Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Time For a New Filter!

Utterly Clogged!
This is a thoroughly clogged and rather disgusting hepa filter for my shop vac. I only use it to clean out my kiln and kiln room. 

My husband was so kind to help me change it out. This dust is a hazard to breathe. We bagged it then sealed it in plastic.

Thank you Jeff for all your help!

He sounded a lot like Darth Vader in that mask!

Sunday, December 6, 2015


clear glass blobs? splashes of water? raindrops? 

A small decorative element for a commissioned wall hanging. I'll make the various components ahead of time, then assemble the piece for a final fuse.

This is not an example of rocket science!
Small squares of glass are stacked and fused hot so the edges round up. If rectanges or triangles are used, a different shape of blob is created.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Torah Pointers (Yads) Revisited

These yads (Torah Pointers) came our of my kiln and were all sold the next day right here in Portland, Oregon!

I'm experimenting with different ways of making these pointers so that the colors can be vibrant or subtle, depending on the needs of the leyhner (Torah chanter.) 

I shifted away from the design that requires torch work. I felt they were too fragile and frankly, I just didn't love doing the open flame-work....I know....that's heresy in some circles!

My most recent batch was less exciting but I learned oh so much more...about volume, color blending, heat...and more.

I'll salvage some of these, polish them, shape the point and fire them so they will be ready for use,  but a couple will be chopped up and reused in my next experiment.

I have several commissions ahead of me so I may be absent from my blog for awhile.

I'll post  the commissions...with permission of the permission of my customers.

In the meantime..... HAPPY CHANUKAH!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Maria Simon's work of art on our wall!

We have been saving up our shekels for some time, hoping to one day purchase one of Maria Simon's bas relief clay sculptures.

Last winter we were able to commission this piece which was completed last spring. The photo doesn't do it justice. It is superb. We find ourselves sitting in the living room just staring at it. The color shifts are so subtle and so evocative.  

I can't believe it has taken me so long to post a photo!
Check out her website...fall in love and buy one of her pieces. 

Be sure to also visit this site  http://mariasimonstudio.com/oregon-art-beat/
where you can see her at work in her studio in an episode of Oregon Art Beat.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Views From COA 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Grandma Vera FInds a New Home!


Last weekend I joined my fellow ORA artists in a Celebration of a\Art weekend. It was an amazing event filled with music, fine art, food and drink samples....and more!

On Sunday a delightful woman came into my booth with her friend.
We chatted for a while and then she perused the glass in my booth. She was drawn to the masks I had displayed. 

I made theses masks last spring for the play 4,000 Miles.

What a pleasure to witness someone take just one look at my glass and ask..."How much?" 

Gulp! I love the masks and had become rather attached. I answered her question honestly and much to my surprise she said "I'll take it!" We exchanged names and I instantly recognized it! Many, many years ago, I was her daughter's camp counselor. Remarkably, she wanted to buy the Grandma Vera mask for her daughter...my former camper! 

Knowing that the mask is going to a good home where she will be appreciated just made my day!  Having a connection with the new owner....well, that is just awesome!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Healing Hands Fused Glass Commission

It was an honor to create this 12x12 sushi style plate . This was a commissioned piece gifted to a humble and gracious woman for the generous work she has done in her community. 

I am told the gift was well received and appreciated by both the group of individuals who commissioned it, as well as by the recipient. 

As always, the plate was accompanied by a written explanation of the artwork, as well as a blessing for the recipient. I must confess, this is my favorite kind of work....creating commissioned work to be gifted to those who readily gift the community with their volunteer spirit!

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Taste of Art & Celebration of Art 2015!
October 17th 7-9:30
October 18th 10:30-4:40 pm
Mittleman Jewish Community Center
free admission

This is a shot from last year's event. I have new work to offer my customers but the focus this year is on offering more commission opportunities. Instead of buying what you see, you can get your glass customized. Pick the shape, the design, the colors.....I'll make it happen. If you don't see a design you like, we can discuss your ideas and make that happen !

Art makes a great gift and values for the artist and the gift recipient. No gallery mark ups, just quality work for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mayim Chayim- wall mounted

Mayim Chayim is safely mounted over the mantle piece. This was a commissioned piece. I am grateful to the owner for this photo.
The glass is mounted on polished aluminum and then carefully fastened to the wall. This photo captures the iridescent sheen of the base glass quite well. I can hardly wait to check it out in person!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sharing the outdoor studio!

Quite the serenade .... one of many perks in having an outdoor space to work in!

Sorry for the silence on this blog. Between Jewish holidays and a number of commissions, it's been a busy place!

Photos of new work should appear in early October. 
Info about an upcoming show will be posted soon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mayim Chayim:Waters of Life

My most recently completed commission!
Iridized black glass with a clear base supports a river of glass blobs.
This is a photo of it prior to mounting it on a sheet of polished aluminum . The final piece is 24"x18.5" and definitely the largest piece I've made to date.

The final piece will be mounted over the mantel and I hope the owner will send me a picture of it in situ. It's quite heavy....so I will be channeling positive energy to the handyman charged with the task of mounting it to the wall.

As always, I find myself lamenting over the challenges of photographing glass....the vibrancy of the iridized finish in contrast to the glass blobs (such an inelegant term!) is too challenging for my photographic abilities.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Compassion...in a bowl

This commissioned bowl was just finished and handed off. 
It is intended as a gift from one dear friend to another in gratitude.
The open hands are adorned with dichroic glass beads and white gold ink. A copper foil heart rests in the palms and displays the hebrew word rachamanah which means compassionate one in Hebrew.

The bowl is  16" with a matte iridized finish and a light dusting of hand-crushed clear dichroic glass. I am grateful for the opportunity to make this bowl...both the giver and the recipient are remarkable souls who share a beautiful friendship. To know them is also an honor.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A New Journey Gass Project Begins

A long over-due project begins with firing numerous dichroic blobs....1 layer of dichro capped in 1 layer of clear.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How to "Plant" a Tree on a Wall

Kudos to Gustav Sculptor and Richard Cawley for their creative metal work. It is spectacular...but don't take my word for it! Come see the tree in the Isaak Foyer at Neveh Shalom!
It's really heavy!

Richard (L)  Gustav (R)

                        Richard's Dad to the rescue!
I certainly owe all these guys an apology for capturing their backsides only. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It Is A Tree of Life!

The tree was mounted yesterday. The leaves were mounted today.

Words fail to adequately express my joy at seeing this project in its final phase. 

Here are the basic tidbits of information.
• it is located in the foyer of the sanctuary at Neveh Shalom
• it is part of the rededication of the foyer in honor of Rabbi Daniel Isaac who retired following 22 years of service to this Portland shul.
• the tree design was created by Gary Pearlman, a talented artist and devoted congregant who helped with the leaf placement today.

• Gary hired Gustav Sculptor and Richard Cawley worked from Gary's drawing and calligraphy.
• I crafted the leaves and operate the glue tube.

I am grateful to my husband Jeff who climbed the ladder today to place the leaves (as directed!)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Shadows and Reflected Light!

The metal tree was attached to the wall today. The leaves will be attached tomorrow.
We put a few leaves on the tree today just to get a sense of the potential ....cool shadows and reflected light!
It's very exciting ....I can hardly wait!

Tomorrow I'll post the the finished project and revel the location!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chamsah Plate: A Healing Hand

8"x8" sushi style plate. The chamsah (aka Hand of Fatima, Hand of Miriam, Hand of Mary, Hamsah) is a middle east amulet signifying keeping away "the evil eye." It is made from clear dichroic glass and is quite striking in person. This plate is a commissioned piece on its way to California, a 60th birthday present.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Another Sneak Preview!

The letters will be polished to a brilliant reflective silver. The background metal will be dark.

This is part of a large metal ribbon banner that will drape across a beautiful metal Tree of Life. The letters were cut by a water jet just as the leaves were (see older posts).

The calligraphy was done by local Portland artist/hebrew calligrapher Gary Pearlman. 

I wish I could show you more of the project, but some good things are worth the wait.... A full reveal will hopefully occur within a month. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Almost done!    This is in the kiln right now....about 40 leaves (I forgot to count!). I have stacked shelves hoping to save cost. Tomorrow I'll "toss" in the last 15 or so....
and then..... I get to pull out the fiber paper...."oh goody," she exclaimed (facetiously!) 

It's a tedious task. I've only cleaned out about 15 leaves so far. I can already feel my technique improving.

I look forward to going to the metal shop again....it is such a play land! I'll ask if I can take pictures when I get there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Outdoor Studio!

What a glorious sunshine filled day! I can't work and take a selfie so  I thought I'd just show you what my outdoor workspace looks like today! I am sooooo fortunate to have this annex to my studio!

I'm scrubbing the edges of more leaves. I have many many many many more leaves to scrub...and then there is the rest of the process required to successfully fused them and get them ready for mounting on the metal sculpted tree of life.....

   Speaking of trees (of life)...I've had constant musical company in the trees and at the feeder all morning! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Fresh from the Kiln

An 8x8 Sushi dish....tack fused stringers and noodles adorn a colorful plate.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The leaves have begun!

The first batch of leaves is completed. A few adjustments and a double shelf will be made tomorrow....

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Portland Water Jet Rocks It!

Spent the afternoon at Portland Water Jet yesterday.  They were so easy to work with and although I developed dishpan hands scrubbing the cut glass, I didn't develop carpal tunnel from cutting all those leaves by hand!!! 

Not only were they efficient and helpful....but they had rocking tunes going full tilt the whole time I was there. The blues, a little reggae, some rock, and more.... Oh yeah...this is the way to work!

Here's a small sample of the glass leaves (clear cap) from yesterday's run!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Bejeweled Tray

This is a very sparkly  plate. In addition to the colorful glass blobs, the base plate is made of a dark blue glass that looks like glitter is imbedded!

The recipient says they are fond of jewel tones. I figure , why not provide the "jewels." It is food safe and at 17.5 x 7 inches, it will add some extra "pop" when you you serve hors d'oeuvres at a party.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hebrew Name Plate

This is a commission for a lucky Bar Mitzvah boy in the midwest.
Mazal Tov Asher! I hope you enjoy your new name plate.

It's 10x10 inches and slumped into a sushi style form. The Hebrew letters are cut from Dichroic glass....most of the other colored glasses add sparkle because of the iridescent finish.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Meet Amanda~Lily

Meet Amanda~Lily!
Unlike my other masks based on characters from Amy Herzog's play 4000 Miles, this one is all glass.

Lily is Leo's sister. Amanda is a young woman he picked up for a one-night stand. I won't spoil the play by sharing all their similarities, but it became clear to me that they couldn't be ignored.

The logical approach was to create a mask depicting both characters. Both characters are drawn in intimate ways , yet occupy very little space in the play.

I am a committed Amy Herzog fan. She is masterful in using dialogue to create her characters and bring out plot rather swiftly. There are no wasted words.

I saw Belleville (another of her plays)  a month ago....and was equally mesmerized.  I'll see any play she has written...You should too!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Meet Bec: a fused glass mask

Meet Bec....a third character in Amy Herzog's play 4000 Miles.
 Bec is Leo's girlfriend...or ex-girlfriend.....
There's no question that she loves Leo...but has had enough!
Bec has aspirations. She is an earnest college student. She has worked in peace corps-like  programs and now is thinking about going to Mumbai with her World Health professor.  I like her. She is honest, forthright, and is headed somewhere.

The Bec mask is predominantly fused glass but her eyebrows are made of computer keys. They say "shift", "reset", "pause (break), and "home".  She sports real earbuds....I wonder whose music she is listening to?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Vera: Fused Glass Mask

In the play 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, one of the main characters is Vera, the grandma. She is a card carrying communist and progressive thinker (91 years old). She has challenges hearing...so I made hearing aid earrings for her. IN fact there is a story about those hearing aids that I will share later in this blog post. Vera may be developing dementia...she is always losing her words so I made glass blobs with her lost words as her curly hair....right there on the top of her head. The sickle and hammer eyebrows are glass and of course reflect her once staunch devotion to the Party. Scrap metal rings and a key make her glasses. Keys are a significant piece of the play (both actual and metaphorical!)

And now for the story about the hearing aids! A number of years ago I had the pleasure of knowing an elderly woman named Sylvia. She was from New York originally and had a thick Bronx accent. She was in a convalescent home where I volunteered. She had a magnificent sense of humor. She had a pair of old hearing aids converted into earrings. Whenever a new care giver or visitor saw her they would usually say in a very loud voice..."SYLVIA, YOU FORGOT TO PUT YOUR EARS IN TODAY!"  and she would loudly reply...."DARLING, YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT! I GOT MY EARS IN....THESE ARE MY NEW EARRINGS!"

The use of  hearing aids as earrings on Vera is in fond memory of dear Sylvia.I love the character of Vera...her dignity, her humor, her absolute "real-ness." And I believe Vera and Sylvia would have been good friends!

The show continues at A.R.T through the end of May! See earlier posts for more details!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Meet Leo- the glass mask

Leo is one of two main characters in the play 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog. He has completed a 4000 mile bike ride from Seattle to NY and lands on his grandmother's door stoop at 3 am. I used bike parts for hair & eyes.Leo's beard is made of copper mesh sandwiched between the glass layers. He is also into rock climbing so I used a climbing carabiner for an earring and attached a key (keys have a role in the play) and a Seattle Mariner's  key chain.

French cleats are attached at the back to accommodate safe hanging on the wall.  He is on display and available for purchase at Artist Repertory Theater through the end of May.
Geezer Gallery manages the exhibit....and info is available on site about purchasing.

Leo is an interesting and mostly like-able character. He's a bit immature....still in the process of trying to find himself (not unlike most 21 year olds.) He is a loving grandson who seems caught off guard by the harsher realities of life, but he also has a keen sense of  environmental politics. He is confused about love...and sex.
You'll need to see the play to see what I mean....no spoilers here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Plate in my Journeys Series

This one is called "Each of Us Has A Journey". It was designed after I read the play "4000 Miles" in anticipation of the art show supporting the performance of it at Artist Rep. Theater here in pdx.
There are 4 characters we actually see on stage...and a 5th that appears on Skype.

The base glass is more "vanilla" in color than it appears in this photo...

Thanks to the wonderful folks at Geezer for curating the show. It's pretty exciting to  see my work displayed on pedestals and on a wall!

The exhibit is open daily at 1515 SW Morrison in Portland. It is open Tues-Sat noon-6....and when it's play night!

Monday, May 11, 2015

My Masks

The Play 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog was the inspiration for these playful and colorful masks. These are a departure from my more traditional work and represent not only an exploration of each of the characters but also a journey into mixed media . Only one mask is pure glass. The rest involve bike parts, computer keys, keys, hearing aids, metal, and more.

They are on display and available for purchase at Artist Repertory Theater  through the end of May.  

It's a colorful display curated by Patty Goodlund with Geezer Gallery. Separate from the main lobby exhibit, these masks and other character portraits are located on a wall between the theater and the bar.

Closeups will follow in a few days.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Marriage!

A newly wed couple commissioned this plate after seeing a wall piece with a similar design.
Traveling the banks of the river is a statement drawn from their vows. Blessings to you both.... I hope you enjoy this tray!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

another sneak peak!

Nope....I won't post pics of my masks or glassware at A.R.T. until this weekend.
First Thursday is tomorrow night. Free champagne, noshes, and the opportunity to meet the artists. Learn more about our hosts: Geezer Gallery & A.R.T.

Tonight I will go see the play 4000 Miles that inspired our art! You  should too. I read the play. It is awesome!

Come see us tomorrow night!!!!! You are invited!

Artist Rep. Theater
1515 SW Morrison
Portland, Oregon

Monday, May 4, 2015

4,000 Miles: Glass Mask

                         This is a sneak peek!

Meet Amanda~LilyShe is one of my new glass masks that will be on display at Artist Rep. Theater in Portland through the end of May.

I made 4 character masks based on the play 4,000 Miles written by Amy Herzog. These masks are a new adventure for me and I had a delicious time imagining them! This is the 4th and final mask I made for this production. She is actually 2 characters...or is she?.... but you'll have to see the play to understand my thinking.

Artist Rep. Theater has a gorgeous lobby dedicated to art. Geezer Gallery's Patty Goodlund has curated the show that will celebrate First Thursday on May 7th  between 6:30-7:30pm. A major shout out to Amy Henderson, Geezer's director for everything she has done to make this show a reality. There will be a free reception !

1515 SW Morrison is the place! Come see a variety of art (including mine!)...schmooze with the artists....and discover the themes of this amazing play. I hope you'll decide to get tickets to the play... and I hope you'll find a piece of art that is meant to be yours!

More info can be found at:  http://www.northwestjewishartists.org/trifecta2015.html

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Branching Out!

I've been asked to manufacture 75-90 leaves for a very special project.  I am not at liberty yet to disclose more information.

What's pretty exciting about all this beyond the specialness of the project is that I get to :
a. work with a remarkable artist
b. work with a water jet company and learn more about that process
c. be a part of this wonderful project.

Stay tuned...more info coming soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Breath Holding!

A sneak peak at VERA

The artwork is going up on the A.R.T. lobby walls, but my masks are grounded...temporarily.

The silicon adhesive I used to attach the french cleats require 15-21 days to fully cure.  Patty, Geezer Gallery's wonderful curator tried to mount the masks in traditional plate stands but that didn't work. I was prepared to withdraw the masks, but she kindly offered to put them up when they are ready.

The curtains go up April 28. My masks will go up May 4 or 5, just in time for the VIP reception (First Thursday,May 7). 

The masks are playful interpretations of the characters playwright Amy Herzog created. I'll talk about each of them in future blog posts.

I hope you will join me and my fellow ORA artists May 7th at A.R.T. for a champagne and hors d'oeuvres between 6:30-7:30 pm....and/or come see the art and play on another evening!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friend!!!!

I was born with two hands but needed 4 today as I attempted to attach my first sets of french cleats.  Thank you dear Diane (ORA member, critique group member, and wonderful friend!)

I'm excited to see how this all works out.

The directions indicate a 7-14 day cure time with a 21 day expectation for a full cure. I had no idea it would take that long...so not sure how to display my work at the Geezer Gallery/A.R.T exhibit hall this Monday. Sigh!  

My technique improved by the 3rd mounting project, but there are so many lessons to learn! 

Wish me luck!