Kathman’s job as an accountant ended last October. “I’m not going to wait until I’m 65 to live at the beach,” she said.
It is not unlike her, she added, to occasionally “throw things up in the air” to see where they land.
With that philosophy in mind and several years of experience in stained glass creation under her belt, she moved to Seaside in May and opened Vetrata Doni, which translates to “stained glass gifts” in Italian.
Located at 810 Broadway in the newly renovated Salmon Berry Square Building, her shop is in “a great shopping strip,” she said. When she officially opened her doors, the establishment was a work in progress but is now on its way to becoming “a little art haven,” Kathman said.
As for Seaside in general, she had visited for many years and enjoys the area. Already it “feels more like home,” she said.
Kathman’s 30 years of experience as an accountant makes handling the operational side of her business second nature, which allows her to instead “focus on playing,” she said.
After taking stained glass classes about three years ago, Kathman started creating work on commission.
Her gallery carries her own work and features designs from Opal Art Glass, a glassblowing studio and gallery in Cosmopolis, Wash. She teaches at the gallery, and is contemplating an artist-of-the-month feature.
When working on commission, she collaborates with her client to pick out a pattern and make adjustments to fit their needs and preferences. Besides glass, she uses lead came, copper foil or solder to construct the pieces. Sometimes she will incorporate seashells or other small ornaments, imparting a beach flair befitting of the store’s location.
Kathman said she likes the copper foiling technique because it allows for more fluidity and an organic feel, good for images of plants, animals and people. Smaller pieces offer the opportunity for detail work.
Kathman provides a variety of frames for her work, so the frame matches the same theme or genre as the piece itself. The cost for each work is based on the size, quality and variety of glass used, details and hours spent to complete the project. Kathman described her glasswork as “a work of love.”
“I’m not going to get rich off of it, but I get to live at the beach, and there are no bad days at the beach,” she added.
Kathman also can perform repairs for broken or damaged pieces.
Kathman offers classes to an intermediate level at the Vetrata Doni studio and gallery. “For most people, if you can get that far in a class, you’ll keep going and keep perfecting the craft on your own,” she said.
Participants in the Stained Glass for Beginners class choose from pre-selected pieces that can be done in two to three hours, making them doable for visitors and residents alike, Kathman said.
The classes are geared toward participants 17 and older. Class size is limited. Prices includes all necessary materials and use of tools. For more information, visit www.VetrataDoni.com or www.thatstainedglassgalleryinseaside.com.