Mosaic artist Haley Alcock was sick of driving to Lansing for stained glass and other supplies, but she didn’t have much of a choice. “There were no glass shops in this area,” she says. “So I got the idea of being self-sufficient by running my own business.” In early November Alcock opened the Glass Shack Mosaic Studio, her combination studio/gallery/supply store, above the Cloverleaf Restaurant at the corner of Liberty and Fourth.

Alcock, who at forty-one looks a little like the late actor Pete Postlethwaite reincarnated as an elfish waif with burnished cheekbones and a full head of Holly Golightly hair, first got into mosaics in 2005 after taking classes at Delphi Glass in Lansing, the same stained-glass store she finally wearied of driving to for supplies. She had her first public showings as an “emerging artist” at the 2008 and 2009 South University Art Fairs.

It’s the latest career turn for Alcock, who has a BA in English from Albion, taught kindergarten in Detroit, spent two years in Lesotho with the Peace Corps, and most recently taught art at the Eastern Washtenaw Multicultural Academy, a charter school in Pittsfield Township. “I loved doing that!” she says, enough that it spurred her to go back to school to become a certified art teacher. Right now she’s taking classes at Washtenaw while running her mosaic business part time.

Her selection of tools is small, but she carries the essentials needed to make stained-glass mosaics, including scoring tools and wheeled glass-nippers for separating the pieces once the glass has been scored. She stocks sheets of stained glass in sizes up to 16″ x 24″ and can special order larger sizes from her suppliers, which include Youghiogheny, Uroboros, and Bullseye. She also offers mosaic classes to all ages, including group, private, and parent-child classes.

Glass Shack Mosaic Studio, 201 E. Liberty, Suite #23, 904-4663. Mon., Wed., Fri., 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and by appointment.