Sunday, May 07, 2006

Florida Nudist Artist Gets Press

Love of art is unbreakable
Glass may seem fragile, but Lisl Unrath finds it a powerful medium of expression.

Sara Sheckler | Special to the Sentinel
Posted May 7, 2006

Because glass is a medium that can be broken easily, it presents a challenge for artists.

But for Lisl Unrath, who opened Specialty Art Glass in Kissimmee in 2000, making artistic creations from glass is a joy.

"I have always enjoyed working in all facets of glass and working with a medium that could break or change its structure through heat," she said last week.

Her method uses a color overlay that is lead-bonded to both sides of a piece of glass.

The smallest piece she has worked with was 3 feet by 4 feet and placed in the panel of a door.

The largest piece, for a church window, was 10 feet by 24 inches and weighed at least 45 pounds.

For large pieces, Unrath's husband, Jim Tritto, lends a hand with the heavy lifting.

"He does the grunt work. He's great -- he supports me in all my endeavors," Unrath said.

She also does glass etching using sandblasting.

"The customer picks out a design or we draw one from scratch, cut a stencil and then sandblast. We also have a compressor we take to the job site and blast there," she said.

Although she has crafted glass creations off and on for 20 years, Unrath also has painted murals, faux paintings and portraits.

"I have been doing art ever since I was 3 or 4 years old," she said.

A native of Orlando who moved to Kissimmee five years ago, Unrath said she remembers when orange trees lined Orange Avenue in Orlando.

"The route from Kissimmee to Orlando was a two-lane road back then," she said.

Unrath, 50, earned a technical degree in commercial art from Mid-Florida Tech in Orlando and an associate of arts degree in interior design from Southern College in Orlando.

Unrath said Specialty Art Glass is more of an artistic expression than a business.

"It's a labor of love, more fun than work. Which sometimes doesn't help the bottom line, but that's OK as long as I enjoy the ride," she said.

Unrath and her family live in Cypress Cove, a nudist resort south of Kissimmee.

"I live a different lifestyle being a nudist, which seems to add a different dimension to the normal world. I like having the freedom and the camaraderie of a community that takes you as you are, good and bad points, even when you're naked," she said.


Lisl Unrath can be contacted at 3308 Allamanda Court, Kissimmee, FL 34746 (407) 847-2493


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