If you’ve ever taken one of the stained glass classes at the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace, you’ve met Bill Reif. Now we’d like to help you get to know him a little better. Though he is a physical therapist by trade, Bill has been interested in glass for quite a long time. He uses glass for a wide variety of projects, from mosaics to beautiful stained glass works. He has created inventive lampshades, such as a replica of Star Wars’ R2D2 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and eye-catching window hangings.
Bill first started the hobby in 1982, when he took a class similar to the type we offer at the Firelabs. Over the next eight years, he practiced the art and his passion continued to grow. He even acquired quite a bit of equipment for his personal use! When Bill joined the Firelabs as one of the founding members, he donated much of that equipment. That, along with other donations of equipment and materials, is what members and class participants continue to use while in the makerspace.
Though many can find working with glass intimidating, Bill makes it seem easy. In his stained glass classes - assisted by Gordon Meyer, who also teaches his own glass fusing classes - participants are guided through the basics of working with glass and creating their very own suncatcher. More than that, they learn that working with glass is a hobby that anyone can do, despite its sharp edges.
Throughout this month, the Roswell Firelabs Makerspace will be taking a closer look at some of Bill and Gordon’s projects. We’ll go over what techniques were used and provide information on how to better understand the process. Several of the projects have been completed during the pandemic, so who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up something you’d like to do, too.
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