Behind the Scenes: Monster Dance Designs

Pull out your favorite beverage, because today, we’re taking you behind the scenes with Amy of Monster Dance Designs. Her etched glassware is individually sand-carved using traditional techniques, and the results are stunning! I’m “etching” to know more, and I bet you are, too. Cheers, y’all! 

Hi Amy! Thanks for taking us behind the scenes with you today! Where do you find inspiration for your art?

It’s all around!  I love science, botany, and history themes, and will often be inspired by a motif or illustration from an old book.

What a lovely way to find inspiration from the whole world! Do you plan for months before creating a new product, or do you create spontaneously?

I’m always taking photos and screenshots of the art, textures, and details that stop me in my tracks.  In doing this, I’m soaking up the patterns and vibrations around me, and then tapping into my intuition to predict new trends.  It all brews for days, weeks, months until I get the spontaneous itch to sketch it all out.  I’m always surprised what pops up!  I wish I could schedule collection themes and releases, but my brain never seems to get the memo.

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your creative process! Can you please walk us through a step-by-step process for creating your product?

Once I have my idea and a clean design, I create the art by carving a block of rubber or linoleum and making an inkprint.  I bring that print into the digital realm on my tablet and edit it to make a pattern for cut vinyl sandblast resist.  The resist is applied to each glass and the design is ‘weeded’ to expose areas to be etched.  Next, I use pressurized air and an extremely hard, fine grit (no lasers, I’m old school!) to carve the exposed areas of each individual glass.  After a thorough clean and polish, they are ready for a prime spot in your cabinet.

Wow! What a cool process— there’s a lot of thought and time that goes into your masterpieces! What does a typical day look like for you?

I’ve always been resistant to routines and schedules – I always want to shake things up.  One of my biggest challenges as a business owner is to meld that spontaneity with the reality of getting things done.  My studio is attached to my home, so first order of business is a very strong cup of hot tea with my daughter, then its out to the workshop to use my morning energy in making and packaging the day’s order pickup. A break in the middle for lunch, a short yoga session, and emails.   My assistant comes in the afternoon to help prepare the next day’s batch.  I wind down by doing some sketching with my daughter -she’s an artist too!

That sounds like a really great way to spend each day— routine with room for creativity and spontaneity. Who’s the first person you show when you create a new piece? 

My two besties whom I’ve met through Austin’s wonderful art and small business community.  Our group chat is a flurry of photos and projects!

How fun! It’s always nice to get support and insight from other artists! We love sneak peeks! Can you let us in on any future products we can look forward to seeing on the shelves?

I’m working on a letter typeface to compliment my popular zip code glasses, and planning to expand into printed textile gifts.  I’m also relaunching my website very soon.  My sketchbook right now is full of pumpkins, birds, and prehistoric motifs.

We’re already dreaming of fall, and can’t wait to see where you take those pumpkin motifs! Thanks so much for taking us behind the scenes with you. We’re so glad you’re a part of the Mosaic Makers Collective community. 

If you’d like to shop Monster Dance Designs, visit us in-store or shop online

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