By Abe Hardesty, City People writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
In some of her earliest memories, a preschool Liz Daly-Korybski and her father, Ken, are spending afternoons turning ugly wire coat hangers into neat, pretty butterflies. “He taught me how to solder when I was 5 years old,” says Daly of her artistic father, who was an electrical engineer. “We also did a lot of macramé and hoop design.” “We were never told you can’t do something,” she recalls. “I was taught pretty early on that I could do just about anything the guys could do — and more.” Daly-Korybski believed.
Today, she uses the same soldering techniques at Liz Daly designs on South Main Street, where she has 65 product lines of glass works and jewelry art on display. Her 2,880-square-foot shop near the Main Street bridge is a showcase of her creative talents and the talents of others. It features clocks made from 78-rpm vinyl records, purses made from old textbooks, earrings made of Scrabble tiles, a purple refrigerator decorated with magnetic bottlecaps and photo-carrying magnetic flowers, bottle-cap necklaces, and guitar-pick earrings. Those gift items surround major art work. She has oil and acrylic paintings, and then there is her specialty: creating jewelry with dichroic glass.
Daly-Korybski, 41, whose craft interests blossomed as an art student at the University of South Carolina, has tried her hand at traditional art offerings. One abstract, in fact, sold for $2,000 during Artisphere a few years ago. But it is the kiln work — making “dichro” and stained glass — that grabs her heart and imagination best. It’s the reason much of her Main Street store is devoted to studio work and the primary reason she decided to go into business about 10 years ago.
Dichroic glass is glass made with micro-thin layers of metal oxides that give color and reflect light in different ways. Daly-Korybski fires dichroic glass, sometimes to temperatures of 1,400 degrees, fusing layers together and often repeating the process. The result is finely polished colors in limitless variations, with an appearance similar to gemstones. Part of the allure for Daly-Korybski, who took silversmith courses in college, is that the colors of the finished product are unpredictable. The first two she made 10 years ago were planned for personal use. But when friends wanted to buy them “off my neck” and bought several others, Daly began thinking in terms of a full-time business. She started in a 256-square-foot storefront and later moved to a 1,100-square-foot storefront, both on Pendleton Street.
In 2008, she made the leap to 421 South Main, on the downtown side of the Main Street bridge. “I love being here, on this side of the bridge,” says Daly-Korybski. “There’s great traffic flow and a great feel of energy here. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.” Her 5-year-old miniature pinscher mix, Marty, an alumnus of the Greenville Humane Society, also loves the frequent visitors — as does 8-year-old son Ty, who can usually be found at the shop after school.
The focus of the store changes a bit in the summer, when art camp and classes for youngsters (ages 5 and up) are offered in the early afternoon from June through August. She also gets to do some teaching with a “girls night out” program that lets customers to design their own jewelry. In May, the highlight of the schedule is the annual Artisphere celebration. “I love seeing the work of other artists,” says Daly-Korybski, whose shop includes some consignment art.
Daly-Korybski, whose family relocated from Pittsburgh to Greenville prior to her senior year in high school 24 years ago, juggles her time between the kiln studio in the back and the hundreds of art items in the sales front. She isn’t sure which side of the building she likes best. “I enjoy it all. When I no longer enjoy it, I’m done. If it gets too much like a business. …” Daly-Korybski says, shaking her head to end the sentence. “It’s fun to see people happy, and art makes people happy,” she says. “That’s one of the reasons I love it here.”