May Featured MCA Member: Heather L. R. Fountain, Fountain Glass

When you stepped onto the creative path, was it a straight walkway to the finish line? Or did life steer you through a series of twists and turns, with opportunities for learning and growth, through many different environments before it ultimately settled you in the place where all those great things that make you who you are intersect?

A soul calmed by the peace and beauty of nature, Heather L. R. Fountain gathers her inspiration from the beauty of the ocean, forests, and lakes of Maine in a place where the great diversity of ecosystems meet at the forest and the sea. Our natural topography gives rise to her elegant kiln-fired glass pieces, their textures and colors as varied and unique as those of the lands and waters that surround her when she’s hard at work in her Ocean Park studio.

An internationally renowned educator of educators and alum of the UMaine System, Harvard, and Purdue, Heather followed her passion for research, learning, and eureka moments and earned her doctorate in Art Education and Curriculum & Instruction, using art as an educational tool for students of all abilities, and became a teacher of teachers and a writer/editor of best practice in education books expanding her reach globally.

A long and arduous battle with her health for her very life eventually took her out of the classroom; but this challenge opened up doors to virtual teaching, allowing her to move back to her most precious place on earth and focus more on her creative side, and her love of working with glass. Ocean Park, Maine, now home to Heather full-time, was her home away from home from childhood on. It was the place where her parents met, and where they summered as a family, gracing Heather with core memories that helped make her who she is today: a learner, an educator, a survivor, and an inspired creative soul.

Heather may have had to rethink her life, a challenge many of us face at least once during our time on this earth, but the process has allowed her to develop her craft in amazing and beautiful ways. The creative process carries much over from educating: trial and error, follow-through, research and ample time to work out the details of a specific problem. Her glass work is a stunning example of the beauty and grace that come with tenacity and perseverance in the face of change.

Q & A with Heather Fountain

Q: What are some of the greatest challenges you face as an artist? What about being an artist
brings you the most joy?
A: One of my greatest challenges as an artist is battling the need for perfection. Things can always develop and be better, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in the idea that something isn’t good enough yet, when indeed each step of the process, and each piece of artwork in a series is important. The thing that brings me the most joy as an artist is seeing the joy that my Art brings to other people.

Q: What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received?
A: The best piece of professional advice I have received is to keep working, even if you make one thing or develop a small part of a larger piece, you’re still moving forward.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
A: my inspiration comes from nature, particularly the shore of Maine. I am amazed by the colors in the sky, reflected in the ocean and the patterns found in the sand and water.

Q: What is your dream project?
A: Right now my dream projects are to develop a large scale sculptural piece and create pieces that contain lighting.

Q: How do you promote your work? Has social media been a helpful tool for you to use?
A: I do use Instagram and Facebook to promote my work but also I find that being part of professional organizations such as MCA helps my work be seen. Shows are an invaluable opportunity to reach a larger audience, which also can lead to traffic on my website and repeat customers.

Q: Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
A: From June 23 -29th I have been selected to be a guest artist in the pop-up gallery at Maine Art Hill Gallery in Kennebunk, ME.

In addition to the Maine Crafts Association, Heather is a member of the Glass Artist Society, Saco Bay Artists, and Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. She is participating in the 2022 Portland Fine Craft Show produced by our sister organization Shop Maine Craft, as well as other shows in Ocean Park through the summer. Her woven glass bowls, shoreline series, and more will be on view and for purchase this summer at the Maine Art Hill Gallery in Kennebunk.

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