New York native Kristin Deady came to Salem Community College's Glass Art program after working as a production flameworker in California. While there, she set up her own flameworking studio in her garage where she could continue to practice flameworking.
Deady's co-workers exposed her to different flameworking techniques and the work of many glass artists. However, the company she worked for eventually closed. It was then that Kristin realized that she wanted to pursue a career in glass.
"My first thought was to look at artists I admired to see how they got to where they were in their glass careers. One of these artists was Paul Stankard," she recalled. "I saw that he not only attended SCC, but was teaching there as well. I signed up, packed my truck, and was off to New Jersey."
After graduating from SCC in 2005 with a degree in glass art, Kristin immediately began her own flameworking business, designing and producing her own line of flameworked jewelry.
In 2010, Kristin received a BFA in glass from Rochester Institute of Technology and four years later earned an MFA in glass from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. Today she is a full-time glass studio technician at Tyler where she runs the daily operation of the glass studio and teaches Introduction to Glass. She also teaches at University of the Arts.
Kristin teaches students how to safely work within the studio and operate the equipment, and assists them with various challenges. "I believe that the idea is the most important factor in the creation of great work," she said. "I strive to give my students the tools necessary to bring their ideas to life." She works with the university's environmental health and safety office to ensure the studio is a safe working space.
Kristin said that her SCC education gave her a solid foundation as a glass artist and helped to give her life-changing experiences including attending the Glass Art Society (GAS) Conference through a student scholarship. "I encourage all young glass enthusiasts to become members of GAS. Students should take full advantage of each and every opportunity they are presented with," she said.
"Salem opened my eyes to the many possibilities in working with the material that I had not previously been exposed to," she said. "I was also educated more fully about the history of the studio glass movement, and the glass community at large."
Kristin frequently attends SCC's International Flameworking Conference. Her favorite part of the weekend is the community itself. "It's great seeing old friends and having the opportunity to make new ones," she said.