Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I look like a space alien!!!!  Gotta clean out the dust and fired shelf paper before I can move forward.  The dust is toxic, thus the crazy mask. Dust is not welcome in the kiln, or other parts of my life.... grateful for the HEPA filter on my shop vac!

A little saw mishap today "cut short" my efforts to finish the Davita face...but I will resume her hair tomorrow and also tackle one other base... perhaps her father Michael, or her "Uncle Jakob."

More to post tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Davita Continues To Evolve

Once the hair is in place, Davita will make her first appearance in the kiln. 

The white glass you see is the base glass for the piece. The purplish glass is actually a clear iridized glass with a tinge of pink-purple. It is a striker glass so the color should intensify a little when exposed the heat.

Once the base layers are set I'll begin working on her main features.

Just in case you haven't been following the blog...I am making a set of masks to be on display during the run of DAVITA'S HARP in the Page to Stage production by Jewish Theater Collaborative directed by Sacha Reich.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Masks Begin In Earnest! Davita

As mentioned in earlier posts, I am making a set of masks that represent characters from the Book "Davita's Harp" by Chayim Potok.

Yup, that's Vaseline! I'm prepping the pattern to "waterproof" the edges before cutting it on my ring saw.
I can cut most of this by hand, however the deep narrow cuts are impossible without the help of my ring saw.

The weather was stupendous today...about 60ยบ in February!!!!!
I moved my cutting table and saw outside....I'm dog sitting, so my dutiful assistant brought his hedgehog along to cheer me on!

This was outdoor studio view today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Masks on the Horizon

Davita's Harp by Chayim Potok
I'm just wrapping up the drawings for my next set of masks.
                        Oh what an honor this is! 

Sacha Reich is the director of the Stage-to-Page version of Potok's book Davita's Harp. This wonderful production will be staged by The Jewish Theater Collaborative (JTC) here in Portland, Oregon at Milagro Theater.

Sacha saw my masks at the A.R.T. lobby last spring and asked if I would be interested in creating masks featuring the main characters of this book.  I am grateful for such an invitation. Of course, I said yes!

I have to say, it is a bit like studying Torah. One must "turn it, and turn it, and turn it again" to discover the layers of meaning and glean from the white spaces between the words and the lines.

I confess to having fallen in love with these characters. I have read and re-read the book. I sat in on the first reading by the actors, attended a book talk, and then returned to re-read again.

It'll be another few days before I can cut the glass and get everything rolling. First I have to work on Davita's eyes, Annie's lips, and Jakob's nose. This is the challenge for me. DRAWING!

Once I can get past this phase, I am certain I will discover new challenges....but for now I'm just going to pretend that it will be smooth sailing from this point forward.

I'll post photos of my progress and will also share how I thought about each character as I construct the masks.

I'll speak more about JTC in future posts, but for now I'll just direct you to their link because you must get tickets to this production!

Monday, January 25, 2016

textures in glass

Mostly clear hand-made blobs with a few dichroic blobs add dimensionality to this substantial piece.

Coarse clear fit covers some areas of the whole piece while hand bent stringer floats along in  "calmer waters." 

The customer would prefer that I not show off the whole you just get a little snippet.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

When Two Hands Are Not Enough!

I'm bending fragile 1mm thick glass stringers in a small candle flame. It takes patience and focus. I decided to do this work over the besheyrt words I make for healing services and various other small group uses. The words are reassuring and actually help me concentrate.

I wanted to photograph myself bending the stringers...but that requires at least one additional hand! Oh time!

Carrying the finished stringers to the kiln proved hazardous....several snapped. I will reheat the ends and "glue them back together.

 The stringers appear black in the photo because  the flame deposits soot on the glass. Soot is carbon, so the soot will burn off when fired.... 

Time to return to the flame!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Tools of the Trade

My father was a skillful tailor. His primary tools were needle, thread, thimble, chalk, patterns, an old converted pedal Singer sewing machine, and a measuring tape. He would wear the tape around his neck the way a physician sports a stethoscope.

I never learned to sew. I tried! Dad was a perfectionist and I just didn't "measure up".

Today I rummaged through his sewing machine drawers and found an old tape measurer....I needed something longer than my T ruler.
After my measuring and marking I immediately draped it around my neck. It felt so right! Dad, you would be proud of my insistence on careful measurement. I get it now!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When the Weather Outside is.....

When the weather outside is
The kiln sits idle.

I have no excuses....I could be cutting glass, assembling projects, and filling that cold empty kiln but as first the snow fell and then later freezing rain and black ice, it became down time. A chance to rest, renew, reimagine.

Today I'll return to the studio. A little cleaning and then I will tackle the first of two commissions. I'm slowly sipping my coffee, and writing this entry as the 1st glass task begins to sort itself out. A friend's dog needs walking and I have to replenish some staple kitchen products (we've been indoors for several icy days), and then I'll begin.

I store my large format glass outside. I know that many folks cut glass cold. I'm going to bring it inside and let it get warm and cozy while I walk the dog and run errands. The anticipation will build and by the time I set out to score and break my glass, I will have visualized the whole piece. I won't be posting a photo of this piece, as requested by my patron, but I may be able to post a portion of it. 

In a few days I'll have a second item that I can share with you. It's time to walk that dog!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Time For a New Filter!

Utterly Clogged!
This is a thoroughly clogged and rather disgusting hepa filter for my shop vac. I only use it to clean out my kiln and kiln room. 

My husband was so kind to help me change it out. This dust is a hazard to breathe. We bagged it then sealed it in plastic.

Thank you Jeff for all your help!

He sounded a lot like Darth Vader in that mask!

Sunday, December 6, 2015


clear glass blobs? splashes of water? raindrops? 

A small decorative element for a commissioned wall hanging. I'll make the various components ahead of time, then assemble the piece for a final fuse.

This is not an example of rocket science!
Small squares of glass are stacked and fused hot so the edges round up. If rectanges or triangles are used, a different shape of blob is created.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Torah Pointers (Yads) Revisited

These yads (Torah Pointers) came our of my kiln and were all sold the next day right here in Portland, Oregon!

I'm experimenting with different ways of making these pointers so that the colors can be vibrant or subtle, depending on the needs of the leyhner (Torah chanter.) 

I shifted away from the design that requires torch work. I felt they were too fragile and frankly, I just didn't love doing the open flame-work....I know....that's heresy in some circles!

My most recent batch was less exciting but I learned oh so much more...about volume, color blending, heat...and more.

I'll salvage some of these, polish them, shape the point and fire them so they will be ready for use,  but a couple will be chopped up and reused in my next experiment.

I have several commissions ahead of me so I may be absent from my blog for awhile.

I'll post  the commissions...with permission of the permission of my customers.

In the meantime..... HAPPY CHANUKAH!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Maria Simon's work of art on our wall!

We have been saving up our shekels for some time, hoping to one day purchase one of Maria Simon's bas relief clay sculptures.

Last winter we were able to commission this piece which was completed last spring. The photo doesn't do it justice. It is superb. We find ourselves sitting in the living room just staring at it. The color shifts are so subtle and so evocative.  

I can't believe it has taken me so long to post a photo!
Check out her website...fall in love and buy one of her pieces.

Be sure to also visit this site
where you can see her at work in her studio in an episode of Oregon Art Beat.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Views From COA 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Grandma Vera FInds a New Home!


Last weekend I joined my fellow ORA artists in a Celebration of a\Art weekend. It was an amazing event filled with music, fine art, food and drink samples....and more!

On Sunday a delightful woman came into my booth with her friend.
We chatted for a while and then she perused the glass in my booth. She was drawn to the masks I had displayed. 

I made theses masks last spring for the play 4,000 Miles.

What a pleasure to witness someone take just one look at my glass and ask..."How much?" 

Gulp! I love the masks and had become rather attached. I answered her question honestly and much to my surprise she said "I'll take it!" We exchanged names and I instantly recognized it! Many, many years ago, I was her daughter's camp counselor. Remarkably, she wanted to buy the Grandma Vera mask for her former camper! 

Knowing that the mask is going to a good home where she will be appreciated just made my day!  Having a connection with the new owner....well, that is just awesome!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Healing Hands Fused Glass Commission

It was an honor to create this 12x12 sushi style plate . This was a commissioned piece gifted to a humble and gracious woman for the generous work she has done in her community. 

I am told the gift was well received and appreciated by both the group of individuals who commissioned it, as well as by the recipient. 

As always, the plate was accompanied by a written explanation of the artwork, as well as a blessing for the recipient. I must confess, this is my favorite kind of work....creating commissioned work to be gifted to those who readily gift the community with their volunteer spirit!

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Taste of Art & Celebration of Art 2015!
October 17th 7-9:30
October 18th 10:30-4:40 pm
Mittleman Jewish Community Center
free admission

This is a shot from last year's event. I have new work to offer my customers but the focus this year is on offering more commission opportunities. Instead of buying what you see, you can get your glass customized. Pick the shape, the design, the colors.....I'll make it happen. If you don't see a design you like, we can discuss your ideas and make that happen !

Art makes a great gift and values for the artist and the gift recipient. No gallery mark ups, just quality work for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mayim Chayim- wall mounted

Mayim Chayim is safely mounted over the mantle piece. This was a commissioned piece. I am grateful to the owner for this photo.
The glass is mounted on polished aluminum and then carefully fastened to the wall. This photo captures the iridescent sheen of the base glass quite well. I can hardly wait to check it out in person!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sharing the outdoor studio!

Quite the serenade .... one of many perks in having an outdoor space to work in!

Sorry for the silence on this blog. Between Jewish holidays and a number of commissions, it's been a busy place!

Photos of new work should appear in early October. 
Info about an upcoming show will be posted soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mayim Chayim:Waters of Life

My most recently completed commission!
Iridized black glass with a clear base supports a river of glass blobs.
This is a photo of it prior to mounting it on a sheet of polished aluminum . The final piece is 24"x18.5" and definitely the largest piece I've made to date.

The final piece will be mounted over the mantel and I hope the owner will send me a picture of it in situ. It's quite I will be channeling positive energy to the handyman charged with the task of mounting it to the wall.

As always, I find myself lamenting over the challenges of photographing glass....the vibrancy of the iridized finish in contrast to the glass blobs (such an inelegant term!) is too challenging for my photographic abilities.

Sunday, August 30, 2015 a bowl

This commissioned bowl was just finished and handed off. 
It is intended as a gift from one dear friend to another in gratitude.
The open hands are adorned with dichroic glass beads and white gold ink. A copper foil heart rests in the palms and displays the hebrew word rachamanah which means compassionate one in Hebrew.

The bowl is  16" with a matte iridized finish and a light dusting of hand-crushed clear dichroic glass. I am grateful for the opportunity to make this bowl...both the giver and the recipient are remarkable souls who share a beautiful friendship. To know them is also an honor.