Artists ~ Nancy Ratte' ~ Chepachet

Artist’s name: Nancy Ratte'
Shop name: Designs Stained Glass

1. Tell us about your work
My stained glass work is created using the Tiffany copper foil method. Each glass piece is cut by hand, the edges are made smooth, and a special copper foil is applied to all of the edges. Then all of the pieces are soldered together. Some of the larger panels have a zinc or lead frame around the edges. Each piece I make is made with care and attention to detail.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business? 
Not really – I make a variety of items. From suncatchers, to panels, jewelry, candle holders, mosaics – so I think the name of my shop covers all types of “designs”.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer? 
I’ve always been working with my hands since I was a little girl. Busy doing all kinds of crafts, sewing, knitting, embroidery, etc. I have always had an interest in stained glass. I started taking lessons about 16 years ago, and immediately fell in love with the whole process.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration? 
I love color – I am an avid gardener. Pulling my experience from both of those areas is my inspiration.

5. What’s your favorite item to create? 
Oh, that’s a tough question. I love making so many products. Right now I am creating new jewelry pieces – pressed flower necklaces. I guess these are my favorite – for now.

6. What’s your best seller? 
My best sellers are my sympathy hearts. These are made to order stained glass hearts, made in the customer’s choice of colors. Each heart has a small beaded angel attached to the top. The customers have the choice to add an engraved initial on the heart.

7. How long have you been in Rhode Island? 
I moved to Rhode Island when I got married – almost 40 years ago.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island? 
Beautiful beaches, nature walks, Dells lemonade, friendly people, and living in the woods! We live in the upper most corner of the state – in Chepachet, on a quiet dead end street.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners? 
Our favorite place to eat is Tavern on Main, in Chepachet. This old tavern has so much history – did you know it’s haunted? The food is great and the service is wonderful. I love the old home feeling of the place.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers? 
Do what you love – love what you do! Etsy is a great place to sell your handmade products. It is a lot of work - but worth it.


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