More than eight years ago, Heather Applegate was looking for a career change.
She had been a dental assistant for over 25 years and when the opportunity for a completely different path presented itself, she took the plunge.
Applegate, along with April Wilson, bought Studio Fusion in 2014 from Shari Burke. Applegate has been the sole owner for several years now and has enjoyed the choice it made to purchase the business at 21 S. 12th St.
“I was a dental assistant and decided I needed a life change,” Applegate said. “It was absolutely the right decision (eight years ago). I needed something new.
“Being a business owner is always stressful, but it’s very rewarding to be able to create something that people have in mind – it’s pretty cool.”
Studio Fusion is a place where people can create molten glass, pottery, ceramics and canvas art.
When Applegate took over, she loved art, but had no experience with glass or pottery.
“It seemed like a good opportunity” said Applegate. “I had no experience with glass or pottery, but I took classes and continue to take them every year.”
At Studio Fusion, people can book children’s birthday parties or private parties where they can come and create art projects.
Applegate also makes many glass infusion samples that can be purchased from the store. She also sells pottery with many different glazes that give it a professional look.
Studio Fusion also offers shattered glass courses where broken glass can be put on a canvas with epoxy resin.
Art lovers can start with a class or work at their own pace on one of the projects on their own schedule. Projects can range from $8 to $45 and different prices in between.
“People can come in and choose the project and I help them cut the glass to the size they need,” Applegate said. “They arrange the rooms as they wish and I always tell them that I can help as little or as much as they need.
Studio Fusion has two ovens where projects are heated together to be finished.
“The pottery kiln heats up to around 2,000 degrees and the glass kiln is between 1,365 and 1,450,” Applegate said. “Both take a solid 24 hours when I start cooking. Then they need to cool for four to 10 hours. The turnaround time for projects after going through the kiln is one to two weeks. »
Applegate has a love for art and she has also been able to share it with the local community and schools.
“I have a group of ladies and a gentleman who come every Wednesday. They hang out and do art,” said Applegate. “I go up to Algona and I do classes with Bishop Garrigan, third and fourth graders.
“I’ve taken a few mini-courses at Fort Dodge Middle School with about 20-40 students and it’s been really cool.”
The atmosphere inside Studio Fusion is relaxed so people can work at their own pace, while creating art the way they want.
“It’s a great way for people to come together,” Applegate said. “They can create something to remember their experience.
“It’s a good atmosphere and some people call it home. They can come bring drinks and have a good time.
Studio Fusion is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
If art lovers are interested in booking a party or hosting an evening (by appointment only), they can call Applegate at (515) 570-4442.