Pierre, S.D. – Some artists paint with oil and acrylic. Others prefer watercolor. But Annette Hinker paints with glass.
In 1979, Hinker and a friend spontaneously signed up for an introduction course on stained glass. What was meant to be a fun outing with a friend, turned into a lifetime hobby — and later a thriving art career.
Soon Annette’s basement turned into an art studio and eventually a classroom when friends began to ask her to teach and assist them in making their own glass creations.
I met Annette a while back at our local art show hosted by the Pierre Short Grass Art Council.
Annette is an active supporter of all local artists – and even inspires and encourages those who claim to have no creative talent to get out and Do Art. The number of people I know who have, at one point or another, contacted Annette for lessons amazed me. These same people went on to create stained glass windows for their own homes and even a few small town churches across the state.
A former neighbor of mine had actually done just that. Wade and his wife Lisa live just down the street from my parents in the old, historic part of town. I’ve walked by and been to their house plenty of times, but I never knew Wade had made the stained glass window that’s located on the front of his home.
I love that her work, along with that of her student’s, is scattered throughout South Dakota. These stained glass windows have given buildings in South Dakota such a personal touch. Her student’s work, through her mentorship, is just phenomenal; and it really opens your eyes to the amount of talent that is in one small community.
Lately, Annette’s personal projects have shifted from stained glass to that fused glasswork. Recently she’s been creating glass landscape wall décor – something she refers to as painting with glass.
Annette meticulously places glass fragments known as frit on a larger sheet of glass. When fired in the kiln, she uses a tact fuse, which allows the glass to keep some of its original form creating the illusion of depth while also adding texture to the work. The final result creates a scene that somewhat resembles the look of an impressionist painting.
Preferring to work with bright, vibrant colors, she creates playful landscapes that truly reflect her lively personality.
How do you personalize your home? Have you ever thought of creating your own stained glass creation? If so, sound off below and I’ll connect you with Annette! If you just don’t feel you’re up to the challenge of creating one yourself, Annette’s work is available for purchase at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.