Monday, July 11, 2016


We need a new garage door. 
That means I have to move my boxes of inventory, display racks, and packaging that are in the way. 

This isn't my garage...but it looks like it if you turn it into a 2-car garage. One of our cars does fit....but mine stays least for now.

The new door arrives tomorrow. I am gifting myself the work week to sort and then re-store my stuff.

The question is what to do with the oldest inventory that no longer resembles work I do?

Hopefully some answers will emerge as I sort!
....wish me luck!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Berlin Glass

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

More Prague

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Prague: Cathedral Windows

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Prague Synagogue Windows

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ancient Glass at the Albert & Victoria Museum in London

These pieces had me swooning!
Simply said: they are spectacular!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Windows/Glass in London

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Glass in London

I fell in love with these privacy windows at at office front on the streets of London.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Traveling in search of Glass...entry 1

Pardon my absence. I ran away to Europe with my husband. Among the many things I wanted to do, I wanted to see glass. Architectural glass, antique glass, contemporary glass.....

Our first stop was Ireland. The country is LOOOOONG on natural beauty. We found archeological ruins older than anything we've ever encountered. We found the locals to be so very warm and hospitable. It wasn't until our last night in Dublin that I really found any glass worthy of posting. 

These are evening shots along the river in Dublin. It is in the theater district and as the sun sets, these light poles illuminate the square. 

There are some great glass artists that live in Ireland....I just didn't get to see their work. I guess that's a great reason to go back!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


A sudden burst of commission requests for Tallit clips!

More clips yet to come....stay tuned!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Exciting Masks Update

Jakob Daw sold at the closing performance!

Baba Yaga was purchased as a donation for permanent display at Milagro Theater!!!!!! It just happened Tuesday!

I will soon post the exciting details!!!!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Yahrzeit Candle Bridge

 A dear man passed away. He was, among many things, a gardener and a cultivator of roses.

This Yahrzeit candle bridge was commissioned and crafted for his wife in his memory.
Every spring his roses will bloom and his memory will be honored. Each year his yahrzeit will arrive and his memory will be honored.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Visiting a Commissioned Work

Beautiful sunshine streamed through the window and reflected rainbows on a pice of glass commissioned for this sweet spot on the mantle in a lovely home in northwest Portland. It's called Mayim Chayim: Waters of Life.

It's been up for a good bit of time but this was my first opportunity to visit the piece in daylight! The owner tells me she is shopping for the right light fixture to accentuate the rainbow iridescence at night. 

What a joy to visit with her....but also this piece of glass!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Jakob Daw

Jakob Daw

Jakob is possibly my most favorite Potok character in the book.

He is a lovable but rather strange character. He seems able to charm everyone with his mystical stories and his gentle manner.
Davita tells us, “He was a small man, not much taller than my mother, thinly boned, with delicate features and white hands and narrow shoulders. He looked fragile and infirm.” 
At first glance his stories seem odd, bizarre. I find them allegorical, mirroring events from his own life. The stories are haunting, as are the events of his life.
Jakob’s stories often speak of birds with large dark eyes and short wings. His imagination seems to somehow help him turn his pain into stories that are both deeply political but also painfully personal.

Jakob doesn’t just write stories…he tells them. Words emerge from his lips and take flight. He uses his stories to connect with Davita who lovingly calls him “uncle.”

Unlike the other masks, I needed Jakob's face mounted on backing so I could surround his head with birds... a key element to his stories. His goatee is made with antique typewriter keys I "won" in an eBay bidding war. I lost 2 other bidding wars before scoring these. Dollar store glasses frame his eyes and comprise his nose.

Scroll down for information about the performance schedule....through April 9. It is a show you don't want to miss!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Meet Davita's Dad- Michael

Davita's father is a passionate man. He loves his wife Annie and daughter, but he is utterly devoted to his quest for social justice. As a reporter, he is committed to reporting on the political climate.

Michael and his wife Annie believe Communism holds the answers for economic and social justice in America.. Politics is religion in the Chandal household. They frequently host house meetings to promote Unionism. Their passionate politics come at a price however when unsympathetic landlords evict them frequently for their political activism.

Eventually Michael finds himself in Spain during the Spanish Civil War.  A supporter of the Republican leftists, he covers the battles in Guernica where he demonstrates his selfless activism.

I chose to use the flag of the Republican leftists of Spain for half of Michael's face, including his nose. The hat band came from an old hat at least 40 years old and is studded with a communist pin (picture of Lenin.) Carrying the communist theme a little farther, I gifted him with a red star left eye. I used calligraphic pen nibs for his hair and mouth. A few old typewriter keys make up his sideburns.

This  and the other masks will be on display at Milagro Theater in SE Portland throughout the run of Jewish Theater Collaborative's production of Davita's Harp. Scroll down to earlier posts for information about this production...or go to the Jewish Theater Collaborative website: 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Door Harp

The Door Harp
I have always been fascinated by these old world instruments, but I never bought one for myself until I first read this book…sometime in the late 1980’s after reading Davita’s Harp.

Nearly everyone who leaves my house feels called to drop the balls against the taught strings,  but the real gift is that every coming and going is punctuated by music. 

Door harps are not “played” directly, rather music emerges when the door is opened and closed. The “song” is always different, unpredictable, sweet.

Jakob tells a story about a bird flying across the ocean, but he is pained by “bits and pieces of broken dreams that kept piercing his troubled heart like shards of glass.”  

The bird hears music but then becomes exhausted, loses interest in the strange music and becomes diminished in size. When this small bird finally approaches land he is drawn to a new and enticing melody emerging from a house. The bird is greeted at the door by a little girl. Taking this as an invitation to enter her home, the bird flies inside and creates a nest inside the music making door harp.

The story concludes; “sweet but not false, a comfort but not a deceiving caress; a music of innocence.” The bird, now tiny, builds a nest inside the door harp, and “there he lives to this day…” 
I dreamt of building a door harp entirely out of glass. What was clear in my dreams….dissolved with the morning light and instead became Davita’s homework assignment.

Here is Davita’s Harp….as I believe she would have constructed it.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Meet Davita's Mamma: Annie!

Annie / Channah
Davita’s mother is a fascinating character. She possesses a great intellect; able to speak German, Polish, and English, she also studied Torah, Gemora and Mishnah in Hebrew. Words were important to her and she was a constant resource to her ever questioning daughter.

Annie is a “lapsed” Jew, devoted to social justice through the Communist Party and the Labor movement. She falls into depression periodically, yet she remains a strong woman with a central core that allows her to survive tragedy after tragedy despite her internal pain. She finds eventual comfort in her Judaism and discovers that it is compatible with her commitment to work for the rights of others.

I couldn’t help but “collect” her words as I read through the book:

“Everything has a name , Ilana”

“Everything has a past. . . . If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future. We are going to build a new world, Ilana. How can we ignore the past?” 

“Magic is a very old idea, Ilana. If you want it to rain and you say certain words, and if each time you say those words it rains, that’s magic. Words or things that control other things or people or nature. That’s magic.”

I wrote Annie's words in the strands of her hair using a kemper pen and gold ink. Writing this way is a challenge because it is very challenging to use this nearly invisible ink. It strikes its gold color when heated. Basically I was writing blind!

Annie also has some bird charms in her hair.....You'll need to read the book and/or see the play to make the connection isn't immediately obvious.

Her eyebrows speak other strong affiliation with communism which for awhile serves her much as any theology might...but eventually she returns to Judaism. Her nose is a mezuzah scroll. As she becomes reacquainted with her "yiddishkeit", her ritual practices increase.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Davita : The Character Mask

Davita is different from most of my masks because she is primarily constructed from fused glass. She has dollar store glasses with rhinestones and her eyebrows contain txt from the kaddish, a prayer she wasn't supposed to recite (because of her gender.)
She has some of Jakob Daw's birds flying in her hair (dichroic glass) and a menorah pendant because she was so taken with both lighting a Chanukiah and shabbat candles.
Here's what is mounted on the information board below the mounted mask:

I like Davita!
Ilana Davita Chandal is Chaim Potok’s first central female character. 

Despite her youth, she seems to have an old soul. She seems wise beyond her years and despite an inner strength that she demonstrates with frequency, she is still a child. We see her vulnerabilities.

Bright, curious, and a passionate reader; Davita is our narrator. We see the lives of her parents and other adults through her innocent eyes.  

She is natural feminist, questioning the limitations imposed on her just because of her gender. As readers, we feel her joys and her sorrows.

Ilana Davita is who she is. There is no pretense. She is a voracious reader and  eventually becomes a writer.

She is drawn to the stories her mother and Jakob Daw tell. She embraces her devoutly Christian aunt but is drawn to her Jewish roots.

Davita’s father introduces her to the magic of a door harp which becomes her constant “companion” and source of comfort during numerous family household moves. 

Scroll down to earlier posts for info on getting tickets for this wonderful production...You can also visit my masks while you are there!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Adena Potok!

What a thrill and honor to meet Adena Potok!
I presented her with a mask of Chaim Potok (z"l).... at the matinee performance of Davita's Harp.