Artist, Sue Tripp, Favors Fused Art Glass For Expressing Facets of Nature with Fun & Function
Updated: Mar 15
Over the years, Sue Tripp had tried all the craft fads that came along, but found something magical in the versatility that making art with fused glass provides. Scroll down to see her work...
Name: Sue Tripp
Home Town: Warrenville, IL
Medium: Fused Glass Art
Sue Tripp, fused glass artist extraordinaire, is quite clear that she doesn’t want her relaxing hobby to turn into a job. Transparent as she is about her motivations, she easily could hang a shingle and I’d be first in line to grab what she’s selling.
Fun colors, fun shapes, sizes & designs, along with affordable prices ($10 - $125), make her table at Gallery 200 in West Chicago, IL a frequent stopping point for me when I drop in to scan the latest offerings at this local gallery/artisan gift boutique. Maybe this is why she’s dubbed her hobby’s product line: “Fun, Functional, Fused Glass Art”.
Background: “As a child I was always attracted to color, patterns and especially glass. At a young age some time before high school, I started making stained glass -- actually soldering in the house! Still can’t believe my mom let me do that!” she chuckles.
Sue went on to receive an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and a Master’s in computer science at Northwestern University. Her career path led her to Bell Labs in Naperville, IL which later became AT&T, Lucent, and Nokia. She accepted an early retirement buy-out and never looked back.
Fused glass-making classes soon followed along with a bevy of sparkling projects from coasters to small plates to garden stakes, wind chimes, dream catchers, trees, dragonflies, turtles, and even pendants for necklaces. She especially enjoys combining unexpected elements together to add even more visual interest such as in her dream catchers.
“I got the hang of it pretty quickly and find it very therapeutic,” she says. “The more I went along, the more complicated I made my projects, inspired by the work of others around me at the art glass studio where I’ve taken classes.”
Inspiration: “I love to travel – whether it’s New Mexico or Hawaii -- I look for artwork of the local people for ideas and themes. In January 2020, I was fortunate to make a wonderful trip to Australia and New Zealand where I was inspired by the art of the Australian Aborigines. Aboriginal art uses symbols that have meaning and are incorporated into a design. For example, a “U” shape is the symbol used to represent a person who’s sitting.“
Lucky for us, Sue shares this visual treasure from her many travels in the artwork she creates today -- even if it's only from her own backyard!
Sue's work is available for sale at Gallery 200, 103 W. Washington Street in West Chicago, IL 60185, and the Painted Tree, 20771 N. Rand Road, Suite F, Kildeer, IL 60047 – look for her in Booth C-3. Contact her at: email@example.com
Scroll down to view samples of her work.
Inspired by a trip to Australia & New Zealand, these glass plates reflect art by Australian Aborigines.
This design and the one in the plate below is inspired by her trip to New Mexico and discovering the art of the Acoma Indians.
Finger Labyrinth inspired by Acoma Indian art in New Mexico.
Dream catcher also functions as a wind chime.
Vivid blue fused glass dream catcher / wind chime.
Assorted fused glass plates by Sue and other Gallery 200
artists demonstrating the use of vitrigraph on a wide range of color palettes.
Fused glass dreamcatcher in a pendant necklace.
From Sue's display at the Painted Tree in Kildeer, IL with garden stakes at the back.