Six women listened intently as Rebekah Santiago explained how to use the glass cutting tools on the tables at her studio. We practiced on scraps until we felt somewhat confident, then set to work creating sun catchers in the new fused-glass studio on Commercial Street.

“I was a bit nervous when we started the class at Creative Escape,” said Stefany Thode, author of To Be Thode. “After instruction, I was ready to give it a try and had so much fun. It was much easier than I expected and the finished product is so fun to see, knowing I made it!”

 

The beginnings of a glass sun catcher at Creative Escape Glass, LLC in Springfield.

Erin Hardy, author of Humble Hardy Happenings, also approached the project with trepidation.

"My experience at Creative Escape was surprisingly fun!” she said. “I was reluctant to participate, for fear of getting cut. But I walked away with new skills, sense of accomplishment, and a gorgeous piece of art."

To her relief and everyone else’s, no one ended up with gaping cuts; not even a sliver of glass stuck in their skin.

Except for the tinkling of glass being sifted through and the scratch of glass cutters, the room grew quiet as we selected pieces of glass from her wide selection at Creative Escape Glass, LLC, cut them into the shapes we wanted and began placing them on the clear squares that serve as a base for sun catchers. We could use opaque or translucent glass, jagged shards or straight edges, little dots or big squares; any shape you can imagine in every color under the sun.

I was attempting to make something resembling a peacock to match my office decor.

 

Creative Escape Glass owner Rebekah Santiago (left) looks on as Bobbie Gross (right) makes her sun catcher.

As our projects neared completion and we prepared to put them in the kiln that would fuse the multiple pieces of glass into one, we no longer felt the need to concentrate and the getting-to-know-you chatter began. We had, after all, met for the first time just the night before and Creative Escape was our first activity during a press tour for five members of Missouri Women Bloggers visiting Springfield to learn more about the city and write about their experiences. Number six was me, their host.

“I’m glad they had fun!” Rebekah said. “They were a great group to have in the studio, though maybe a little quieter than I expected, probably because they didn't know each other well. Groups that know each other usually get quite noisy chatting while they work.”

Creative Escape was one of many fun places we experienced that weekend and for me, it resulted in a group of new friends and a revelation: Like the sun catchers, we began as disconnected individuals who, within a short time, easily melded and became a group. Though our sun catchers are as different as our personalities and individually are beautiful, together they are even more stunning, just like this group of delightful women.

 

At Creative Escape Glass, you can create your own glass art piece.

Besides that, we simply had fun at Creative Escape where anyone, no matter their level of skill, can be an artist.

“I'm no artist, but with Rebekah's help, I was able to create a piece I am proud of,” said Bobbie Gross, author of Living In Retrospect. “ I think anyone can create beauty at Creative Escape. It's not nearly as difficult as it looks or sounds.”

Fawn Rechkemmer, author of Instead of the Dishes, also had a great time and plans to return.

“I love that Creative Escape makes an art form that I previously considered to be ‘exotic’ so accessible,” Fawn said. “I can't wait to share the experience with my daughter; they have some great kids’ workshops listed on their website!”