Thursday, February 21, 2019


Join us this evening at 7pm in the Isaak Foyer at Congregation Neveh Shalom.

Our Art Show is entitled ART OF SACRED COMMUNITY and represents months of study in preparation for making art that honors; sacred community. We are celebrating the synagogue's 150th anniversary!

A multi-media slide show, artist talk and pop-up shuk will accompany free refreshments and an opportunity to schmooze with the artists. Who are those artists? Laura Fendel, Diane Fredgant, Wendelin Russell, and me!

Here are two of my special pieces: Torah Adornments made of glass!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Art of Sacred Community: Panel Discussion

Thursday February 21st, 7pm @ Neveh Shalom   
8831 SW Peaceful Lane  Isaak Foyer 

I will be part of an Art Talk about this wonderful exhibit. This photo represents a very small piece of what is on display.

We will present a multimedia slide show, talk about our process and journey, and take questions.

I hope you can come.... share in the conversation, enjoy some nibbles, and learn about our process!

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Due to weird Portland snow and ice conditions, our exhibit will open Friday night February 15th at 6:15 pm at Congregation Neveh Shalom following Friday night services.

Services will conclude by 7:30 and the artists will be on hand to schmooze with you.

Thursday, February 21st we will have a formal artist talkback with a brief slide show and yummy foods to nosh on!

I hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

More gratitude!

In many critique groups, the artist puts herself "out there", grits her teeth and braces herself to hear what is wrong with her art work. That is a generalization and possibly an unfair one.

Our group is different. When we meet, we bring a piece to the session. We follow a format where the artist shares the piece. It could be a sketch, a rough idea, a work in progress, or even a finished piece.
The artist talks about the piece and frames a question for the group to discuss. The group takes a few minutes to ask clarifying questions ...and then they begin discussing answers to the artist's question. The artist listens and takes notes. What is great about this process is that it allows a good bit of dignity for the artist and it provides some answers! Yay!  The artist then tells the group what she heard ....and sometimes even tells us what she thinks she'll actually do. Sometimes it evolves back in her studio. Bottom works!

We met several times to prepare for our upcoming show. We had four hebrew words we studied in an effort to  honor the synagogues anniversary and respond to something tangible. The original synagogues that eventually merged were Neveh Tzedek (Oasis of Justice) and Ahavai Shalom (The Love of Peace). They became Neveh Shalom (Oasis of Peace.) We brought ideas and/or works in progress and using our process we supported each other along the way.

Yesterday I spoke about Esther Liberman. Tonight more gratitude  goes to  Laura Fendel, Diane Fredgant and Wendelin Russell. Their loving support, advice, and close listening means the world to me. I hope I was able to offer some small measure of help to each of them.

Laura Fendel works magic with fabrics. In the piece she developed for this show, she blends architectural imagery from founding congregations Ahavai Shalom and Neveh Tzedek as well as the current Neveh Shalom. Remarkable in its juxtaposed architecture, it evokes a sense of past and present. There is also a holiness and the spiritual that is communicated through the textures of this piece. You have to see this in person to appreciate this work!
Silk artist Diane Fredgant has been conceptualizing her installation piece for sometime and its evolution has been a significant element in her spiritual journey as an artist. Best known for her tallitot, this installation  is a contemporary interpretation of the Mishkan (our portable sanctuary in the desert.) You will step into a holy space and a unique experience. You will find spiritual refuge, contact with holy words, and the beginnings of many questions!
Wendelin Russell is a painter. Her large-format painting (and a small piece) are wonderful interpretations of being at the Kotel, also known as the wailing wall. You won’t see tears in this exploration of this timeless structure. There is expansiveness and yet, there are tiny details that demand you give yourself to the painting, and in return you will experience something quite moving.

Friday, February 1, 2019


Artists do not need to work in isolation!

Our artists' guild offers artists the opportunity to be part of what we call critique groups, but really...they are support groups.

Each group is different and has a different way of operating.
The group I am part of is small. We all work in different media:
Silk painting, fabric construction, painting, bead work, and glass.

We come together to inspire each other, problem solve, study, and eat!

Most recently we  took on the challenge of creating art to celebrate Congregation Neveh Shalom's 150th anniversary!  Our work is going up in the Isaak Foyer and the exhibit will open February 10th. More about that in a future post.

This is my part one gratitude post. What would I do without the amazing women who have over the years encouraged and motivated me...and more importantly have consulted with me and on occasion, made elements to add on to my project?

I created a torah adornment (aka breastplate) that needed that extra bit of bling. Esther Liberman, our bead artist came to my rescue.
Don't let my poor photography skills take away from the beauty of these beads. They enhance the project in so many ways. Her choice of color, size, and texture all make for a stunning bit of embellishment. I'll post photos of the competed projects in another post. Looking at this photo I realize I need to get a better close up so you can appreciate the tiny copper elements sandwiched between glass beads.
Due to traveling, Esther was unable to create new work for this exhibition, but she has been involved with our process throughout. Esther is also our guild president and co-founder of the organization. 

Thank you Esther! You are amazing!      

Want to see her incredible artwork? Go to our ORA website or google: Esther Liberman bead artist. The work she does will amaze you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Creating the Display

Both Torah Adornments are finished. I will put the chains on tomorrow.
Figuring out how to display them was a challenge.
I borrowed two High Holiday (all white) Torah mantles.
With the help of a dear friend Diane F, we shopped for dowels and finials at Home Depot. 
Problem #1: How to hold up the mantles SOLVED
Problem #2: How to keep the pseudo-Torahs upright SOLVED

#1. Not only did Diane shop with me, but she also cut the dowels on her chop saw...and she cut cardboard inserts. The woman is a wizard with an x-acto blade!

The Torah mantles fit well over this structure. Two drapery finials were used to create decorative handles (Aitzey Chaiim- Trees of Life.)

#2. Solving the standing upright concern required a trip to the local hardware store. I picked up some plaster of paris and then scavenged some old clay flower pots from the garage. My husband provided the badly needed extra set of hands!

We begin the installation tomorrow. I'll post pictures!
Sending much gratitude to Diane and Jeff!

Sunday, January 27, 2019


You are all invited!!!!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cutting holy letters

This took two tries...sigh! Unfortunately the saw blade chips the edges of the dichro but it's still better than the alternative...not doing it at all!

The letters do get progressively bigger which means it is a little easier to cut. These are just freshly cut letters waiting for a gentle washing and lay up.

The words are from Torah: "Build for Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among  or within you."

Another few words to cut out and I will show you where I am headed with these letters.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


My synagogue has an annual auction. This is my donation.
Hoping they get a reasonable price. 

The chamsah is made with dichroic glass. The dish is slumped into an origami mold. I might have to make another one or two of these!

The shul is about to celebrate it's 150th anniversary. If you scroll down you can see the first of two Torah Adornments I am making for the lobby art show.

More info to come...but first, I need to finish cutting the glass for the second adornment I am making.

...stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tiny Letters and More

Cutting tiny hebrew letters has been my challenge. Surprisingly, I only had to re-do 2 letters. I placed one of the letters on a time for perspective.

The Asseret Hadibrot, commonly known as The Ten Commandments is more accurately translated as "The Ten Utterances." I couldn't possibly cut letters small enough to write them all out, so instead I cut just ten.
The letters are all dichroic and the centerline is a dichroic stringer.

The whole piece is in the kiln for a slow fire up to tack fusing temperature...with a slow cool down as well. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Copper Wire Hooks as Inclusions

The next step in assembling the project is to create hanging hooks which will be included in the fusing process. Copper is compatible with glass but one must proceed with care. The wire should be bent in some fashion in order to better be contained and offer resistance to pulling when the project is hung. Copper wire is pliable so simple pliers are enough to do the trick. Because this project uses clear glass, the hooks should match because they will be visible.
Bending copper wire

In order to make the fusing as problem free as possible, it's best to hammer the wire to flatten it, thus reducing the potential for air bubbles. I usually use a mini anvil...but it's gone missing so....I improvised! Using the head of another hammer as an anvil, I managed to hammer the wire flat. My fingers also managed to survive the process! Phew!

Hammering the wire flat

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Testing copper in the kiln

Copper is a wonderful material to use as an inclusion in fused glass projects. The color it turns is a bit unpredictable because copper will react not only to heat, but also to the chemical composition of the glass it is sandwiched between. Most often it will turn into a deep red with bluish or purplish notes. Sometimes it will turn blue. Treated with lemon juice it tends to stay true to its copper notes. Before I gamble with the star I just cut out, I need to make sure I will achieve the desired effect. 

My next project needs the the copper to turn red. Step 1 is to take pieces of sample glass and test what happens when the copper is sandwiched between 2 layers.

The top piece has two pieces of clear reactive glass.

The middle has clear reactive glass on the bottom and is capped with clear.

The bottom is 2 pieces of clear.

I fused these to a top temp of 1450° with a bubble squeeze at 1250° on the way up.

The reactive glass causes the copper to turn quite dark....too dark for my purposes...but clear on clear is the magic I was hoping for!

Check back in a few days to see my next steps in this project.

Monday, December 31, 2018

A follow-up on the Puppy Mask

Teddy is the beloved dog of a sweet girl. Her grandparents commissioned a glass portrait (mask) of this sweet little terrier.
She sent along a photo of the mask mounted on her bedroom wall.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Another Wedding Glass Gift

I made the couple a class vessel to smash after their wedding vows. The shards were retained until they decided what they wanted me to make.. The snow on the mountains doesn't show up well in this photo. It is a milky mottled glass with shards of wedding glass. The stream is also covered with a layer of chards and iridized clear frit.

The moon also didn't come out clearly in the photo, but is made from clear dichroic glass. The whole disc experiences color shifts as the light shifts.

Mazal Tov to the happy couple!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

New Commissioned Mask Completed!

Meet Teddy....a miniature labradoodle!
His owner is a sweet 11 year old girl.
Her grandparents are surprising her with a glass mask in the likeness of her beloved pup. It comes equipped with mounting brackets for easy hanging on a wall.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

RBG: Fused Glass Mask

I have long admired Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Two years ago I started designing a mask of her. I stopped, feeling like ..."who am I to attempt this? what kind of chutzpah do I possess to do this?"

Finally, I screwed up the courage to finish my tribute to her. Her left earring is a mini Constitution scroll that says "We the People."
Her right earring is a mini book titled "I Dissent!" Using my smallest penmanship , I penned many of her most famous dissents on the first several pages. Her brooch is fused glass with rhinestone letters glued on...and yes, she has a lace collar too!

This mask drew a good bit of attention at the Celebration of Art at the end of October. I wasn't sure I could part with her,  but then...a repeat customer came into my booth . Two years ago (or was it 3?) she had visited my booth and purchased my "grandma mask" for her daughter  in California. 

She saw the RBG mask and knew immediately that her daughter needed RBG on her wall!

Her daughter wrote me a sweet note saying that RBG is now keeping "grandma" company on her wall. 

I am sending blessings to RBG for speedy healing. What a remarkable woman.... even broken ribs won't keep her from her work! Refuah Shleymah Justice Ginsberg!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Another Mask: Albert's Bad Hair Day

Albert was fun to make. 
I like making masks of fictional and real life characters....
Perhaps my most favorite quote by him is:
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."

What if we were all so passionately curious? 
What could we accomplish? 
We may not all have his amazing intellect, but we all have the ability to be curious; to imagine that we can accomplish something of value that benefits everyone, and the wisdom to recognize where the dangers are if we take things a step too far.

Well, at least Albert and I have one thing in common...I too have bad hair days!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Vinnie, the Wine Guy!

His motto is "Life is too short to drink bad wine!"
I think he's right!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Glass Inserts for Wood

This sweet little plate will be installed in a beautiful hand-turned wooden platter.
This kitty disc is only 7" in diameter...but will pop once it is installed in the wooden base Jack (my neighbor) will craft.

I don't know if it's the "cat's meow", but it's cute! She'll be at the Celebration of Art '18.
scroll down to my previous post to get the youtube video preview and info about this show!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pomegranates !

This time of year always makes me think about pomegranates! It's a fantastic fruit with incredible symbolism! These two are the first poms out of the kiln!

You can see what else I'll be featuring at our Celebration of Art '18 show on this video: (click on it!)