Friday, December 14, 2012


Taking off the mirrors was a 2 person job!

This dresser couldn't look much worse right now!
...but good times are ahead!!!!
I'm grateful that my husband could come help me. Once a few screws were removed, each mirror needed to be braced so it wouldn't fall. 

The paint color is still of great concern but I will get to that next week.....Wednesday?......maybe? Burgundy and burnt umber to the rescue.

I imagine the mirror work will take 2-3 weeks to complete, but if I can get caught up on my commissioned art work, I might be able to get the mirrors finished sooner.

On another note, the warehouse desperately needs some financial donations in these next few days....$5? $25? $100?
Every dollar donated is used carefully to support the needs of those who would like to have a reasonable home with a bed, a table, some dishes. Their goal is to raise $2000/day for the next several days....please help!  in Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

When 2 Coats Are Not Enough!

Magenta is not burgundy!
I want Burgundy!
Two coats of paint on some of the dresser helped. I laid a first coat
on the drawer faces. The color definitely deepened, but the difference between magenta and deep burgundy is huge. Basically this color screams HOT PINK! I do not like hot pink!

So what's next? On the advice of an artist (painter), I will investigate streaking the surface with burnt umber. That should deepen the tone. If that doesn't work, I will mix my own paint and start again.
I still haven't had a chance to get everything coated with at least one layer of paint, so it's time to remove the mirror and have at the back facing of it. 

It'll be two weeks before I get back to the dresser. Meanwhile, my mirror plans are firming up. See you on the 19th!

Friday, November 30, 2012

BURGUNDY- no glass

A fresh can of burgundy paint was purchased and with only 40 minutes available to me, I started slapping the burgundy paint over the primer. I fear it will take at least three coats to get an even layer of paint to cover the primer. The paint is much lighter than the paint chip so I have my fingers crossed that subsequent coats will yield a deeper tone.

Next Wednesday I hope to lay down more burgundy...we'll see what happens. I'll also be taking mirror measurements so I can start designing the stained glass over-lay.

Shopping for paint at my local ABoy store, I again saw Shelinda, a dedicated Chair Affair Artist. She's just getting started on her outdoor art sculpture made from a metal vanity stool. I can hardly wait to see what she does. When she's finished, I'll try to get some pictures and post those here on the blog.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A White Washing: necessary deed!

Today's work involved priming everything but the top in boring white primer. I plugged in my music, grooved to some Janis Joplin and the task was quickly converted to a, joyous experience!    

I'llbe back next week to lay down some color. I can feel the excitement mounting, although there is so much left to do. Check back next week. I'll have more pictures.   

In the meantime, you should get yourself down to the Tualitan Store and check out what they have in their estate section. This area is open to the public and you can get great deals on some amazing furniture. I was astonished at the bargains. I am picky! I found myself lusting over several beautiful pieces of furniture and I'm now trying to figure out where I could put some of it! I want to buy some!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting Down and Dirty!

 There's me peeking at myself. I am so glad I remembered to bring along a dust mask!

                This piece may be old but it has "good bones!"

Today was a messy cleaning up kind of day. I washed down the mirrors in an effort to find out was was bad silvering and what was just plain dirt. All the drawers came out and were cleaned (yech!).

Sanding was the major effort today....just getting rid of bumps and heavy stains. Fortunately the Warehouse had a good shop vac so I was able to make short work of all the dust!  Next week....primer!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pretty Beat Up!

Errand Day! Shopping at my local ABoy Hardware store for sand-paper and primer.

Next week will be devoted to cleaning up the shappy exterior, cleaning up the interior of the drawers, replace a missing drawer stop, and blanketing the whole thing in white primer. 

Ran into Shellinda LeMert, another local artist who has been a devotee to the Chair Affair. She's got a pretty nifty project going as well!

I have a few commissions in progress...need to finish those next.

Check back next week for more pix of my progress!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Chair Affair Project 2013

I am so pleased to show you this piece of furniture I plan to rehab for the Chair Affair Auction in the spring of 2013.

This will be my 6th year working on a project for this special cause. I have never made a chair and it doesn't look like this year will be any different.

Last year the auction brought this amazing community agency $127,932! If you are unfamiliar with what they do.....check out their website.... Really.....go look!!!!!!

Project #1 was an old ladder-back chair that I converted into a water fountain. #2 was a side table I made from a bar stool. Project #3 was an old stool turned into an outdoor bird bath. My fourth project was a coffee table  and #5 was a small side table.

This year my attention will be focused on this very old and very well-used bedroom dresser.

It's big, it's old, it's beat up and it's heavy! It is currently living at the Community Warehouse, Tualitan Branch. My work space is too cramped to deal with it at home but the folks at the warehouse are sooooo nice- they are letting me work on it there. I am determined to get on it quickly.

Stay tuned. I will be updating my progress frequently!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


This fused glass bowl is the perfect wedding gift .  
I love working on commissions like this because the work is customized to suit the needs of the purchaser and the recipient. This large glass bowl is crafted with unique Bullseye glass. The beautiful rainbow dichroic glass used to form the hebrew letters were  also manufactured here in Portland, Oregon by Spirit Glass.

There are 36 (double chai) dichroic "dots" on this bowl. The dark blue river is actually sparkling aventurine blue glass and the names are cut from rainbow dichroic glass. Photographing glass remains the ultimate challenge for me....but this bowl really "pops!"

No two items are alike. Every piece is handcrafted with care and comes with a written explanation of the symbolism contained within the design.

You can contact me directly if you are interested in ordering a personalized gift :

Monday, October 22, 2012

First Plate in a New Series!

This is one of my newest always, the challenge is in photographing iridizied glass.
The shine in this photo seems to diminish the colorful stripes...but the colors are pronounced and vibrant when you handle the plate. It's 12" x 12"....and it sparkles! The upper right square is silver leaf. 

It is the first of my new Tapestry series, inspired by the famous coat of many colors (Joseph).  It's a wedding gift so it won't be for sale, but I will have it on display.

I will post future plates in the series...but they are on hold until I catch up on my new commissions. Yesterday's art show was  a successful endeavor and in addition to the glass I sold there, I now have 4 commissions to keep me in the studio for a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


October 21 between 10:30am-4:30 pm @ the MJCC

Free admission!   My booth will be filled with new glass designs....and a few favorites from the past.

Live music will entertain you....and if you stop by my booth and tell me you saw this message, I'll have a fun little token of appreciation to give you!

Pictured above are some doves I just cut out....future tallit clips!
(a favorite past design in a new glass!)

I have some new designs too...but I want to hang on to the surprise for now...... Come see them in person!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Zaragosa Hotel Glass!

Each floor of the hotel features a different window of thick rough glass held together with mortar. The colors were rich, deep and inviting.....ahhhhh!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Best Coffee in Barcelona

....And the glass is quite lovely, too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

At the Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia- a magnificent cathedral designed by Antonio Gaudi...and still under construction- has some incredible glass work. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

El Born Bar/Cafe in Barcelona!

A tiny little restaurant with yummy  little sandwiches, beer and wine. We opted for cold water before indulging in anything else. The glass of course beckoned us to come in and enjoy....we did!

Friday, September 21, 2012


A contemporary window in a 15th century Barcelona cathedral

Three Weeks in Spain! 

Art, architecture, food, wine....... Inspiration at every turn!
I didn't see much in the way of fused glass. There were the occasional cheap trinkets, poorly made but mostly it was the architectural glass that caught my eye.

I'll be back in the studio after Yom Kippur. My next show is Oct 21st at the MJCC (6651 SW Capitol Hwy) 10:30-4:30. Come see me!

In the meantime....I will post some pix of delicious glass from my trip! This was one of my favorites!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This plate just pops! The iridized glass shifts colors in the light and the hand cut dichroic letters absolute shimmer.  If you look closely you'll see 6 dichroic beads reaching from the left side top and bottom corners toward shabbat.

 This is the perfect accent to your Shabbat table. Since Shabbat happens once every seven days, you will get a lot of use out of it. Your challah will look gorgeous on it. The glass is food safe and can serve up more than just bread!  If this rainbow of colors doesn't fit with your table decor, order a custom made tray, plate or other
well crafted design. Interested? Questions? Send me an email!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Apples and Honey

It's still early August, but the High Holidays are just around the corner. Here's a new little dish for apples and honey.....Let's bring on a sweet new year!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Guess What I've Been Doing?

It hasn't been glass.

At heart I am a teacher and it is what I love doing most. I just finished teaching a wonderful group of students who are completing their teacher training at the University of Oregon. 

They are young, idealistic, bright, talented.....yes, I could go on at length about them.
Most of all, they are our future.

In light of recent events in Texas (...a state that believes we ought not teach critical thinking!) and else-where in the country, I still remain optimistic that these folks and other like-minded individuals can turn around the ridiculous legislation that is handicapping our schools. 

I'll post a couple of pictures of my glass work in the next few days ....but nothing very new - until I get back from visiting my son in the Bay area. Vacation is good !

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Healing Hands

This is a transparent green plate with two stacked dichroic chamsahs. Chamsah is an arabic word meaning 5. These are typically seen as amulets with healing powers......and also used to ward off the evil eye!

They are also known as "The Hand of Fatimah" by Muslims, "The Hand of Miriam" by Jews, and the Hand of Miriam, by Christians. 

I love that we share something..even if it is an amulet- and the idea that we perhaps if we can extend our hands to each other in peace, perhaps our real healing can begin.  Reach out and hold the hands of others and discover how nourishing that can be!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Challah Plate

The photo doesn't do justice to the shimmer of the abstract pieces layered onto the white background glass. Iridized glass flashes different colors as the light strikes the plate.

Perfect for you Shabbat Challah!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Meet Cantor Harold Orbach and his dear wife Polly Siarto-Orbach!

Polly stopped by my booth early last week at the Cantor's conference. I am quite proud of the colorful booth I shared with fellow artists Diane Fredgant and Sharon Segal . Polly said she was drawn in by the colors!

I was struck by how carefully she took in each piece of art. Those of you who know me, know that I love to share words with my customers - glass words, that is! I offered her a "besheyrt" word (a word 'meant to be'.) She drew the word "delight".  Later she came back to my booth . She was drawn to one of my Torah Adornments and wondered if it could be used as a wall hanging. Of course!

And then her husband literally drove in on his scooter. I didn't know at the time that this man was a well known and highly regarded Cantor and performer.  

Polly stopped by the next day to tell me that she had composed her own list of words...and she promised to share them with me! She is a retired educator but is deeply active , traveling, writing, and publishing! We schmoozed some more. What a personality! 

I then learned that Cantor Orbach just celabrated his 60th anniversary as a Cantor. As I understand it, Cantor Orbach was also president of the American Cantors Group. He is a survivor of the Shoah and readily shared some of his memories with me. I believe he is 90 years old. Despite health  and mobility issues, he and Polly flew from Florida to the west coast. They took an Alaskan cruise before coming down to Portland for the convention. 

I took the liberty of googling his name and discovered a youtube video with a sampling of his voice. 
I don't have words to describe what I heard. I urge my readers to check him out. It is a treat!

On the last day of the conference they returned to our booth and purchased my Bamidbar Adornment.
It contains the Priestly Blessing. I am so honored to have my piece in their collection and so deeply touched by the incredible neshamot (Souls) of this couple. Blessings to you both! You have touched my heart!

Friday, June 29, 2012


This is one of my newest designs in my collection of Shabbat/Challah trays. The patterned iridized glass shifts in the light as do the letters which are cut from dichroic glass. 

The glass letters are all cut from the same glass but you can see the color shift in this photo......tilt the plate slightly and the letters all shift color again!

Look closely because the picture doesn't clearly show the six dichro dots of glass that point to Shabbat. 

Like the tray but not wild about the colors? Just contact me and commission what you want!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I love Portland! I love the rain! Sometimes it is really nice to have a little sunshine!
Of course, today is a beautiful sunny day and I am in my studio ! The blessing is the view I have...and I sometimes get to do some of my work scraping kiln shelves. And did I mention the sweet songs of birds that serenade me? I usually listen to music or chant....but today, the birds are in glorious concert and I can't imagine anything more beautiful!

With a view like this....I don't mind at all. I am making new items for the National Cantor's conference which take place here in Portland in about 10 days!

That conference just happens to coincide with the first of week of classes...and I am contracted to teach at the U of O for a 4 week intensive summer term. The solution? A lot of driving between Portland and Eugene.  

I will post pix of some of my new work next week (along with some of the mezuzot I have already made.

Monday, April 30, 2012

            New Mezuzot Coming Soon!

I am working on a new technique for shaping my mezuzot. 
If successful, I will post photos in about a week.

I guess this is my way of committing myself to the task. 
If it's promised, it must be done! 

Earlier mezuzot are pictured in my blog last spring.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Just discovered a beautiful poem written about glass.
Since I don't have permission to print it here I will simply give you the link to  find it and read it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I am a proud member of ORA Northwest Jewish Artists! We're always on the lookout for new members.

There are many reasons and in the next few postings, we'll offer you just a few answers.


coming in just a week the director of a well known gallery will  offer ORA members a session on:

"How to Market Your Art"
"How to Frame Your Art"
"How to Market YOURSELF"
THEN.... a local artist and professional Curator will lead a session on:
"What are the Trends"
"How to Form a Presentation"
"What's Selling"
....and if that isn't enough.......
Drinks & Shmooz @ Lucky Labrador afterwards  !

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amazing kids do Amazing things!- 3/22/12

Thursday, March 22nd 6:30 pm
Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Ballroom B
6651 SW Capitol Hwy  Portland, Oregon 97219
Please join us for a free screening to view short films by local Jewish youth.  Subjects range from a documentary about young Jewish artists to snowboarding and music videos.
co-sponsored by the MJCC!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Scenes from OJM- Blue Thread!

 Zoe Sirkin , her mom Erin Farar and author Ruth Tenzer Feldman
 Diane Fredgant's tallitot on display!
 Diane describes her process for designing tallitot.
Estee Rosenberg reads from the book.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

At the Geezer Gallery- March 2012

We had a lot of fun last week at the Geezer Gallery opening for ORA artwork. This exhibit will be up through March 27th. It is a Jewish Arts Moment!

My continuing is tough to photograph. We had a healthy crowd which made taking pictures a bit of a challenge. Here's my newest circular platter.

Much gratitude to this amazing gallery!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thursday March 8!!!!!!

Come see my new glass at the Geezer Gallery Thursday March 8th, 6-9 pm~!

ORA art works are on display and the set up is fabulous! Free beer samples by Ambacht Beer (Tom and Bobbie Kramer) will be the other art form on display!

The art will be available for viewing and purchase through the end of March but on Thursday evening ORA artists will be on hand to greet and meet!

Stop in!!!!!! You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


The Geezer Gallery is an amazing place with a provocative name!

They are hosting ORA artists....some of the artists are 60 + years old and have crossed over into Geezer-dom. For a little while longer, I remain a Geezer in waiting! 

Friday March 1st we will welcome guests to see our art work as well as the art of a number of non ORA artists. SOme of us paired up with a resident of Rose Schnitzer Manor. My partner is a talented artist, Evelyn Hirsch. She created a beautiful pastel picture of flowers. Together, we translated that into a lovely glass serving platter. Photos will follow after the opening.

On March 8th we will have our official opening and will even feature free samples of Ambacht Beer.
Come on over to the Gallery....the art is fine!  

I am grateful to the Gallery for showing my work. I had fun making the glass pieces !

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tallit Clip TIme

It has been busy around the studio these past few weeks!

Suddenly there are numerous commissions for plates, bowls, and tallit clips. 
Sprinkle in 2 lobby shows at the MJCC, meeting the Community Warehouse Chair Affair Deadline (see last post), rounding out a display at the Neveh Shalom lobby, and add in a new show at the Geezer Gallery that opens March1st! (more about Geezer in my next post!)

Pictured above are some sample tallit clips made for a lovely woman in Dayton Ohio! She needed two sets of clips, liked what I had to offer and has ordered a third custom set of clips!

She has selected #2 and #3 as the gifts. Some beautiful chain and a gift box should round out the order nicely. I'll be interested in what she would like me to create for her husband's tallit!

I hope to post new pix of my work over the next few weeks. I am in production mode and it feels so good to be back in the studio!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Art Exhibit at the MJCC

The MJCC has once again generously hosted the ORA art show as an introduction to Jewish Arts Month...soon to be renamed Jewish Arts Moments. 

I snapped this off with my phone camera. The exhibit comes down Feb 17th and a new batch of artists will open an exhibit on Sunday the 19th.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Chair Affair: An awesome event!

If you have been reading my previous blog postings, you know how passionate I am about one of the most significant community treasures in Portland. I am talking about the Community Warehouse; a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting people to live independently with decent furnishings. I am talking about children having beds to sleep in!!!!!!
This is a picture of LAMENTABLE - my donation to this year's fund raiser. 

This is my fifth donation to the Chair Affair- the annual fundraising event that allows this stellar organization to meet the needs of a growing client list.

There are all kinds of way you can help:
1. Buy a ticket and come to the event!
2. Come to the First Thursday event in March and leave a donation
3. Write a check and donate to a worthy cause
4. Look around your house.....spare blankets, furniture, sheets? Donate them!

****It's lamentable that my blogging skills prevent me from a adequately enlarging the text on the poster I included with my table donation. The laments on the poster are as follows:

Lamentations from my Studio

  • Ach! I couldn’t find the right table
  • Ay Caramba! No fresh ideas emerging!
  • Darn it! I bought the wrong paint!
  • Oy Vey! My test piece didn’t work at all! Now what?
  • Auwe!  A great Hawaiian lament. Wish I was in Hawaii now!
  • Mon Dieu! I wish I was in France right now. I could use some wine! (whine?)
  • Good Grief! A piece of copper shifted out of place
  • OMG!  I am done... !!!!!


About my project:
This is the first of two posts!

I eventually had fun with this project. I found the small table at the warehouse. It wasn't what I was looking for, but there it was...looking lonely and sad (which is why I can't go the animal shelter!) and it was begging me to pick it.

I brought it home and stared at it. Just when I thought I had time to work on it, a family emergency came up and so the project was put on hold....and out on hold....and put on hold! Then came the dreaded email that talk abut deadlines....and well.....

LAMENTABLE was born. Below is the handout I crafted to go with the project. I think it sums it all up.
I also hope it is legible on this site!

Look for my next post to see how you can contribute to a great organization!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

LAST MONTH to see my work at Neveh Shalom

The ORA exhibit at Neveh Shalom will be up through the beginning of February. My Torah ornaments and bowls are a part of that display.

The second Friday night  of each month at Neveh is called ORA Shalom: A Shabbat for the Senses.
On January 13th (7:30pm)Cantor Bletstein will rock the house as she chants the service accompanied by local band KLEZMOCRACY.

It's a cool service! Artists will be on hand in the lobby to chat with congregants after the service. WIne and refreshments are available.

Come on over...introduce yourself to me and let's schmooze a bissel!