Elisa Cossey was born to be an artist. Looking back at her childhood she cannot remember a time in which she was not creating something. As a child it was called “play.” As a young adult it became “arts and crafts.” Today, Elisa’s eye for beauty and love for creativity has elevated her craft to that of “artisan.”

Elisa Cossey was born to be an artist. Looking back at her childhood she cannot remember a time in which she was not creating something. As a child it was called “play.” As a young adult it became “arts and crafts.” Today, Elisa’s eye for beauty and love for creativity has elevated her craft to that of “artisan.”

She began her artistic career in arts and crafts. First, she worked with …….beads. Her bead designs, featured in Beads & Buttons Magazine (1999) have received nationwide notoriety. All was going well with the beads until she discovered PMC--precious metal clay. Elisa describes working with pmc as “easy and feeling like you’re working with play dough.”

And then she discovered glass. “I think I’m obsessed with it (glass)...I come out here every day to work with my molds and to create new designs.” She admits that it’s a lot more fun than cleaning house--although she really enjoys a neat clean home. She has taken glass lessons all over the U.S. and Canada. And she’s taught a few classes herself. Her classroom pieces are never for sale--no matter how exquisite they are.

There’s more to glass than pretty colors and creative design. There’s a scientific element to working with glass. “Glass likes to be ¼ inch thick. If you pour it thicker, it will spread into a ¼ inch thickness--unless you are very exacting with the time and temperature in the kiln. If you pour it thinner, it will contract to ¼ inch,” she explains.

  

And it’s not just the exactness of the time and temperature that determines quality. It has to cool slowly and evenly at controlled temps. “If you rush the cooling process your glass will break. Maybe not right away, but eventually it will. If it doesn’t cool evenly it will create pockets that produce weak spots in the glass that cause it to inexplicably break at a future date,” she advises. Elisa knows glass.

The pieces shown here are a modest representation of pieces that are available for purchase at Mama Says Emporium, 315 Garrison Ave., Fort Smith. Call her at 479 226-3373, @Mama’s or email Elisa directly This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. See more at elisacossey.com and “like” her on Facebook: Glass Art of Elisa Welch Cossey.

By Nicole Alexander
Photography by Sarah Treece

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