Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Another project in the making

A wedding gift commission in the making. I'm hoping for better results. I made a beautiful bowl that did something really weird in the slump phase. I'll have to start over on that one, darn it!

This piece will be part of a wall mounted piece...kind of a punk-graffiti feel.  It comes out of the kiln tomorrow and then the assembling and cold fusing begins... Come back tomorrow night. I'll post a new picture !

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Next Project

I'm excited to work with this sheet of streaky striker glass for my next commission. 

The Jewish holidays are upon us so getting organized to get this done in a reasonable time frame is the goal.

It was an emotional day in shul today...yizkor service allowed me to talk to my family members, all long gone...but in that moment I could feel them around me!
The fast was relatively easy and I feel like I was able to hit my "reset button."

Our deck is being remade so no Sukkah building this year....

Blessings for a sweet new year.... !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gesher Bowl

This bowl was inspired by the Hebrew words: Kol Haolam Kulo Gesher Tsar M'od...All the world is a very narrow bridge.

It lives in Eugene, where I was visiting last week.

Gesher means bridge. The phrase comes from a teaching from Reb Nachman of Bratislav. The  rest of the message is: And above all is not to fear.

Walking on a narrow bridge is risky, daring, frightening...and yet..... life often requires us to take such metaphorical journeys with frequency.

What gives us the strength to face such adversity? What kind of faith is required to  face adversity?

My bowl is a reminder that faith is required....
I used clear glass letters embedded in the red...In the right light you can see some of the letters, but other times they are invisible...and yet they exist....

Faith requires us to believe in that which we cannot see.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Glass Shabbat Candle Holders

I find myself continually apologizing for the poor photography! If I can make a little more time, I will take better pictures, I promise!

Later this fall I will be featuring new work which will include shabbat candle holders, menorahs, and yahrzeit candle holders.

I started making these last spring and am finally ready to stop experimenting! 

A Taste of Art and A Celebration of Art  will happen November 22 (evening) and 23rd (day).
If you need some glass before then, just drop me a line! sparks of spirit@gmail.com.

Custom work/commissions are always welcome!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Flowing Stream

The photo (as always) doesn't do the piece justice.
This piece just sparkles and pops.

Polished aluminum provides the backdrop. Black acrylic supports the glass panel. The center stream is aventurine blue glass (imagine microscopic glitter in the glass!). The stream is bounded by dichroic glass blobs and the outer stream bank is made with broken wedding glass shards.

This was commissioned as a tenth anniversary gift. Blessings to the beautiful couple!

Saturday, August 30, 2014


These are coasters  with dots.......but are they doing the polka?

I wondered about that so I consulted wikipedia...
this is what I found out:


The pattern shares its name with the dance form, making one suspect there is a connection linking the pattern to the dance. However, the name was likely settled upon merely because of the dance's popularity at the time the pattern became fashionable, just as many other products and fashions of the era also adopted the polka name. [1]

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Wedding Anniversary Commission in the Making

A sampling of a few of the glass bits and nuggets for the next commission....an anniversary gift. The glass bits are fused remnants of the wine glass that was smashed at the end of the wedding. That glass isn't compatible with the other glass I use so I have to deal with it differently than I deal with the rest of the glass project. The nuggets on the right are made from dichroic glass and capped in clear. Since they are compatible they can be fused to the base glass.

The glass project is in the kiln right now going through a second firing....it will be a wall mounted project when it is finished.

I'll post a picture in about a week after the gift has been presented.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mid-century Modern Plates

These are based on some designs Bullseye glass created for one of their tips sheets. My son saw the design and asked for a set for his home in Berkeley. I made 4 of them....2 in light gray and two in dark grey. Plate 1 has orange stringers, plate 2 has light blue, plate 3 has black and plate 4 has yellow stringer.

It was fun playing with stringer and fire. I might just have to make some more of these. He has asked for some matching coasters.... back to the kiln I go!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


With glass sales, Bar Mitzvahs, papers graded, grades turned in... and other things taken care of , we are able to steal away for a couple of days of alone time.

Family time is next.... also wonderfully nourishing....!

Our house is being cared for, my students get a week off, and we can simply enjoy the unusual time to ourselves.

I promised to be basically computer free...but needed to shout out a little joy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Booth Shots from the Vancouver Sale

ORA Artists in Vancouver at the Bagel On Festival!

One of my display racks 
Esther Liberman and her Jewelry!

Blacksmith Nitzan Lillie

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Going on Sale!

Tallit clips are among the items I will offer at the Bagel On Craft Fest at Kol Ami Synagogue in Vancouver...Sunday the 17th of August (tomorrow)!

I'm making room in my inventory so I can begin creating a few new lines of Judaica items.

Come see me tomorrow....or drop me a line. I am willing to retain my sale prices for the next few weeks.

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's all about letters!

I love hebrew letters. Each letter is a piece of poetry unto itself.

Cutting these letters is a humbling experience... the glass is quite thin, fragile really. The letters are delicate and challenging. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Our New Piece of Art

So happy to add this gem to our home! This buffet/sideserver is hand-built out of cherry and curly maple. The cherry wood will darken with age and beautifully frame the maple. I made the handles out of glass.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I don't have a cool antique vehicle but I will load up my Honda Odyssey with my glass and set up to sell out of it at the MJCC parking lot this Sunday. 

The address is 6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland Oregon.  

Come see me....I have some one of a kind bargains! Buy some art, sign up to be on the ORA Artists mailing list, and get a free frozen treat. 

See you there!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Sink Is In!

I am so happy with the tiles and just love the new sink and faucet.  I won't be able to get the mirror with stained glass overlay back in place until the weekend, but I am happy to wait. 

The next challenge is in figuring out a new paint color.....thankfully it's not a chore...just a fun challenge.

Here's the "before" picture: 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Copper Mica GlassTiles

This is the new vanity in our powder room. I made the flat tile and border tiles using BE 90 black and tekta clear with copper mica sandwiched in-between. We used black grout and the result is pretty satisfying!

Tomorrow a new glass vessel sink and faucet will go in...! (I didn't make the sink.)

I'll post before and after shots.

The mirror will go back up and eventually a new light fixture, towel ring, and TP holder.

We're getting there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

A Flash From the Past

A fun little coaster made awhile back.
The customer who bought this just ordered a 16" bowl to go with her new house!
Shabbat Shalom Everyone!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Positive Addiction!

This is 1 aisle in what is known as the "bullpen"..... aka "candyland" us glass addicts!
I forgot to snap a photo so I had to borrow this picture from the internet...

I am so fortunate to live in Portland Oregon, home to two major manufacturers of  glass.
This week Bullseye Glass had one of their major sales....and I was happy to go shopping!

Do you remember being a little kid visiting either a candy store or an ice cream shop? All the flavors, colors, seductive names?

Another customer and I just took turns ooh-ing and ahhhh-ing. "I bought that glass last year" she said, pointing to one incredible piece. Even on sale, it was beyond my reach....maybe next time. "I asked her what she was looking for and she told me she was layering pieces of glass to get a desired look for trees... and happily I pointed out some glass that might save her a step or two in her process. 
We knowingly grinned at each other as we loaded our storage bins....addicts recognize each other!

I haven't spent enough time cleaning out my studio, but this new glass is so tantalizing I am anxious to renew my efforts to get organized. Several wonderful commissions have come in....ideally I will get to work on those in a clean studio...but I may need to create a makeshift work area on the back deck....

I'll post again shortly!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Revisitng my Gesher Bowl

I was able to revisit a Gesher bowl I made for a collector in Eugene. This version has nearly invisible letters that read Gesher Tsar M'ode...A narrow bridge.

I think I may have to make a new one !

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The House Gets A Paint Lift!

After 29 + years of light blue, the house is going to blend in a little better with the environment.

Indoors a new project is beginning using glass tiles I made just for our powder room counter.

I'll post another photo when the house is all green and the trim is also refreshed.