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Meet Chris Stell

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Stell.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have been in all forms of art since I was little. I was fortunate to have a family that was involved with all types of art. My grandpa would draw with me four hours and hours. I did everything from pen and ink drawings to copper enameling, macrame, and ceramics. Although it was treated as a hobby growing up – never a career choice. Then I discovered advertising art in college and found a great way to use my creative skills, drawing ability and ideas for an adventure that has spanned over 45 years in San Diego. I was a graphic designer way before computers – all art was done by hand. For the past 20 years, I have worked with dichroic glass, specializing in hand etching graphics into the colorful surface. I also create artwork for manufactured of pattern glass and decals. Since 2009 I have been in Studio #9 in Spanish Village Art Center. You can find me there hand etching in glass.

Please tell us about your art.
I love to draw. On anything! All of my illustrations are colorful and happy. I want to make people smile and say wow when they see my work. I freehand etch illustrations onto glass and supplement it with anodized metals to create very unique one-of-a-kinds piece of art. By etching, in my studio, I hope to inspire visitors to draw and be creative. Think outside the box; it’s much more fun. My work is about my passion and loving what I do, and I think my creations show that. I try to tie it to how special dichroic glass is. The glass is “space glass” that Nasa started and I incorporate that into my creations. Most illustrations and dimensional glass pieces are of celestial suns and moons as well as rocket ships and robots. Once I etch pieces, they are fired between 1400 and 1800 degrees in one of my kilns.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I love having a studio in an artist community. I see visitors daily. Beyond that join art groups online and locally to feed your creativity and share ideas and artistic adventure. There are lots of us out there! Art shows are a great way to get contacts all over the country. You need to put yourself out there; it’s the fastest way to grow your network. Take classes, and you’ll find artists with your same passions to share tips and experiences.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I am in the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. There are over 250 members in our art community. We all work on site, and I am there four days a week etching glass. I have studio partners that work on gourds and hand make chains the other three days. I think see artists at work gives you so much more appreciation of the creative process. I love my location where artists all work and can feed off each other’s creativity. I regularly attend a variety of shows from Las Vegas to Coronado and Irvine. My home studio is in Poway, and I am an active member of the Poway Arts & Crafts Guild and their Boardwalk Craft Market. I regularly post photos of projects and finished pieces on Instagram. My website has links to samples and vendors as well as my show schedule.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Chris Stell

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