Shirley in part of her studio on the PNW Glass Guild’s 2023 Open Studios tour
I’ve been in love with all things glass since a very early age and never realized it until I had the opportunity to explore glass fusing myself in 2013. At that point I was blessed to have the opportunity to grow my love of glass into a business, Studio13 GlassArt, which I founded with the goal of mastering all the elements of glass used in design while instructing others how to do the basics. Why Studio13? My oldest brother (of 5) who also loved glass and dabbled in fusing, died in 2013 from ALS. He was a special person in my life. As well, the numbers 1, 3, 13, 31 all represent important dates in my life. Last of all, Friday the 13th is always my lucky day!
Every day I dream of taking my glass to the next level. Situated on 20 beautiful wooded acres in Washougal, WA, my 1,200 square foot studio/workshop/gallery which was once our home has become a venue for weekend workshops and hopefully more in the years to come. I welcome anyone and everyone to visit my studio and enjoy the aura of creativity that seems to blossom more and more every day. In the 10 years I have been doing this I have developed a unique style that is all my own. My creative designs are recognized by those in the Pacific Northwest seeking local art. Over the years I have taught hundreds of students and have built a loyal following of collectors who appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of my work.
Shirley shows off her frit storage: fired samples on every lid
Shirley’s newest heART piece will be at the one-day Camas HeARTfest art show and sale on February 10th. She also participates in the Washougal Studio Artists Spring tour in May and the PNW Glass Guild’s Open Studios tour in September.
Seattle, Washington (Debbie is now helping produce our newsletter)
I was introduced to glass fusing in 2018 by a friend who invited me to a class at Moltenworks Glass Studio in Woodinville. Although I had never considered myself artistic, I found the three-dimensional nature of glass absolutely fascinating, and couldn’t wait to go back. Thanks to the amazing support and mentorship of PNW Glass Guild members Wendy Hatch and Karen Seymour, as well as the very patient and kind folks at Moltenworks, I’ve learned so many new skills in the past five years and am I excited to be developing my own “voice” as a glass artist.
I particularly enjoy the variety of textures that you can create with fused glass and I continue to explore new techniques. I’ve also become involved this year as a volunteer with the Guild, helping behind the scenes with the newsletter and the website, because I value connecting with other artists and the many learning opportunities that are available as a Guild member.
Hi everyone, I want to wish each of you a Happy New Year! As you can see below we have a new board for the Pacific Northwest Glass Guild and new Team Leads starting this month.
At this week’s board meeting we planned the calendar for the year. Please join us at the events listed in this issue and others that will be upcoming to share the glass experience. I look forward to joining you in experiencing and learning from each other in all facets of the glassmaking experience and sharing in the joy that it can bring to the larger community. Please also consider volunteering in the planning and production of any of the events as well – we need your help. Thanks, Lesley
We are looking for members to shadow board members and/or join the various teams in the upcoming year. This will aid in a smoother transition as new board members step up in the future. It also gives you a chance to see behind the scenes and what it takes to keep the Guild engaging and relevant in your glass journey. Reach out to Lesley Kelly (email@example.com) to volunteer or if you have any questions.
Please take time to reach out and connect…even if you don’t live in the same area. The wonders of technology bring us all just a few clicks away. Members can find contact info for these folks and other members if youlog into pnwglassguild.org and go to “For Members” (which only appears when logged in) and choose Member Contacts List.
Lori Caldwell, Vancouver WA Kirk Casey, Shelton WA Natalie Fobes, Seattle WA Marni Glick, Portland OR
Carol Radkins, Vancouver WA Jean Shaffer, Seattle WA Cathy Shelby, Corvallis OR Dan Terrel, Washougal WA
This well-attended annual event will be held in a different, larger room at the Portland Convention Center. Booths will go on sale Saturday January 20th at 9am. Here’s the Registration info if you want to buy a booth and show/sell your work to thousands of people. Because of the new space we’re not sure how many corners and inline booths we’ll have so we’re guessing and will add more if needed and still available.
In February the GOTG committee will take unsold space and reallocate it to guilds who have already sold out so it’s important to buy your booth by the end of Januaryto avoid missing your chance. Contact Lesley Kelly the GOTG coordinator if you have questions.
Booth prices and commissions remain the same as last year. See Registration info for specifics (this link will be available shortly both here and from the home page).
We’re counting on those who volunteered last year to do so again and talk their glass friends into volunteering too. It’s a great way to talk with other glass artists in person and be inspired by lots of great art.
The Washington State Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards, announced in late November 2023, included two glass artists this year – Lino Tagliopietra and Ginny Ruffner both won Individual Awards.
These are very prestigious awards. According to the press release from ArtsWA, “Established in 1966, the Governor’s Arts & Heritage Awards are the highest honor bestowed by the Governor’s office for accomplishments in arts and culture.”
“These awards are a true community celebration,” said Karen Hanan, Executive Director of ArtsWA. “Nominations poured in from across the state with a clear message: Washington is home to outstanding artists, organizations, and culture bearers that deserve to stand up and be recognized. Their work enriches our communities and enlivens the entire state.”
Originally from Murano, Italy, Lino Tagliapietra is a world renowned glass artist who has had a huge influence on the world of art glass in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. In 1979, Dale Chihuly invited him to the Pilchuck Glass School where he introduced students to the traditions of Venetian glassblowing. Tagliapietra continues to teach and mentor hundreds of artists. He played a key role in laying the foundation for the American Studio Glass movement. His work is displayed internationally as well as in his Seattle showroom.
Ginny Ruffner is a pioneering American glass artist based in Seattle, Washington, with a wide range of work. From lampworking to painted glass sculptures incorporating borosilicate glass, Ruffner has pushed the boundaries of glass art, even venturing into the world of augmented reality. Her public art installations can be found across the Pacific Northwest, including at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Ruffner has inspired, mentored, taught, and supported hundreds of other artists both on her own and through SOLA, the nonprofit organization she founded which recognizes and rewards mature women artists.
Congratulations to both Tagliopietra and Ruffner! Both of these amazing artists have pioneered new techniques and styles, helping make Washington State an international hub for glass art. It is exciting to see fellow glass artists and the medium we love honored and celebrated in this way.
What are the most frequently asked questions in fusing?
What to do with scrap?
What is your firing schedule?
What is the best glue?
Is there a tutorial?
I want to share a glass project that truly made my holidays very special this year.
Let’s talk about scrap…we all have it.
For stained glass artists it becomes smaller art pieces and then over to mosaics for those beautiful shard creations. For fused glass artists there are pot melts, screen melts, vitrograph pots, pattern bars, and so forth.
Our Leduc Lions Club decided to bring some joy to the care homes in our community. We rounded up a choir of our members, picked some well known Christmas carols, dressed up our mascot Lion and brought some goodies with us.
One of the care facilities we wanted to visit did not allow plants, baked goods or chocolates…so the dilemma was, what could we bring as I did not want to disappoint the residents? Simple – since it was Christmas, I volunteered to make and donate a decoration for each person.
After a couple of days of production, I thought maybe I should ask how many decorations we needed. You can probably understand my surprise when the answer was approximately 85…just a few more than I had anticipated. Not a problem though as I had ten days, and I did not want to leave anyone out. I knew I needed to come up with a variety of designs to keep me on task though, as I am not a production artist.
I started by digging through my drawers, shelves, and scrap bin. I found I had a variety of different sizes/colors of dots; murrini and cane I could chop up or already had fused; scrap bits of dichro – some pre-fused, some unfused, a variety of colors of vitrograph pulls; bits of stringers and lots of scrap glass in my stock.
Thank goodness I fill in the extra space in every kiln load with bits, so I had lots of material to play with. I had some clear glass so cut out some triangles, put five together and decorated them…voila stars!
I love hearts so I cut out a heart template and traced it onto two layers of 3mm fiber paper. Using a craft knife, I cut out twenty hearts and filled them with bits of murrini and added some clear powder.
You know you can’t have Christmas without some trees and Santas right? These were made mostly of various triangles and bits of scrap glass, dichro, and stringers…aren’t they adorable?
Melted snowman followed next. I sometimes (well most of the time) have fun cutting white glass, so I had a big bin of white glass to play with for these. They were so fun to make. Just different sized circles, some black iridescent scrap for the hats and eyes and a bit of orange for the “carrot” nose. I added some stringer arms and more dichro scrap for buttons etc. and a little blue frit for contrast. (I recommend a tack fuse on these).
Lastly, we had to have some Christmas balls to put on the trees, so back to the scrap bins. The iridescent clear specialty glass was perfect for these. I made a circle and a teardrop shape and then decorated them. Next time I would add a bit of gold irid or silver irid at the top to represent the metal hanger.
I have some new ideas for next year already, but I’m happy to say that the residents and staff loved their little gift. Best Christmas ever!
At the January 28th meeting, we will discuss“Using Enamels in Glasswork”. Sponsor Fusion Headquarters‘ owner Gil Reynolds will demonstrate how their lines of enamels work and which are best for certain types of work. Plus he will show some new techniques. We’ve also heard he may announce a short special sale on enamels for our members.
Several other people will be talking about other types of enamels and techniques (so far Greta Schneider and Rae Williamson)
On February 25th we will talk about “Ways to Use Your Scrap” Do you have an interesting way to use up scrap glass? Please contact our VPs so they can add you to the speaker lineup (and please send a photo of a scrap project for the March newsletter).
Enameled owl by Greta Schneider
The unedited November 2023 “Kid’s Projects” MeetingRecording is now available to logged in members under Glass>Education . Here are some images Rachel was trying to show in the video.
Did you miss a recent meeting but wish you hadn’t? Members can log in to view videos of recent General Meetings that have been uploaded to Glass>Education on the PNWGlassGuild.org menu. Some of the recent ones are unedited in order to make them available sooner. If someone wants to help their fellow members by editing them we’d really appreciate it, please contact Karen Seymour to volunteer.
The Guild Board Meeting on Jan 15th discussed the major events for the year (see the calendar) and the specifics of Gathering of the Guilds (see article above). Here are the highlights: • One Wednesday a month an in-person troubleshooting and discussion group now called “Sherlocking” will revive the pre-Covid Portland discussion for members wanting to troubleshoot their glass pieces and techniques. • There will be a Vendor Fair in Seattle in May and one in Portland in October. • Summer picnics will occur throughout the area during July and August. • There will also probably be a guild booth at the Portland Rose Festival again 3 weekends this summer • Open Studios in Portland will be September 21-22 • Carlyne Lynch brought up the idea of doing a holiday popup in Portland. You might talk with her about it if you are interested in the idea.
• Several members were in or attended shows, two sent photos:
Roz Cooper at the Elsie Stuhr Center’s Holiday Bazaar (Thanks Bill Cooper)
Gail Haskett at the Hockinson Holiday Bazaar (Thanks Kate Nichols)
Please send us photos of your glass events!
Having a photo makes it so much easier to invite people to participate in an event next year. If you are part of or go to a glass event please take some photos and send the best 2 to the publicity team (400 to 600 px or “medium” resolution, about 500 KB, not more than 1MB if you can help it).
The Gathering of the Guilds show (GOTG) in Portland April 19-21 will take much of the Guild’s energy between now and then as previously mentioned • See last year’s event writeup for photos. • See Registration info. Booth sales will start Saturday January 20th at 9am. • Please consider volunteering to help with the show!
If you’ve never been to The Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, get on the list for notification of the spring tour (May 1-4). Tickets go on sale in February: they go fast for a reason.
• One Wednesday a month, starting with Feb 21st at 7pm, an in person troubleshooting and discussion group “Sherlocking” will revive the pre-Covid Portland discussion for members wanting to troubleshoot their glass pieces and techniques.
• Seattle is reviving the Glass etc. potluck brunch at Karen Seymour’s every couple of months. Feb 4th is the next one. Anyone interested in glass is welcome.
General meetings in 2024 are via Zoom, usually on the 4th Sunday of most months, at 3:30 pm.
Contact our VP if you have suggestions for future topics. You don’t need to be a member to attend our General Meetings but we would love to have you join.
For several hundred years, glass crafts people have created murrine, small slices of cane traditionally created in a hot shop crucible. This ancient technique required hot glass to be melted in crucibles around the clock. The Vitrigraph kiln changed that and now within a few hours artists can replicate this hot shop process and produce cane and elements for their fusing glass projects.
I sell 4” pots, 5” pots, and 7” pots designed for Vitrigraph. I also make custom bottoms for specialty pulls. Classes on designing pots offered. Members: log in and check the About> Sponsor page to see how to get a discount.
Examples of pots and different bottoms. Available in 4″, 5″ and 7″.
These companies and organizations are an integral part of the glass art community. We thank our Sponsors for supporting our Guild through either generous donations or by offering discounts to our Members. Please take time to thank them for their generosity when you visit their businesses.
Gold Level Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors
Artifex Toolworks – Glass Alchemy – HIS Glass Works