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Glass Fest sparkles as Fun Fest event

Leigh Ann Laube • Jul 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — Trish Coffey had a game plan for the stained glass mosaic stepping-stone she was creating Thursday during Glass Fest.

It would have a C for her last name, a fleur-de-lis to honor her home state of Louisiana, and something to represent Tennessee and the Volunteers for her husband.

But the Mount Carmel resident didn’t have enough room.

“I couldn’t very well put Vols on there and not LSU, so I’m probably just going to do a C with a border,” she said.

In the end, though, Coffey had room to add a small salute to both Louisiana State University and the University of Tennessee — five pieces of purple glass for the Tigers in one corner, five orange pieces for the Vols in another corner.

Coffey, her 8-year-old niece Lynlee Holcomb from Louisiana, along with about seven others spent four hours Thursday working on their stepping-stones.

Glass Fest has been hosted by Kingsport Stained Glass owner Rebecca Hartman-Baker for several years.

Bessie Gillenwater, filling in while Hartman-Baker is out of town, explained the process. Participants started with a slab of concrete — either rectangular or square — and scrap glass that had been put through a tumbler to smooth rough edges, making it safe for youngsters.

Once they covered their slab with glue, they began sorting through trays of scrap glass and designing a pattern.

“This is where it gets really interesting and wonderful,” said Gillenwater.

During the morning session, the group laid out their designs and let the glue dry. During the afternoon session, they covered the slab with grout, then smoothed it out and eventually wiped off each piece of glass.

“That’s when it gets fun and messy,” Gillenwater said.

Lynlee used black glass to create an H, then added miscellaneous glass to fill in the rest of the space and create a border.

Piney Flats resident Linda Rash used a butterfly pattern to design her stone.

“I’m doing a border with a butterfly in the middle. Hopefully I’m going to put this out in my garden,” she said.

Kadin Coates created an image of a house with smoke coming out of the chimney, and a yellow sun.

About 45 Glass Fest participants this week created boxes, wind chimes, candleholders, trays and flat bottle art. Kingsport Stained Glass is located at 218 E. Market St. in downtown.

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