Carey Gustafson is not your typical artist. Instead of canvases or clay, her medium is glass.
While she was an art student, just after high school, her father connected her with a stained Glass company that opened up near his business. They were looking for a freelancer, and she got the job. While she started out just doing sketches for the company, eventually she got to learn every step of the process by doing lots of corporate work for big companies and even the Detroit Auto Show.
In 2005 the Garden Bowl, a popular bowling alley in Detroit, started letting artists hold pop-up shops while people bowled. So she set up her stand and called it Glass Action.
“I really started to make rock’n’roll nights lights,” explained Gustafson. “I made David Bowie, and Iggy Pop, and Alice Cooper, and I would bring them and all the Rock n’ Rollers that were there, or people that were bowling, would be walking by and then they’d stop and come back and I started to sell them.”
She is inspired by pop culture. As a child of the 80s, she loves pop music and likes to commemorate icons in stained glass. She joined social media right at the start, and that gave her a worldwide audience for her unique pieces.
Over time, lots of custom requests came in and that started to dominate her business. She can turn your favorite picture of you and your sweetie into a stained glass portrait. Forever remember your furry friend as a stained glass ornament. She uses a combination of adding textures to the glass and painting on details to get the likeness to really stand out.
On her Etsy page, you can order everything from necklaces to larger portraits. It generally takes 3 to 5 weeks for her to fill an order.
She has done commercial work and has even been asked to make television cast gifts. She’s given look-a-like night lights to Bob Saget, Jon Ham, Connan O’Brien, and more.
“I like being such a unique gift opportunity,” said Gustafson.
For more info, visit Glass Action on Etsy or Instagram.