By Rebecca Omastiak
Firing recycled bits of glass in a kiln she built herself, Vicki Erickson’s creations are the definition of renewable design. Her home-based company, 7 Two 7 Glass, features items such as garden signs, earrings, and ornaments for the fashion-savvy and eco-conscious.
(Left, sage glass Minnesota ornament ($15), right, glass dangle earrings in Earthtone ($15), both from 7 Two 7 Glass)
Erickson attended several art classes at college in California, including a studio art glass class, sparking her initial interest in the glassmaking process. Her interest in glassmaking became a business idea and 7 Two 7 Glass was born.
To create her brightly colored earrings, ornaments, and garden signs, Erickson uses glass from IKEA’s As-Is department. To add images to the glass, she uses a laser printer to print the image on a special type of paper that, when heated, burns the image into the glass. Erickson gives the leftover glass she can’t use to friends who share her passion for glass artistry; one recycles the glass pieces into custom countertops, another includes them in mosaic artwork.
Erickson enjoys the almost instant gratification of her glassmaking craft. “It’s ready to go as soon as it’s done in the kiln,” she says. This efficient system allows her to fill orders from all over the U.S. In addition to local, Twin Cities customers, she receives orders from the East Coast, Kentucky, Virginia, and California to name a few. Despite a vast customer base, Erickson says her Minnesota state ornaments are still her bestseller.
Road trips are Erickson’s favorite way to seek inspiration. Having recently returned from a family trip to Nashville, she explains road trips are the perfect way for her to escape work stress and consider new ideas. “It’s a time when your mind is totally clear,” she says.
Visit the 7 Two 7 Glass website for home decorating accessories, bright barrettes, and local Twin Cities flair.
(Featured image: Glass garden markers, ($45 for a set of six), from 7 Two 7 Glass)