A Common Thread: Artful Allies

A Common Thread: The Abstraction of Artful Allies

Carole Perry has been creating functional and sculptural glass from her Laughing Glass Studio in Cave Creek for nearly 30 years.  In 1990, Perry set aside a successful career in computer sales and marketing (IBM, Xerox, micro computers) to pursue her passion for glass full time.

Carole once said, “When I moved to the desert, every magical thing in the world came together for me – the light, the colors, the artists and a culture of preservation. I’m aware every single day that I have found the equivalent of heaven on earth.”

Her unusual signature sculpture, “Glass Tapestries,” is the result of a life-long rebellion against the dreaded “DO NOT TOUCH” rule for children regarding glass. “A large part of my passion for glass is the real need to touch each piece that captures me.”

A tapestry piece begins with the cane (glass threads), cut and “woven” on the kiln shelf.  At least 9 layers deep, it requires more than 9,000 threads to complete one sculpture.  The piece is then heated slowly to near 1500ºF, when “tack” melting occurs.  When the piece has “struck”, the glass is briefly removed from the kiln, hand manipulated into its final shape.  The absence of a mold and the very limited time available (10 seconds or less) to shape ensures each sculpture is unique, impossible to exactly duplicate.

The gallery is also filled with Carole’s “Waterfall” sculpture, “Poppy Gardens” and functional dinnerware, created with her partner/husband, Don Carroll.

Judy Paxton Bruce was born in the small town of Danville, Illinois.  Everyone knew, even when she was young, that Judy was an artist because of her constant coloring, drawing and fantasizing. From fourth grade on, her teachers sat her at the back of the classroom painting for local art contests. She has always been passionate about color, texture, expression and uniqueness and figural work.

She received her BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MS in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Chicago Consortium that included the Art Institute. In college, painting, as well as printmaking, was a passion but after walking into a classroom she fell in love with teaching and spent thirty-five years working in elementary and junior high art. During that time, she spent summers painting and had an antique and folk art business. Soon after retirement, Judy and her husband Jim moved to Cave Creek after falling in love with its beauty and serenity. Judy now paints and works with mixed media full time in her studio.

Judy’s art illustrates what it is to be human, as she says, “We are vulnerable, fierce, beautiful, fragile, sad, ill, joyful, fearful and hopeful. I express these feelings through abstract color, texture, line and pattern, almost always creating people.”

We hosted an Artist Reception for Judy and Carole during the 4th Friday Art Walk on September 27th from 5-8pm.
See photos here!