I came across a very cool and unique Etsy shop the other day when I was looking for glass items to put in a Treasury I was working on. I knew I had to blog about it, so I contacted Lisa Rippee, the owner/creator of Cloud Eleven. I’m glad I did as I believe I’ve made a new friend.
I’m a firm believer that challenges and events change the course of your direction in life (I speak from experience). A stressful job as a juvenile intake and assessment specialist took up most of Lisa’s time. I can only imagine her stress! Long hours and overnight shifts isolated her from friends and family. Then one day in March of 2005 Lisa picked up a torch. Hot glass became her therapy, obsession, meditation, passion, and the perfect vehicle for her creative expression. Who needs a therapist when you have a torch!
Lisa has a studio in her home, in Kansas City metropolitan area (on the Kansas side). Her home is small & colorful, and some describe it as eccentric (I would love to see it!). She enjoys listening to music while creating, but in the beginning she only listened to instrumental Jazz “while learning the rhythm of the glass dance” (how poetic!). The Beatles, Zepplin and Mary J. Blige are in her CD player right now. Right on!
When asked what inspires her, this is what Lisa had to say: “Anything that elicits a strong emotional response would probably be the short answer. Everyday moments that make me smile or laugh usually find their way into my creations. The social issues that I’m passionate about show themselves as well. My muse is very in tune with my moods."
Lisa’s creations are fun, amazing and full of life. There is a big variety as well: Wine Stoppers, Vessels, Magnets, Focal Beads, Sculptural Glass Vessels and more. I especially love the blown-out mouth vessels as they are so realistic (many have uvulas!) In fact, I bought the Make Me Smile vessel (the one at the top of this post) and can hardly wait until he arrives!
Oh! Lisa eventually left the high stress job. Her torch therapy led her to a part-time job at a local stained glass shop called Bearden’s Stained Glass and eventually a shop on Etsy. How did she come up with her Etsy buisness name? When she first started flame working, every time she turned around it was 1:11, 11:11, etc. So, she figured she was on the right track of making her dream come true and since hot glass had her “beyond cloud nine”, she simply had to name her business Cloud Eleven.
Just goes to show that when you get all fired up about life’s challenges, you can turn them around into something spectacular!
Happy day everyone!
P.S. Lisa sees dead people. I do too, but I’m not telling anyone ;)