Susan Thillen Works


Kilnformed glass artist, Susan Thillen, was introduced to the medium while working as a teacher. Immediately hooked on the Christmas aspect of kilnformed glass (put it in the kiln and when you open the kiln, it’s “Merry Christmas” or I sure didn’t want that). Learning, or at least beginning to learn different aspects of glass has been fascinating. Studying with Mirian diFiore, Nathan Sandberg , Alice Benvie Gebhart and Tanya Roy Veit has been like starting another degree program. It’s been 10 years and every time something goes in the kiln, there’s always a level of hope and prayer that the concept has flowed as expected. 


Medium and Technique

Kilnformed glass is created using a consistent coefficient glass, a kiln and tools. There are all types of pieces made in the kiln but my speciality is landscape panels, handheld objects and flow sculptural pieces. Using a combination of pieces and sheets of glass, a creation grows layer by layer to show depth and color. It takes hours in a kiln for the glass to proceed thru stages of softening, spreading, and cooling before the kiln can be opened. Many times work will go through a kiln cycle 4, 5, sometimes 6 times before it is completely done in the kiln. Each cycle is between 6 and 36 hours (or more). After a piece is complete in the kiln, it is usually coldworked with water and tools to shape, smooth or texture the piece. In the stages of working with layers, there are times I will add glass enamel, gold or silver to a piece for added effects.



Inspiration comes to me from our awesome world, the colors, the shapes, the textures and the movement. God has blessed me with many opportunites to translate my emotions and His glory into meaningful panels and sculptural work. My work truly is represented thru my grateful heart. It’s a challenge to combine creativity, science, logic and color into a work of kilnformed glass and every piece is a joy to create and pray that it enriches someone's life.


Future Hopes

My hope as an artist is to inspire others to inquire, attempt and enjoy our world thru art. Living in Granbury along the river, I am inspired everyday by the colors, scent, sound and movement around me. Hopefully, you’ll see that in my work.