Origins: Rich Lasiewski

I have spent a large part of my life looking at pictures–mainly of people’s insides, and in black and white. I am a retired Diagnostic Radiologist.

I’ve loved glass since I was a kid melting glass rods in a Bunsen burner.  Shortly before retirement I decided to learn more about art and art glass, so I started with weekend beadmaking and fusing classes. With the creative process being difficult for me, I began with art classes at Hancock and Cuesta College. I then became a nearly full-time student at Cal Poly for 3 years, thanks to Crissa Hewitt and George Jercich, studying glass fusing, casting, blowing, and metalsmithing. This lead to teaching “Summer Glass” classes there for 7 years.

At home, I built a studio and then filled it with the equipment (a.k.a. toys) needed to make kilnworked and torchworked glass, metal and glass jewelry, and sculptures. Glass is my medium, and I have always loved paperweights.

My wife of 43 years, Kersti, and I collaborate frequently–especially with jewelry, where she will incorporate my glass beads into beautiful pieces. I enjoy experimenting with different methods to produce the final work: different colors, materials, shapes and sizes. I try to avoid repetitive pieces which would be boring and have been accused of playing rather than being a serious artist.  I really do enjoy it.

I have had enough ‘serious’ in my life as a physician, now I want to enjoy myself and also people do seem to get enjoyment out of seeing our finished pieces.

Rich & Kersti’s Arroyo Grande studio will be open both weekends of ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour.  Stop by and see them!

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