I met Laura Engelhardt while I was living in Topeka, Kansas, several years ago. Laura provided me with valuable lessons on how to view and create art. Her upbeat attitude on life and her contagious adventurous spirit led to an instant friendship. When you view her art, you can see those same qualities in her work, which is why I have always been an admirer of hers. – Kristy Trowbridge
Written By: Laura Engelhardt
Creativity has been an influential factor in my life since a very young age. I remember always having a sketchbook somewhere on my person (mostly, when I was younger, as a diversion to avoid having to speak to/interact with other people…), always observing the world with an artist’s eye. There are, tucked carefully away, several sketchbooks full of images that only a child’s mind could conjure or appreciate. I find that my history, as I assume can be said of so many artists, can be traced throughout my life’s timeline from one catalyst to another; each spark caused by a connection, a discovery, a creation. Each step of the way supported and encouraged by my wonderful mother, who continually provided me with art supplies, inspirations and stronger-than-steel personality to
emulate and aspire to.
“I have learned, if you want art in your life, see the world as art and you will find it everywhere.”
My love of art (and antisocial behavior) at the early age of eight led one of my teachers to introduce me to art therapy with Robert Ault. Through his sessions, my quiet loneliness became interactive creativity. I learned that art was a powerful tool for emotional outlet and wordless expression. I spent a decade visiting “Ault’s Academy of Art” and over the years, I saw creativity change my outlook and my path in life. My middle school years were spent making little oil paintings; overly intricate, rainbow colored dragon drawings; and even writing and illustrating a children’s book for a nationwide contest.
“Glass is a mesmerizing medium that moves like warm honey and can be manipulated with steel, wood and paper into an endless variety of forms.”
My junior year in high school, I was introduced to new medium – glass. A Chinese exchange student, and friend of my mother, had taken note of my artistic personality and wanted me to meet the host family he stayed with when first arriving in the U.S. They were a family of glass blowers. Their company was called AlBo Glass Studio, and I immediately fell in love with their work. Glass is a mesmerizing medium that moves like warm honey and can be manipulated with steel, wood and paper into an endless variety of forms. Watching the molten glass was like magic to me.
While I watched in awe, connections were made. The conversations led to a link in our families’ histories, and finding that I was related, AlBo Glass hired me as an intern, on the spot. In order to quickly learn the techniques of glassblowing, I was sent to train with my bosses’ son, Nathan, a talented glassblower at “The Glass Forge” in Grants Pass Oregon. As new friendships formed, my skill with glass grew. While I learned the basics of glass blowing from Nathan, his wonderful wife, Michelle, introduced me to stained glass. I fell in love all over again. The patterns and textures of sheet glass, so skillfully puzzle-pieced together to create intricate, heavy-lined designs, were delightful to me. To Be Continued……..
Click Here For Part 2: https://indiegirlblogs.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/to-be-an-artist-laura-engelhardt-continued/
Make Sure to check out Laura’s Website to view all her amazing work including her jewelry:
Ebb & Flow Arts: http://ebbflowarts.com
NOTO Community Center: http://notoartsdistrict.com/noto-arts-center/
For a list of courses Laura will be teaching click here! http://notoartsdistrict.com/category/adult-classes/
Her Art Work Can Be Viewed And Purchased At The Following:
909 North Topeka Avenue,
Topeka, Kanasas 66608
*The large scale mural project at Washburn Tech is only two months away from completion and will be included as a stop on the First Friday Art Walk in May, with the culinary arts students providing snacks and treats. The building (Main building A, along the west wing) is open during regular business hours and anyone is welcome to stop by and see the progress.*