Beth Shuford of Valle Crucis has a portfolio of stained glass pieces she has done. She is a featured artist through Aug. 28 at Edgewood Cottage for the Artists in Residence series hosted by Blowing Rock Historical Society.
That’s the artist Beth Shuford framed in one of her stained glass pieces, with a mirror in the middle. Shuford, who teaches the art at Appalachian State University’s Craft Enrichment Department, is a featured artists through Aug. 28 at Edgewood Cottage for Blowing Rock Historical Society’s Artists in Residence series.
This howling wolf seems to be in front of the moon, an unusual piece created by artist Beth Shuford, one of the featured artists at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock, through Aug. 28.
Beth Shuford of Valle Crucis is one of the featured artists through Aug. 28 in the Artists in Residence series at Blowing Rock’s Edgewood Cottage.
This stained glass art depicting a raven against the moon was created by Beth Shuford, one of the featured artists at Edgewood Cottage through Aug. 28, as part of the Artists in Residence series hosted by the Blowing Rock Historical Society.

This howling wolf seems to be in front of the moon, an unusual piece created by artist Beth Shuford, one of the featured artists at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock, through Aug. 28.
BLOWING ROCK — Glass is a prominent common denominator for Beth Shuford’s business and professional life. For several years she was a quotation analyst with a fiber-optics company in Hickory. Today, she works with stained glass.
Fiber optic cables are most often made by drawing glass to a diameter slightly thicker than a human hair. Stained glass in Shuford’s hands is manipulated in a multitude of ways to produce art.
Beth Shuford of Valle Crucis has a portfolio of stained glass pieces she has done. She is a featured artist through Aug. 28 at Edgewood Cottage for the Artists in Residence series hosted by Blowing Rock Historical Society.
“A gallery owner once told me there is a fine line between art and craft and, he said, I needed to choose whether I wanted to be an artist or a crafter,” Shuford recalled at Edgewood Cottage on Aug. 22, in a conversation with The Blowing Rocket. Shuford is one of the featured artists through Aug. 28 in the Artists in Residence Series, hosted by the Blowing Rock Historical Society. “I chose to become an artist.”
Shuford graduated from Gardner Webb University with a business degree, but can’t remember a time when art wasn’t a part of her life and interests.
“I have been doing stained glass since 1986, when I still lived and worked in Hickory. We moved to Valle Crucis in 2000,” Shuford said. “The color in stained glass gets my creative juices flowing. I have never heard anyone say, ‘I hate stained glass.’ .” There really is a broader appreciation for it because it has been around since the Egyptians. Glass is basically melted sand.”
That’s the artist Beth Shuford framed in one of her stained glass pieces, with a mirror in the middle. Shuford, who teaches the art at Appalachian State University’s Craft Enrichment Department, is a featured artists through Aug. 28 at Edgewood Cottage for Blowing Rock Historical Society’s Artists in Residence series.
What may have started out as an avocation for Shuford emerged by the late 2000’s as a profession.
“My father was a woodworker and I like to work with my hands, too. I started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, so I got my contractor’s license. Then I also built a couple of spec houses. But In 2007, when the real estate market took a nosedive, it prompted me to reconsider my priorities and I began to focus on glass,” said Shuford.
Pretty soon after college, Shuford went to work with Siecor in Hickory, which is a business combination of Siemans Corporation and Corning Glass Corp. subsidiaries..
Beth Shuford of Valle Crucis is one of the featured artists through Aug. 28 in the Artists in Residence series at Blowing Rock’s Edgewood Cottage.
“I worked in fiber optics in Hickory, with Siecor. I worked there a long time. With Siecor, I was a quotation specialist. When someone wanted us to bid on a project, I gathered all the different sections of the project from our specialists based on the specifications we were given by the potential customer, then I tied it all together in a nice little package and that would become our bid,” said Shuford.
With a head for business, Shuford brought discipline and organization to her artistic endeavors.
“Whether it is setting up for a show or exhibition like Artists in Residence or something else, I am very organized. Knowing your worth… all of those things come from my business background,” she said.
Shuford is also inspiring others to take up stained glass art by teaching at Appalachian State University in the Crafts Enrichment Department.
This stained glass art depicting a raven against the moon was created by Beth Shuford, one of the featured artists at Edgewood Cottage through Aug. 28, as part of the Artists in Residence series hosted by the Blowing Rock Historical Society.
“I have been teaching at App State for about seven years. The class is geared not just toward beginners, but also to people who want to take their art to another level,” Shuford said. “It is a very small number that I teach, so they get individualized attention. I have a full class every time, with a wait list.”
Shuford, the enthusiast, doesn’t just teach “how to” but communicates her passion for the art.
“I decided that what I enjoy the most is producing unusual pieces. There are a lot of different things that you can do with stained glass that most people don’t think about. It is really a one-dimensional art form, but the way you add character and depth adds texture. There are overlays. I have done light boxes. I have done bike gears. I have done tennis rackets and copper accents. If you are creative, there are so many different things that you can do with the medium, as an artist.”
Having practiced her art for a long time, she says she has no problem talking about it.
“My husband and I now split our time between Valle Crucis and Hickory, but there are numerous organizations, like book clubs and the Daughters of the American Revolution, calling to ask me to be a guest speaker at one of their meetings. I always say, ‘Sure!’,” said Shuford.
Visitors to Edgewood Cottage this week, through Aug. 28, can sit down and talk with Shuford about her art, its variances, and what goes into it. The Cottage is open each day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
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