15 local artists take part in the Route 3 Art Trail on Saturday

Karen Mehos says her passion for glass art began when she was a “bored little girl in church”, admiring the light filtering through the stained glass windows on the pews.

“I’ve always been drawn to stained glass, the different colors and the way the light plays with it,” Mehos said during an interview at her Boscawen studio last week. “This is my happy place.”

It was a warm sunny day, perfect for creating glass art, which Mehos does a lot in the warmer months. She’s the artist behind Gadzooks Glass, which sells little fused glass treasures, from holiday decor and nightlights to votives (candle holders) and tableware.

His studio is a restored garden shed overflowing with glass of all kinds – stained glass, powdered glass, scrap glass, dichroic glass, opalescent glass, iridescent glass – which decorates the walls next to his workbench and hangs behind the door of his studio. ‘hall.

Inside is a baker’s shelf lined with trays of unfinished items, or “UFOs,” as Mehos calls them, which will eventually become pieces she can sell. There were green and blue fish, tiny bowls, and ornaments depicting holiday scenes: a cardinal atop a tree branch; a moose in a snowstorm; a red van carrying a Christmas tree.

Mehos had a lot to do before her next big event: the Route 3 Art Trail this Saturday, an open-door driving tour covering Concord, Penacook and Boscawen, which she is taking part in alongside 15 other artists. She said she might as well work now, before the studio got too cool.

“Glass doesn’t like to be cold, unfortunately,” she said, as she marked a room with an old-fashioned glass cutter for a trio of angel ornaments with rose glass, blue, white and transparent. “If you don’t do it right, his wing will fall off!”

After cutting, she sometimes needs to grind the pieces to smooth the sharp pieces. Then she washes and assembles them for her 13-inch oven, which she can program to heat to different temperatures depending on the finish she desires. Often, Mehos runs the oven overnight in front of a nanny camera so she can watch it from afar.

Mehos learned the trade in an elective while studying biology as an undergraduate at Franklin Pierce University. She had always loved art, but there was something about glass that particularly appealed to her; often you don’t know what you have until it’s removed from the oven. Some coins change color after being drawn. Others change shape.

“It’s like Christmas,” Mehos said. “But you have to wait for it to cool down before you can touch it, otherwise it will break.”

Stained glass art took a step back when Mehos became a mother, but now her children are grown. Ten years ago, when she bought her house on Route 3, she turned her shed into a workshop and invested in an oven.

Mehos works as a third shift at the Farnum Center, which allows him hours of daylight for art. Her kids love seeing that side of her and they support the business in a variety of ways, from helping set up her office to assisting with events like these.

Adele Sanborn, owner of Twiggs Gallery, started the Route 3 Art Trail a few years ago when NH Open Doors was canceled due to declining attendance. Sanborn had been sorry to see the event fade away; she had been involved with it for 20 years, back when her studio was at Webster.

“I loved having artists open their doors and people attending and being really interested,” Sanborn said. “I thought the Route 3 Art Trail could be something similar, and it worked out well. We had a lot of enthusiasm. Also, a lot of us artists are recluses, so it’s good for us to open our doors once in a while.

In addition to Gadzooks Glass and Twiggs Gallery, participating studios include Jo Shields Studio, Marshall’s Florist & Gifts, Garden Sculptures & Whimsys, Front Room Art Studio, Monica Cote, Chadwick Hill Rustic Furniture and the Bittersweet Fabric Shop.

The Route 3 Art Trail guided tour takes place on Saturday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Entrants who stop by five or more studios will be entered into a raffle to win a work of art from one of the participating artists. Visit route3arttrail.com for a map with addresses.

About Ethel Partin

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