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 came about, she made the leap.
Applegate, along with April Wilson, purchased Studio Fusion in 2014 from Shari Burke. Applegate has been the sole owner for a number of years now and has enjoyed the choice she made of purchasing the business located 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 still stressful, but it is very rewarding to be able to create something that people have in their head — it’s pretty cool.”
Studio Fusion is a place where people can create fused 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,” Applegate said. “I didn’t have any experience with glass or pottery, but I took some classes and keep taking them every year.”
At Studio Fusion people can book kids’ birthday parties, or private parties where they can come in and create art projects.
Applegate also makes a lot of glass infusion samples that can be bought in the store. She also has pottery for sale with a lot of different glazes that make it look professional.
Studio Fusion also offers shard glass classes where the broken glass can be put on a canvas with epoxy resin.
Art aficionados can start with a class or work at their own pace on one of the projects on their own schedules. Projects can range anywhere from $8 to $45 and different prices inbetween.
“People can come in and pick the project and I help them cut the glass for the size they need,” Applegate said. “They arrange the pieces the way they want and I always tell them, I can help as little or as much as they need.”
Studio Fusion has two kilns where the projects are heated together for completion.
“The pottery kiln heats up to somewhere around 2,000 degrees and the glass kiln is between 1,365 and 1,450,” Applegate said. “Both of them take a solid 24 hours when I start cooking. Then they have to cool down for four to 10 hours. The turn around for projects after going through the kiln is one to two weeks.”
Applegate has a love for art and she has been able to share that with the community and local schools as well.
“I have a group of ladies and a gentleman that come in every Wednesday. They hang out and do art,” Applegate said. “I go up to Algona and do some classes with Bishop Garrigan third- and fourth-graders.
“I’ve done a couple of mini courses at the Fort Dodge Middle School with about 20 to 40 students and that’s 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.
“It’s a good way for people to get together,” Applegate said. “They can create something to remember their experience with.
“It’s a good atmosphere and some people treat it like their home away from home. They can come in and bring drinks and just have a good time.”
Studio Fusion is open 10 a.m. until 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 having an evening party (by appointment only) they can call Applegate at (515) 570-4442.