Jo Reynolds has always loved glassware and been fascinated with all processes used to create it. Her mother has worked with stained glass for years, so it’s no surprise that Jo’s creativity found that outlet as well.
In November 2014 a college roommate invited Jo to go to a class at Minnetrista in Muncie to make fused glass Christmas ornaments. The experience led Jo to ask for a small kiln for Christmas. After attending a glass studio that winter to learn more, she was solidly hooked.
She opened Inspirations Studio and Gift Shop in Paoli in 2015 but closed for the winter to continue to learn by attending another glass studio. On top of that, she also began going to a second studio to learn stained glass techniques. A long-time volunteer and event leader for Relay For Life, she waited until the event was completed in 2016 to continue work on her shop and opened for serious business that September.
That’s when she started offering classes and participating in a few markets. Last winter when she closed for the season, Jo focused on gaining more knowledge and techniques for stained glass. This year she is offering fused glass and stained glass classes starting in October, in addition to having finished pieces to purchase. She will continue closing in the winter, but will be opening in June each year, starting in 2018.
Inspirations Studio and Gift Shop Products
For Jo, the best thing about this business is being able to share her love of glass and teaching others. She’s inspired by many things: textures and colors of different objects, watching others learn the techniques and get excited about what they create, even art made in a different medium. She says, “We have so much beauty surrounding us, if we will take time to look. Inspiration is all around us.”
Although she admits she’s not a ‘girly-girl, Jo has discovered that she truly enjoys making fused glass jewelry more than she thought she would. Her favorite stained glass pieces include crosses and angels. Jo also creates a swirled heart piece in a matte finish that is a customer favorite.
Running Inspirations Studio and Gift Shop has given Jo confidence in her ability to create and try new things. “Each time something fires it is a learning experience,” Jo tells us, “even when a piece turns out different to what I envisioned.” Her true hope is that her experience encourages friends and family to stretch beyond their comfort zone and try something new to them.
May we all inspire someone in such a fabulous way.
Last week, one of the regular UPS delivery men who frequent Jo’s shop asked her what, exactly, it is that she does. Jo pointed to all the glass and said, “I made all of this.” His response in Jo’s words: “The look on his face was wonderfully amazed and he said, ‘It’s beautiful.’ I wasn’t sure at first if I should feel slighted or complimented. I chose the compliment.”
And compliments this talented lady deserves. Jo’s looking forward to Introducing new people to glass when they visit her booth at Backroads Market on October 7 and encouraging them to come to the studio and create something themselves . And we’re looking forward to getting our hands on all the pretties!
You can follow Inspirations Studio and Gift Shop on its Facebook page, but if you want to see all Jo has to offer, come to the Market and enjoy her talent with the rest of us.
See you there!