Kelly Ridgeway | Joplin MO

Kelly lives in St. Louis, Missouri – the place of her birth – but will always call Joplin, Missouri her home town. Kelly attended Memorial High School and then graduated from Joplin High School in 1987 and then Missouri Southern State College. Surrounded by a family of engineers and mathematicians Kelly dared to blaze her own path and pursued a degree in English Literature. Forever intrigued by handcraft and being blessed with imaginative creativity Kelly has spent her life fashioning unique creations in a vast array of forms – baking, sewing and embroidery, decorative painting, woodcarving – but finally found her passion in the art of glass and has been creating glistening pieces of the artform for over 20 years.

“I love the way sunlight shines through a piece of glass and colors bounce around the room. Being able to manipulate sunlight through different colors and textures always excites me. When I am working on a piece – the best moment is right after the final cleaning and I can finally hold it up to the light and see the result. Up until that point you never really know how the light will catch – but it always takes my breath away just a little.”

Kelly and her husband, Sam, live just west of St. Louis in Wildwood, Missouri and she is mother to Amanda, Cole and Haley, step-mother to Remmi and “Nana” to Aeryn and Tristan. Joplin is still home to her parents, Jim and Susan Stratton.

“When I moved to St. Louis 6 years ago I put my art away – literately and figuratively. It was only after I met Sam that I opened it up again. He encouraged me to do what I love and not look back. He has been my biggest fan and cheerleader.”

Kelly’s pieces may be viewed at– www.merakibykj.com and www.facebook.com/meraki.by.kj

MERAKI BY KJ
[may-rah-kee] when you put something of yourself –
soul creativity and love into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.