Kathy Steffey was born and raised in Berea, where she graduated from the Berea Community School. She attended Eastern Kentucky University, and after a stint in the U.S. Army, returned to Berea and became a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.
As a life-long friend of bead artist Jimmie Lou Jackson, Kathy was introduced to the world of lampworked glass beads. When Kathy realized she was in need of a career change she tried her hand at glass and began working for Jimmie Lou. The lampworking process did not appeal to Kathy, but when she tried her hand at fused glass, she found a process that was right for her.
Kathy is drawn to glass for its brilliant color and reflective quality. She explains, “Dichroic glass is my first love because it creates colors that you couldn’t get otherwise.” Dichroic glass is a type of glass that has metal oxide sprayed onto the surface causing it to reflect surrounding colors.
Kathy’s fused glass jewelry involves cutting flat pieces of glass and stacking them to ‘fuse’ or melt together in a kiln. Kathy fires her glass to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit in a process of heating and cooling (annealing) that takes 6 hours. She uses mainly Bullseye glass and does a large amount of custom jewelry – matching colors for clients.
Works by Kathy Steffey can be found at Hot Flash Beads, Berea, KY; and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, Berea, KY.