“For me, a cocoon is a place one goes to rejuvenate – a haven for nurturing and transformation. I step into my ‘cocoon’ when I work with glass to transform it into modern art. It makes me happy to share this haven with you in the form of a tangible creation. I hope you enjoy it!”
About the Artist
Suzanne Balestri was an interior designer when she first began her explorations with fused glass. After taking a fused glass workshop for fun in 2006, it didn’t take long for her passion for the glass medium to grow. She soon began taking more in-depth courses in fused glass as well as jewelry design and fabrication at UC San Diego. In 2008, Suzanne began selling her work and participating in art shows.
About the Art
These fused glass pieces of wearable art are handcrafted using a process originally developed by the Ancient Egyptians. Glass fusion requires carefully measuring, cutting and cleaning fusible glass before layering and assembling it into the desired conceptual design. The assembled unit is then placed into a kiln for several hours until it reaches 1475 degrees, the point at which the layered pieces melt into each other to become one piece. The kiln is then cooled over several hours, which anneals the glass to give it strength and durability. A good portion of the pieces come out of the kiln requiring further work (called “cold-working”) which includes grinding, drilling, sawing or sandblasting, depending on the what the desired final outcome of the piece is. After the piece is cold-worked, it requires another round through the kiln – at even slower heating and cooling rates – to “fire-polish” the piece.
You can learn about the concept behind Cocoon and my various collections by viewing this video:
What makes a Cocoon piece unique?
Bold colors, sophisticated ensembles and finished edge work are characteristics of my work. I take great pride in giving each piece its own unique look. My goal is to take this amazing process of fused glass to the next level by creating a piece of art that you can wear to express your personality. It is my way of melding a classic process with a modern touch. I ensure that the edge work of my rings, buckles and necklaces are straight and finished cleanly. I build a channel into the design of my earrings and bracelets so that I can pass wire through them to secure them to the earring findings or the bracelet cuffs. This attention to detail is not readily found within this medium as it is time-consuming and tedious work. It is art, and I treat it as such because you, the discerning individual that you are, deserve it and appreciate it!
Watch this video to see how I create the wire channel in many of my fused glass earring designs: