AS TOLD TO JEN DROSE
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL D. WILSON
On the third floor of her Falmouth home, glass artist Laura Fuller assembles intricate, whimsical pieces that inspire hope and healing.
“About 35 years ago, a friend made a soldered sea glass lampshade and I thought, ‘I want to learn this.’ I took a stained-glass course but it was very limiting — you could pick a Victorian window pattern to replicate. So I taught myself. I started by cranking out glass panels inset with vintage bottles. I knew what I was doing every day. Now, when I come up to my studio, I don’t always know what’s going to happen. With something like the tree at Portland’s Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital [an 18-foot-tall, lit sculpture of glass-like polycarbonate and mica], it took nine months of trial and error to get it perfect. I made it in memory of my daughter, Delaney [who died of Hurler syndrome at age 9]. After she passed, butterfly and dragonfly panels started happening, which I think are her working through me. And then there’s the 8-foot-long chandelier/mobile I just finished for Mercy Hospital [on Portland’s Fore River Parkway], which has 100 butterflies and dragonflies and uses glass from the windows of their original chapel and a former synagogue. I also incorporate collected objects into my pieces — crystals, stones, someone’s cherished dish that broke and becomes something happy and new. I love being with the work and yet knowing it’s not mine, that I just get to be the hands.”