Color. That’s what it’s all about. Whether she’s talking about kaleidoscopes or music. Joanne started playing the piano at four years old and never had a lesson until college. She played in many original and cover bands throughout that time, graduating with a degree in Classical Performance from Queens College. She performed with many international stars including Yiannis Katevas, Alexia, the legendary Jewish songwriter/performer Schlomo Carlebach and Yossie Piamenta.
So how did a musician translate her skills to stained glass? On the way home from a late gig, Joanne spotted a beautiful stained glass lamp in the window of a shop. In the morning she purchased it from Steve Failows, a name not unknown to kaleidoscope fanciers. The lamp, which still hangs above Joanne’s piano, inspired not her but her sisters to make creations from glass. Joanne laughs at her initial reluctance, “I’ve cut my hands on paper and foil, but almost never on glass.” She never gave up music, and made glass art a continuation of her artistic expression. Later she added drawing and paintings as well.
In 1985, Joanne did her first crafts fair. In 1987 she made her first kaleidoscopes. They sold out immediately. Soon she was well known in the New York crafts scene and was a fixture on the Upper West side. Joanne was featured artist several times at the prestigious Lincoln Center Crafts festival. In 1993, Mike joined the studio, working primarily with mirrors. Joanne’s work went national then international. In 1995 Joanne and Mike married.
If you walk away with only one thing, they’d want you to remember color. She has an innate sense of knowing the right combinations of hue and texture. Her images are bright, big, and full in every sense of the word. They fill the mirrors with bold and vibrant strokes. She credits Walt Disney, Claude Monet, Marc Chagall, and Japanese wood block prints as her major influences. We invite you to be enchanted by their work. Joanne and Mike live in the greater NYC area with their daughter Melody, a gifted clarinet player and competitive figure skater.