COLUMBIA — Peggy King prefers to use her basement as her artist's studio.
She spends most evenings preceding art shows down there, playing with a 2,000-degree dual fuel torch and shaping molten glass. Her two kilns are always plugged in, ready to fire.
What: Fall into Art festival
When: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Parkade Center, 601 Business Loop 70 W
For information: Fall into Art
King works with glass; she makes plates, coaster, lamps, beads, jewelry and Christmas ornaments. Although she loves what she does, she is quick to praise other people's work, and she has some of the work in her house.
Five years ago, King took a class on glass fusing at Village Glass Works. The same day, she bought a kiln and, as she put it, went crazy.
King works with numbers every day as an energy analyst for Missouri Public Utility Alliance, but she uses glass work as her creative outlet. She is also the president of The Best of Missouri Hands, which represents Missouri artists of all skill levels.
Born and raised in St. Louis, King is one of six children, four of whom are doing something with numbers or engineering.
She shares her home with her husband, Bob, who owns and runs Pendulum Bob’s Clock Shop in Columbia, and their 14-year-old cat, aptly named "C’mere." When they got her as a kitten, that was what she responded to.
She thinks of her husband's clock shop as a hobby even though it's also his business. King said neither of them pursue their hobby for the money.
“I don’t break even," King said. "This is a hobby, a passion.”
She attends a bead-making retreat for four days in May where she gathers with a bunch of artists. They set up tables and spend the day making glass beads. "I say, 'It's nice of you guys to let me hang out. I drool on my torch, you know,'" she said.
“There’s just something about glass artists. There’s no competition,” King said.
Blue Stem Missouri Crafts carries her jewelry year-round. Around Christmas, they sell King’s handmade ornaments.
King’s newest work is a line of glass lamps, and she said she is anxious to see how they sell at the show. Everything she sells at the show will be $100 or less.
King's work and more information about her can be found at her website.