aka Anda Fisch
My families came from Bohemia, before it became part of the Czech Republic. They were expelled from their farms in 1946 as a result of the war. Bohemia with its mountains and huge forests was a place for glass making since the middle ages, and possibly an old Celtic place. Being a glass artist and moving to Ireland might connect back to my ancestors and the history of their place. I grew up in a village in the middle of Germany surrounded by forests which were my playground as a child. The women in my family were great with needlework and sewing, the men were craftsmen, my father a draughtsman working on maps and transport systems.
After school I studied literature and psychology, worked in advertising and moved to Ireland and back to Germany for a while. Several times I had planned to train as an art glazier, it was from 1990 to 1993 that I eventually followed my passion for art and glass. During my 3 years at the Staatliche Glasfachschule, then one of the two specialised colleges in Germany. I learned many things –Stained Glass, Glass Painting, Glass construction, Carpentry and Picture Framing. Consequently I worked and managed a gallery and picture framing workshop in Limburg/Lahn in Hessen. I did further training in hand finished and customised framing and stayed living in Germany for several years – missing Ireland and spending every holiday here.
In 2003 I packed it all in, took my little van and came back to Ireland, settling in Ballinderreen at the edge of the magic landscape of the Burren limestone hills in 2005. I started with picture framing and opened my lovely newly build studio for glass in 2007, offering workshops since then. With the following recession I added another skill to my set. Being German I had the opportunity to show German visitors the country I made my home, I now hold the badge of a Guide for the Island of Ireland, I have a chauffeur license and with my new tour company Andaire Ltd I offer tours, events and excursions connecting to Arts and Crafts, Stained Glass and nature.
In a way this is where it all comes full circle, all the way from Bohemia to the West of Ireland. I feel blessed to live in such a wonderful ‘bohemian’ place at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, working as an artist, teacher and tour guide, getting to know this island at the Western edge of Europe more deeply every time I show it to visitors. All this knowledge and the landscape and nature around me is part of my art work.