In August, Amy took us behind the scenes at Monster Dance designs. We learned all about a typical day in her studio and the creative process that results in the amazing sand-carved glasses we absolutely love. I mean, have you seen the adorable vintage camper glass? What about the cactus glass? Her glassware makes a perfect gift-- for a whiskey-loving friend or for yourself! Today, we’re learning a little more about Amy, the origin of Monster Dance Designs, and how she’s doing her part to inspire the next generation of female sand-carvers.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m Amy, owner/artist of Monster Dance Designs. I was born and raised a beach girl in Delaware. I think there’s seven or eight of us still left there looking after the place! In my downtime, I love swimming in the natural cold springs around Austin, hanging out in bookstores and playing Dungeons and Dragons.
The natural springs in Austin are so cool (both literally and figuratively)! What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Valuable information from both my mother and Captain Jean Luc Picard: there are few problems or situations that won’t be improved by a good cup of hot tea. It’s my go to grounding ritual when I need a moment to pause, calm down, and think my way through something.
Yes! A good cuppa cures all! Tell us about Monster Dance Designs! What do you make and how long have you been doing it?
At Monster Dance Designs, I turn my original artwork into patterns that I sandcarve onto glassware. I’ve been working with glass for 18 years, beginning as an apprentice and pattern designer in an architectural stained glass studio. Monster Dance Designs began back in 2012 when I was teaching glass technique classes and wanted to practice my sandcarving skills by making myself some dinosaur glasses (I LOVE dinosaurs!). These and some of my other quirky designs were a hit, and I’ve been learning and growing since.
Monster Dance Designs was named by my then 3yo daughter ‘Danger’ who made up the moves for the original Monster Dance for when I needed a bit of cheering up.
What a fun origin story for Monster Dance Designs. We hope you’ve got those Monster Dance moves captured somewhere! What are you most proud of?
I think what I’m most proud of is how I have managed to find so much success in a heavily male-dominated industry. It’s taken more grit than just what’s in my sandblaster to unlock some doors! I owe a lot to the people who have given me a chance and patiently trained me in the glass craft. I’ve recently hired my first assistant, and I’m honored to be teaching a new generation of women to pick up some tools, don’t be afraid to make a mess, and keep the traditional etching methods alive.
That’s incredible! Way to pass on the experience you’ve worked for and support women! What is your favorite part of your job?
I create because what I want to give more than anything else is JOY. Every smile and laugh I see when someone picks up a glass or love from a gift giver to a recipient - I know they'll have a little of that same good feeling every time they see and use it. It still astounds me that something I made can bring that much positive energy into the world long after it has left my hands.
What a beautiful sentiment! Your products always make us happy! If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Could not requiring sleep be considered a superpower? Because I'd get a lot done if I didn’t need to be doing that all time. But really…Teleportation. Instead of choosing where to travel, I could see everything!
That would be a great superpower!! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us! We are so thankful to have you as a maker at Mosaic Makers Collective!
Want to learn more about our makers or shop Monster Dance Designs? Check out these additional resources:
- Visit our shop in the Bishop Arts District
- Shop Monster Dance Designs online
- Meet more of our Mosaic Makers on the Blog