Thursday, May 30, 2013

Raw Glass for my next commission

          What will it become??????

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Commission Completed

Three custom yahrzeit candle bridges are headed off 
to Missouri as of this morning. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Commission!

These are the blanks for 3 new yahrzeit candle commissions! The letters are cut from copper foil and then are sandwiched between a layer of color and a layer of clear. When heated, copper turns a gorgeous shade of dark red.

The middle blank surprised me. Instead of the pretty amber I was expecting, the glass turned red. Yup, RED! It was striker glass that I clearly forgot to label. 

I may need to make a new blank for the customer....which is fine. She deserves to get what she wants! ....and I can easily use the red blank for one of my next shows.

I'll get to work on the glass name stones tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Donation to Oregon Jewish Museum

I am pleased to donate this new bowl to the Oregon Jewish Museum Auction.
It is called Mayim Chayim- Waters of Life. It features clear and dichroic glass beads. Some of the edges are bent or folded.....erosion due to the force of water. Our bodies are mostly water, water sustains us, it also wears us down. Waters of life is a metaphorical representation of our world.

If you live in Portland, come to this event on Sunday June 2nd....OJM is a stunning museum that educates, entertains and stimulates our city. We need to show our support....and the auction is a great way to start!

See you there?  go to the OJM website for more details!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Flat Lapping the Edge of a Disc

My wet room is in our sunroom...I have commandeered the space and am having a blast looking out at the forest when I can manage to take my eyes off my work for a moment.

I should be wearing a rubber apron...but a little water never hurt anyone!

This project is a donation for the Oregon Jewish Museum annual's another part of my by Journeys series... this one is called Mayim Chayim....Waters of Life. 

It's in the kiln fire polishing and slumping.....the finished piece will appear in tomorrow's post!

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I love it when my clients are happy!

This just in from a customer who ordered 4 Yahrzeit Bridges!

"I received your work and it is simply awesome.  It is both beautiful and poignant.  My husband saw it on the counter and commented that it is a very awesome way to remember.

Thank you for working with me on this.  As I prepare for this first (of many) anniversary, I appreciate the ability to hold my father's name, and see it all reflect, as I reflect." SW in Missouri

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wedding Bowl Commission- almost complete!

In the kiln waiting to be slumped

I took longer than I had planned with this but am quite pleased with the result. 

Why the delay?

The design was borrowed from the wedding invitation and then adapted for glass. I wanted the right glass and the right effect....which meant playing a bit with the glass. Then I stumbled across what I thought was the perfect glass...but didn't have enough of it with which to experiment!

 The glass I chose for the water and sky was a mottled blue. Apparently I had failed to label it. It was a striker glass so in the heat it flashed purple....I liked it even more! I wasn't happy with how plain the sky looked, so I used more of the same glass to create streaky clouds.  Lucky me, some of the glass failed to strike and remained blue! The mountains are cut from gold iridized glass, speckled with clear glass dots. The trees are cut from dichroic glass and offer just a little "pop" to the whole piece.

An inscription written in gold ink on the back includes a phrase from a Pablo Neruda sonnet that was recited at the wedding. 

I am grateful to my customers for bringing this project to was a fun adventure! As always, I'll include a printout containing information about how the dish was made as well as care instructions.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

Memory Stones

Each set of stones is bagged for safe keeping

Four sets of memorial stones were ordered to accompany the four Yahrzeit candle bridges.
They are wrapped , packed, and ready to be shipped. 

As I worked with each of these memorial stones, I felt the incredible power of NAMING.
Our tradition of formally remembering those who have passed on the anniversary of their death is quite powerful. Uttering their names, calling up who they were makes it all the more meaningful.
We are remembered by our good names. All that we do contributes to who we are/were.
Even though I didn't know these individuals, names like Papa, Bubbie, and Zeydeh, stirred something deep inside. 

I sat outside with the finished stones and called up my own ancestors. I expressed gratitude for the legacies they passed on to me. My forested backyard held singing birds, playful squirrels, and for just a moment, my parents and grandparents and all others who came before me. 

It seems fitting that I follow this with a talk today at a local high school about the Holocaust and the story of my family- a story of memory and survival.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Memorial stones

 It is our tradition to leave a stone at the gravesite.

I make glass stones that can be personalized (names, dates, etc) for use at the cemetery or for use when lighting a yahrzeit candle.

 After cutting base glass and clear glass squares, each piece is washed in warm soapy water and carefully dried.  I use a wire colander to help with the process. Dirt, oil, and generic schmutz (yiddish for dirt of all kinds) are the enemies of glass fusion. Even a fingerprint will show up in perfect detail if the glass isn't cleaned well!  

Using a Kemper Pen and gold ink I write the names of loved ones on clear glass. Writing on colored glass is nearly impossible because the ink is hard to see. Even writing on clear is a bit of a challenge since the glass acts as a lens and tends to give the illusion of double vision!  Look at the picture below and I think you'll see what I mean!                          

When the gold is dry, I cap the black base glass and place the squares in the the kiln. The squares are fired to a top heat of 1450°f.
The square points will contract and the squares will take on a rounded stone shape.  As I post this, the squares are rounding up in the kiln.

I'll post the finished products along with the yahrzeit candle holders
when everything has cooled!

Yahrzeit Candle Bridges

The Hebrew abbreviation L"Z stands for Zichrono Livracha- of blessed memory!

Here's a quick kiln shot of three out of four of the yahrzeit candle holders 
I was commissioned to make. The fourth bridge is finishing its slumping program and then 
I'll take a final photo and will post it before wrapping and shipping them !

It's a powerful experience, crafting a yahrzeit bridge. It's important to me to honor those who came before me....even those I never knew. It's a powerful reminder of my own losses: my mother and father....and all the other wonderful family members who have been gone for so many years.

I just finished writing the info. sheet I include with each order. 

In this latest version I wrote: This bridge features the letters zayin and lamed, an abbreviation for “ zichrono livracha” 

May the flame of your candle shine brightly,  allowing the memories of those you remember to be filled with light, warmth  and blessing.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hebrew Letters in Glass

Hebrew abbreviation- honorific for someone who has passed away

The letters zion and lamed are abbreviations for zihrono livracha and basically means:   "of blessed memory".

These letters are cut from pieces of dichroic glass and haven't yet been fused onto base glass.
I'll be making three yahrzeit candle bridges for a commission.
Yahrzeit is a Yiddish/German word meaning year's time. Once a year we light a 24 hour candle to memorialize the passing of a loved one on the anniversary of their death (lunar calendar.)