Morgan Gattermeyer holds up a small, rectangular sheet of cherry red glass. She’s about to cut half-inch strips to use in a patriotic glass piece, and she demonstrates how to use a glass cutting board and a scoring tool. “It’s gonna sound like you’re scraping nails on a chalkboard. That’s the sound you want,” she says on her July 2 Facebook Live video. Once the glass is scored, she shows how to place running pliers on the glass and squeeze, cracking the glass precisely over the score mark.
Gattermeyer is a 27-year-old working artist at InsideOut Studio in Hamilton. Funded by a combination of Medicaid funds, grants, individual donors, and sponsorships, InsideOut is a bit of an amalgam. It’s a learning environment where adult artists with disabilities can learn techniques ranging from glasswork to painting. It’s a studio where those artists can practice their skills. It’s a retail space where the community can purchase one-of-a-kind pieces made by the artists. And it’s an employer that pays its artists 50 percent of the profits from each piece that sells. The other half goes back to InsideOut for materials and operational costs.
Before the coronavirus, Gattermeyer taught community art classes at InsideOut. Those classes have been swapped for Facebook Live videos, which double as artistic technique demos and a way to promote the studio, its artists, and their work. InsideOut’s primary goal is to provide employment opportunities through art, and to market, represent, and sell the work of its artists, says Kim Neal Davis, retail and marketing manager. “For some, this is their main means of income,” she says.
In the retail space, customers can find anything from paintings to garden art, vases to signage, and night-lights to glass tic-tac-toe games. Plus, local organizations regularly commission pieces from InsideOut, such as glass award stands and mosaics.
Gattermeyer has been an artist at InsideOut for more than three years and says fused glass pieces are her favorite to create. She not only likes to see the puzzled-together project before it’s fired in the kiln and after, but she appreciates what glasswork has taught her. “It’s helped me become more patient,” Gattermeyer says. “When you’re working on a big glass piece or a big painting, it’s more than likely not gonna get finished in one day.”
InsideOut Studio, 140 High St., Hamilton, (513) 857-5658