Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Dali Museum....Brilliant!

Back from our Florida trip. One of the highlights was visiting one of my favorite museums: The Dali in St. Pete. This visit was extra sweet because they had a Picasso/Dali exhibit. Two quotes stood out for me: 
  • Dali: "We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." Picasso: "Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war against brutality and darkness."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Industrial Journeys #3

The final and remaining piece in the journeys set is this one. It is a fragmented journey with many starts...and only one journey that reaches an endpoint. A bridge arches over the glass....where does it lead?

The glass is mounted to some glass chads which help the glass look as though it is floating about the inch thick mounting board. Metal bits and pieces were scavenged from a construction site dump pile.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Industrial Journeys Series #2

This glass is so expressive in this piece. The journey appears rambling and  confused but it covers a lot of territory. The glass floats on some glass chads which are mounted on a herringbone embossed piece of metal evoking that "grunge" feel. Other found objects complete the effect. Are they tools of the journey or destinations?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Industrial Journey Series....#1

Okay, I'll admit it....I love going to the scrap yard! I love finding stuff on the ground....yup, I love scavenging. This piece was so fun to make.

The industrial feel is quite  purposeful although my search for parts was quite random. I made these while doing battle with the "crud."

Each time I emerged from that fuzzy, yucky, spacey zone I found myself trying to construct something positive from the mass of toss-away stuff I had found. 

I made 4 glass panels (one sold) and then chose different mountings and different "accessories" for each in response to the hot/cold flow of the glass. This piece of glass is mounted to black lucite plastic which "floats" on top of a piece of hand-polished scrap aluminum.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Journeys Tray #2

This is the second tray in my most recent exploration of Journeys. 
Journeys #2 features an iridized finish on the base creating a lovely but subtle rainbow effect in the background.

Journeys #1 is sold. #2 is available for purchase. If you are interested, just contact me! Prefer the design in some other colors? Just ask!

Below is a close up of the lataccino I mentioned in my earlier post.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Journeys Series- Tray #1

Every year I make a few new plates working from a theme of "journeys"

The diagonal line is a pretty strip of latteccino .... stringers that have been pulled and twisted in an open flame. Unfortunately my camera skills fell short of capturing the pretty orange/red/blue/black colors in that rod.

I'm happy to report this piece sold. I have one more with different colors....more photography tomorrow and then I will post.

There are still many journeys to explore. I will continue to play with this theme!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Tallit Clips

These really sparkle in the light! Fun, light-weight, silk safe! 
Silver or copper chain available! Other shapes, patterns, and colors available for commission!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My booth shot ....Celebration of Art '14

I have to admit I'm pretty camera shy.... grateful this photo came out pretty well.

It was a great show... thank you to our supportive community for coming to the show and recognizing the value of purchasing one-of-a-kind art work in the season of big box store mass-produced "stuff".

Friday, November 28, 2014


Where Were You in 1962? That's the name of this serving tray. It's a playful piece based on another piece I saw in a thrift shop. Just a little more fun with mid-century modern design. I like the wonky imperfect lines.....poking a bit of fun at the design while honoring the the stylistic notes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Midcentury Modern FUN!

I'm having so much fun doing midcentury modern designs!

More often than not, I make glass items with Judaic themes.... sometimes I just hear another voice....a blast from the past . I decided to respond. More midcentury designs yet to come!

This is a 12" sushi style platter.....  The inspiration came from seeing some art in a local thrift shop. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Another Wedding Bowl

Blessings to the newlyweds! ...and gratitude to the folks who commissioned this gift.

I am so honored to be asked to craft a piece of art that will hopefully be a keepsake that can potentially be passed on to future generations.

Monday, November 17, 2014

FUn WIth Mid-century Moderns

Fun little serving tray...great for olives, pickles, other finger food!

Come check out the variety of mid-century modern items I've crafted just for the upcoming show.

Details can be found at:

just click on the link at the top of that website!

Remember...mention the this blog and get a small gift.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Whispy, ethereal, and affordable! You can find this challah plate and more at the Taste of Art and Celebration of Art November 22 7-9:30 pm and November 23 10:30am-4:30 pm at the MJCC in Portland, Oregon.  

Over 20 amazing artists will have beautiful and affordable art available for purchase. Customers will receive a free raffle ticket for every $25 spent on art! Two amazing gift packages can be won. Winners need not be present at the Sunday afternoon drawing (4 pm)

Saturday will also feature live music by the band "The Noted", and free food and drink samples from  awesome places like Chickpeadx, Widmer Brewery, Eastside Distillery, and Sip D'vine.

Come check it out!   Visit my booth, mention this blog and get a free token of my appreciation.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Thinking About Chair Affair '15

This is a borrowed photo....I don't know how to photograph a mirror without all the reflection that happens when I try.

I'll be rehabbing this old bathroom mirror and gifting it to Community Warehouse's Chair Affair + Event.  CW does some very impressive work and I am proud to be a part of this event.

I had hoped to contribute last year but events conspired against me and I couldn't get the job done. I hope to make up for that this year with something special.   I won't have time to really begin work in earnest until December...but keep reading the blog. I'll have updates about the coming Celebration of Art event and other projects.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Water is the theme for many of my projects. I recall the beautiful song/blessing written by Linda Hirschhorn ...words loosely borrowed from Isaiah: "May you be like a watered garden, may you be like a flowing stream". 

This piece features fused glass, scrap aluminum, and black acrylic. It can be wall mounted in any direction.

Blessings to the newly weds who received this gift...may their love always flow!

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

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 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 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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Studio Organization= Tough Love

As our remodeling projects draw to a close (for now), I am finally able to move my racks and molds out to the new kiln room!

The studio is a disaster! I mean, it's really bad! I was so cramped having to house stuff that has always been in the kiln shed that I lost all common sense and just kept cramming more stuff into the studio. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

When the weather has been nice (pouring rain right now), I clear off a table on the deck and work there. When the weather is awful, I try to use my time to clean, sort & organize a ridiculous mess.

I realize that ergonomics is important so once I sort through my scrap glass, toss things I won't/can't use, and create real homes for things...I will need to move my cutting area so I can move about more easily and protect my aching back.

No more promises to post new stuff soon....I have descended into a deep, dark, messy hole . If I ever get out of it I will post pix of the reclaimed studio and any new work.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Art Trunk Sale....August 3

I'll be there....will you?
OK, I don't have a cool truck but I will have a van full of glass items at great prices. There will be some functional art pieces, some jewelry, and random "stuff" left over from earlier sales. Come see me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Good Name

Bill Stinnett served the Cedar Sinai Park organization  for many many years. Tonight he was honored on the eve of his official retirement. It was such a pleasure to be in the audience to hear how this man mentored his colleagues; always acting with wisdom and grace. 

I was so proud to be asked to make a piece of glass to honor this man. Bill isn't Jewish but because he served the elders of this Jewish community , the staff and board wanted to honor him with  something that was Jewish but also touched on his own Christian faith.

This is the written document I crafted to accompany the glass piece.

The Board of Directors and Staff of Cedar Sinai commissioned this piece of art in honor of your many years of service to the organization.
The hebrew lettering quotes a passage from Ecclesiates 7:1: “ A good name is more precious than oil.”
It is explained that the scent of aromatic oils travels but a short distance within your house, while a good name travels from one end of the earth to the other.
In addition, you will find two red letters bookending the central tablet. The red letter on the right is first letter of the hebrew alphabet, aleph. On the far left is the final letter of the alphabet, tahf. The middle letter of the hebrew alphabet is a mem (there are two in the line that scans across the middle tablet.) These letters aleph, mem, tahf  spell the word Emet which means truth.
The glass was fused in the kiln at 1450 degrees for 15 hours. Visible through the clear glass tablets is copper mesh. Copper represents longevity and durability and is frequently mentioned in the old testament as an adornment for the Tabernacle. The central letters are cut from dichroic glass, a precious glass made by burning minerals in a vacuum chamber. The fused glass is mounted to a piece of acrylic which is mounted to a piece of hand-polished aluminum.
May you be blessed in your retirement. May your memories of Cedar Sinai Park be joyous, and may your good name continue to be known .

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wall Mounting

This little U-channel mirror mounting is made of aluminum.
I've been practicing my hack saw skills on these, custom fitting them for my aluminum backed wall art.

I use one on the bottom and one on the top. Mounting the art is simple and requires small nails and a hammer...that's it!

I dropped off the Tov Shem commission today and will be there when the art piece is presented on Wednesday evening. I'll try to post pictures then.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fresh Out of the Kiln!

I'll post the full shot once the gift has been presented.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Steps 2 and 3...commission work continues

A layer of copper mesh is sandwiched between
a base layer of brown iridized glass and a clear cap.
Strips of the same mesh adorn the plaques below.

A few drops of glasstac helps hold the letters in place until
I  can safely deposit the glass in  the kiln.

The tablets and plaques are  set on some streaky glass
and some of the letters are set in place 
Embellishments  and some new letters will come next. I'll explain the meaning of the words and design in a future post....stay tuned!