Terry Lester of TL Designs has been creating glass art for over 40 years, starting in Santa Cruz, California at the very beginning of the California art movement of the ‘70’s and was a charter member of the original and prestigious Santa Cruz Artisans Cooperative.
Her initial artistic interests were in abalone jewelry, lost wax casting and fabrication. She then started designing stained glass art pieces, including her uniquely innovative jewelry boxes, and was in popular demand for custom architectural commissions, both residential and commercial.
After creating flame torch beads at a U.C.- Davis glass-blowing class she was introduced to fusing and dichroic glass and the die was cast. For 15 years she has been creating wearable art for her legions of loyal clients and collectors alike.
Terry resides in North Central Idaho overlooking the Clearwater River with her husband, an avid outdoorsman and, with her loving family of children and grandchildren nearby, enjoys a very full and active lifestyle in a natural woodland environment.
Her passionate design creativity is informed by the vibrancy of the dichroic glass and her very soulful talent for combining colors for stunning results. She showcases her glass jewelry locally in several venues and hosts her own annual and very well attended “One-Woman Show” in her hometown of Orofino. Recently her jewelry has been featured at the venerable “Art on the Green” juried show in the resort town of Couer d’Alene.
The magical colors in Terry’s art are created when extremely hot glass is coated with multiple micro-layers of metallic oxides. The result is a special crafted glass that reflects and transmits contrasting, dazzling colors from every light source. Dichroic (a Greek word meaning two colors) glass is a gift of the aerospace industry to the art world. It was developed by NASA to be used in heat deflection on the space shuttles.
Dichroic glass is so popular because it is stunningly beautiful and is an element employed in almost all of her contemporary art glass creations. She loves the depth and varying colors she can create with this wonderful, unique glass.
Each wearable art piece is individually designed, hand cut and fused in a small kiln in her home studio located in Orofino, Idaho, a thousand feet above the shimmering (and very clear) Clearwater River. While she often designs with wardrobe coordination in mind and loves creating her very popular pendant/earring/bracelet sets, TL’s true artistic passion is sparked by her one-of-a-kind creations.
Historic Orofino (Spanish for “Fine Gold”) is situated on the beautiful Clearwater River just downstream from the towering Dworshak Dam and all 50-plus miles of reservoir behind it. The relatively low elevation of the city, at 1030 feet, provides residents and tourists alike with the hottest summers and mildest winters of the entire state. Orofino’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, closer than most of the rest of the state, also contributes to its mild climate.
In a state already filled with breathtaking natural beauty, Orofino holds its own in the beauty department with the gorgeous river, dam and reservoir, the surrounding Clearwater National Forest, abundant wildlife, endless outdoor recreation, and the world renowned steelhead trout and salmon fishery there and throughout Idaho. On a historic note, the Lewis and Clark expedition camped on the river nearby for a couple of weeks in the summer of 1805, resting after crossing the Bitterroots, to build five dugout canoes for their final push to the Pacific Ocean via the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers.
In 2003, on a vacation getaway from their home in Northern California, Terry and her husband stumbled upon beautiful, tiny Orofino and their lives were immediately changed. Within a few months they were Idahoans and have thrived in that pristine wonderland ever since.
As is her style, Terry integrated right away within the community, made friends, joined clubs, volunteered and has prospered in every way. Her art and design creativity has also improved markedly in her new environment as well, due in large part to her bright and airy second-level studio, complete with skylights and fireplace. Their home sits on a ridge with dramatic vistas of their town and the river below, with the back deck facing west into sunsets that inevitably evoke the multi-dimensional colors of her art.