Selective Focus: Diane Keinanen’s Glass Art

Diane Keinanen started creating glass window hangings 20 years ago after attending a community education class on stained glass. The medium then became a “lasting love” for her. In addition to glass art, Keinanen explores woodworking and has worked as a registered nurse for 28 years. Over the course of the pandemic, Keinanen has created live streams while creating her stained glass art. These live streams have included stories about her life and her experience as a transgender woman. More pictures of her work can be found on her Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Diane: Some of my glass art pieces are simply dreamed up in my imagination, however, many of are inspired though the requests of others that often contact me through Facebook. A patron will often relay a story to me about what they wish the piece to represent artistically. I utilize that information and meld it into my creativity. I begin by drawing a pattern and printing it. Then I choose the colors of glass that feel right to me. I cut and shape the glass followed by the copper foiling of each piece and then they are bonded together with molten solder. Then I lovingly polish the work until it gleams.

I actually enjoy woodworking and have been doing so for 40 years! My most recent love is the turning of hand crafted wooden bowls on a lathe.

My mother has a love of tall ships so I did a hybrid piece for her utilizing my glass and woodworking skills. I created a wooden ship’s wheel on my lathe to be used as the frame for the stained glass ship! She loved it!

I began streaming around 18 months ago using Facebook live. I had seen so many interesting streams and I wondered… can I do that? You must understand that for many years I lived an introverted life, flying under the radar so to speak. I knew as a fledgling Transgender Woman, I needed to change that as I felt those past behaviors on my part to be unhealthy. I was so nervous but one evening I did it! I created a simple glass project start to finish and people watched! Soon the lockdown began and when I wasn’t fighting the good fight at work as a registered nurse, I was home alone. The streaming became an integral part of my life. I felt as if I was inviting people in to my home and it helped with the loneliness. Facebook has been my journal of transition from day one, but the live feeds allowed me to build upon that. I began to speak of my life during them and share my story. I answer questions about all manner of things. It is truly wonderful to me!

Are there any other direction you wish to take your art? Yes! In 3 dimensions! I recently became friends with a local glass blower and I am in the process of creating a collaboration of our works in a future piece I am planning!

Creation has been my serenity for many years. I have found that in the two years since I decided to live my truth, my artistry has been greatly enhanced. I see the world in a different light now and the view is oh so magnificently colorful and vibrant!

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