It was a steamy summer night, and I was trying my darndest to be a wallflower, albeit a slightly droopy one. The artist mixer, held at Northfield’s Imminent Brewing, meant an opportunity to meet other local creatives. Nonetheless, there I was, eyes down, hiding behind a plate of excellent food truck offerings. Nom, nom, nom.
Before long a woman took a seat across from me, smiled a dazzling smile, and said, “Hi, I’m Cathy Collison.”
It was one of those moments where you’ve just met a person, but the chemistry feels as comfortable as that old robe you keep available for cuddling on rainy nights. I’m sure we were friends in past lives.
Above the din of beer-laced conversations, laughter, and mingling, Cathy told me a little about herself. The more I heard, the more I KNEW she had to be one of my inspirational Ambush Models.
Cathy is that crazy-talented mix of artist, scientist, engineer, and sweetheart. Oh, and she rides a motorcycle.
She holds a patent on a device that makes beads out of bottle caps. I was trying to visualize what those would be like in my head, and when I saw them for the first time, I was blown away by how cool they look and feel.
Cathy says her two favorite materials to work with are glass and metal. She likes the idea that they are of the earth–glass is sand, for instance– and can return to the earth without much disruption to the environment. (In fact, she made the “bowls” some of her ornaments where in from old silver plated trays.)
Her current focus is on creating gorgeous torch blown glass ornaments. “People love to collect them,” she says. “And I like the idea that they are an heirloom quality piece of art. I hope they get passed down to the next generation(s).”
She’s also working on heart-shaped ornaments which are perfect for celebrating new babies, Valentine’s, weddings, bridesmaids gifts, or to say, “I love you,” on any occasion.
As the evening concluded, Cathy and I agreed to stay in touch. A moment later I heard the Vroooom of a motorcycle, and there she went, waving and smiling that dazzling smile.
You can find Cathy at facebook.com/cathycollisonornaments
This September she will have a booth at the Riverwalk Market in Northfield, MN, among other places. Do stop in and start your collection of her beautiful glasswork!
*She usually wears a helmet but took it off for a few seconds so I could get the shot of her taking off. Gotta love that free spirit!