1191 Three Lick Rd.
Orlando, WV 26412
note this email address is new as of February 2012)
Sandra Burgett Conrad grew
up in Madison Heights, Michigan. Upon graduating from high
school she and her family moved to Orlando, West Virginia.
In 1971 she began working at the West Virginia Glass Company
in Weston and worked there until 1975. In 1978 she was hired
at the Louie Glass Company where she worked in the cutting
shop on the cutting wheel machine, in the blow room where
she cracked the glass off the pipe, in the finishing department
where she did multiple duties such as sand blasting, lustered
the glass (sprayed color on the glass), was a packer, polisher,
grinder, and inspected the glass before packing for flaws.
In 1980 she took a job at the Stonewall Jackson Hospital,
but returned to Louie Glass a year later and remained with
the factory. Over the years the Louie Glass Company was sold
to Princess House and finally the Glassworks Factory. Sandy
continued to work at the factory until it closed in April
2004. In July 2004 the Capredoni Company bought the factory
and began work on a different kind of glass. This company
made glass sculptures. Sandy would add her own mark to these
pieces by engraving branches and grass to each of the sculptures.
In addition she would sign each piece with the Capredoni signature,
sand blast, buff, and grind the pieces.
In the early 1990ís Sandy
was approached by a co-worker who knew of her ability to draw.
He asked her to engrave a design on a piece of glass with
a tool that he had. This is how she discovered this new art
form. Over the years she would engrave glass for family and
friends. She soon discovered that she could profit from her
talent by going to arts and crafts shows and selling her pieces.
The tools that Sandy used
to engrave the glass included a Dremel tool with a flexible
shaft. She bought diamond carving points or diamond tips (120
grit) which cut well on glass. She would first draw a picture
on a piece of glass with a sharpie marker. Next Sandy would
outline the picture with her Dremel and then she would finish
it by adding the shading and detail work to the picture.
Sandy has recently purchased
a new drill, Electer E-max Control Unit (model EL351-IH),
which is much quieter and easier to use than the Dremel tool.
The Electer E-max used the same diamond tips as the Dremel.
Sandy has a variety of glass
from mugs to large vases. Some of the glass was made in the
Glassworks factory in Weston. However, since the factory has
been closed, the supply of West Virginia glass is almost non-existent
and very difficult to come by. Sandy has had to begin to purchase
glass through a variety of different stores and other factories
outside of West Virginia. However, the designs on these pieces
makes each piece a work of art and a piece of West Virginia.
In addition, Sandy also buys novelty items such as glass eggs,
candy kisses, apples, ornaments, etc. from former co-workers
who create their own glass. She then takes these items and
makes them her own by engraving designs on them.