Linda Billet is a glass artisan working out of her Central PA studio. She is a native Pennsylvanian and former postal employee. After years of juggling art, kids’ activities, and a job, she decided to pursue her passion in art full time. Most of Billet’s work is fused glass but she also loves to mosaic glass. Her glass art is installed on restaurants and in homes as distant as Hawaii. She shows in several galleries, is a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and participates in the Route 15 Artisan’s Trail program.
Billet began her craft at Harrisburg Area Community College with a year of glass blowing and continues with fusing workshops and classes, however, her craftsmanship is mainly self-taught. She prefers fusing glass which allows greater control of pattern, texture and detail. Experimenting ensures that her work is absolutely unique. Prior to glass she also artistically dabbled in metal and sewing. She enjoys the freedom of this eclectic education.
Recent works Billet has created are pieced patches of fused glass resembling quilts as well as traditional themes. Each of her art pieces start out as sheets of clear and/or colored glass. The glass is cut or broken and arranged to make stripes, bubbles, polka-dots, fruit, fish or whatever she’s interested in that day. The glass is then fused into a solid piece of glass by heating it to temperatures between 1200 and 1700 degrees in a kiln. The composition of fused glass may then be sawed, sandblasted, broken and re-fired many times before a piece is complete. Billet uses glass to color her “canvas,” sometimes with pieces that are as tiny as dust.
Billet draws inspiration from her previous experience in fabric and her passion for nature. A recurring theme is water which she feels is an excuse to work in her favorite color, blue. In working with glass she uses dimension to her full advantage, even if it is only a quarter of an inch. Billet says, “I want people to see into my work. I am flattered when people feel compelled to touch it. If someone is intrigued enough to use their fingers to see what I’ve done, then I have accomplished what I set out to do. My hope is for people to look at glass in a different way.”
When asked for an artist’s statement, Billet agrees with her grandmother who always told her, “Matching is boring.”