successful graphic design business for 32 years before retiring to Athens in 2015. Graphic elements like bold lines, patterns and colors are evident influences in the work she produces today. When asked about her creative pursuits in retirement, Babs says “Being able to put all the time I want into learning and experimenting with various techniques and media is a dream come true.” A visit to her studio shows that her art certainly keeps her busy. Beautiful objects fill almost every nook and cranny of the sizable space. Most of the objects are glass of all kinds; fused, stained, mosaic, cast and recycled. Babs began fusing glass over 20 years ago when she became fascinated by the process and properties of the glass itself. She loves that the technique is only hands on until it is surrendered to the kiln, where unexpected things can happen! She says of the process, “I figure in the science part, set up the kiln and firing schedule and cross my fingers...then it becomes a waiting game for an average of 15 hours. Many pieces require multiple firings and that makes for a lot of wait-and-see.”
A sense of community from a group of glass artists all over the country also serves as a source of inspiration and education for Babs, who is always looking to learn and try something new. This means her work is always changing and developing; moving away from craft as it becomes more artistic. Currently she is experimenting with weaving long-leaf pine needles into her glass pieces. Her husband also creates wood turned elements that she incorporates into her art. She always has her eyes open for new possibilities.
Babs hopes to share her variety of work by one day hosting an open studio event where her work can be seen and purchased directly. She is currently involved with and shows at Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF), Athens Art Association, Visual Arts Guild of Athens, Monroe-Walton Art Center and the Georgia Botanical Gardens in Athens. You can check out more of her beautiful work at http://www.babsglass.com/