We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Berger Clamons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandra, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have worked in the arts since graduating from college in 2004. I earned a double degree in Studio Art and Environmental Studies and sought to meld the two in all aspects of my life. My career path has had several twists and turns that led me to become an entrepreneur and artist. Upon moving to Tucson in 2005, I worked for a non-profit arts organization that I loved but felt that the medium we used there was very wasteful. Having been brought up in a heavily eco-minded home, I knew I needed to do work that had a smaller carbon footprint and a larger positive impact on the natural world. I decided to leave the arts and move to the Environmental sector. There I worked in Development and raised funds to protect imperiled animals and their habitats. Still, I felt very removed from the actual work itself. I left that job to pursue a deep rooted desire to do things my way – to combine my dual passions and have a positive influence on the world while also expressing my creative vision. I have been a self employed stained glass artist since 2015. My business, The Glass Desert, utilizes many recycled and repurposed materials including much of the glass I use, the cups and mugs I use for my potted cacti, my packing materials, and many of my tools and equipment have been passed down to me. In addition, my glass scraps are reused by another local Tucson artist so I produce as little waste as possible. The Glass Desert brings my worldview into focus and allows me to create desert inspired stained glass that is environmentally responsible and brings joy to those who own it. Being a small business owner has been a rocky ride, but I wouldn’t go back for anything. To find out more, please visit www.TheGlassDesert.com.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider my work to be Modern Stained Glass – mostly 3-D pieces that aren’t your grandma’s suncatchers. My work is inspired by my day to day environment as I strive to pay homage to Tucson’s amazing Sonoran Desert. Each piece evokes the personality of our desert environment and allows people to bring a small piece of that home with them. They are great for plant lovers with green or black thumbs – wonderful home decor for the modern desert dweller. Every piece utilizes recycled materials, so The Glass Desert’s products are low footprint and high quality.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, I’m gluten free due to Celiac, so my non-Covid jaunts usually revolve around finding amazing food that I can actually eat. On the top of the list are Dedicated Gluten Free for baked goods, Gandhi’s for awesome Indian food, and D’s Island Grill JA for some killer jerk chicken lunch. I am also a Certified Master Gardener, so I love to go to places like Spadefoot Nursery, Native Seeds/SEARCH, and EcoGro for a little local greenery. Then for local shopping in Tucson, you have to hit up PopCycle and Bookmans for some locally produced and recycled goodies.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I know it sounds cheesy, but my husband Ray is my biggest supporter and advocate. He also owns his own business – Natural Building Works – so we bounce a lot of ideas off each other and give each other the push we need to succeed.
First photo (in yellow shirt): Alaina Brownell Chapin Second photo (striped smock): Mike Campbell Mini Prickly Pear grouping: Alaina Brownell Chapin Artist with large monarch: Ray Clamons All other photos taken by Alexandra Berger Clamons