Hi, I’m Cheryl Chapman and my business is Silly Dog Art Glass. I have been working with glass since 1990 when I took a stained glass class at the local junior college. I have been making a living with glass pretty much the whole time, first working at a small studio designing and building windows, then building and installing windows for private clients and even working as an office manager of a glass supplier and glass beveler for many years.
I’ve been fusing for about 20 years and when I began enameling on glass about 15 years ago, I never looked back. I fell in love with the process of painting on glass to present my drawings in a way that is unique to me. I am mostly self-taught. I don’t have any art schooling and have taken only a few glass classes – two semesters for stained glass at the junior college, one weekend of glass fusing with Gil Reynolds, and one several day workshop on glass enameling with Cappy Thompson. The rest I have figured out on my own with trial and error and research. When I began painting, I simply knew what I wanted the results to look like and then figured out how to get that look. I tried all kinds of shortcuts, but finally settled on methods that may take longer, but satisfy my aesthetic.
I do teach my reverse enameling techniques at workshops here and there as well as occasionally at my home studio in La Pine, OR. I like teaching the in-person workshops, but I also sell a video tutorial that gives you the basics of my process as well. Many people find that taking the workshop and having the video as a back up after the class works well for them to help remember all the steps and stages. I’m also always available to answer questions long after the class is done.
I’m always looking at new ideas for “products” to make and sell. I currently have my work in four different galleries/shops and find that in order to make money selling glass work I must have a good combination of accessibility (pricewise) and unique designs. So, I make several different types of items at different price points ranging from $15 to $500. And I frequently get bored making similar items over and over, so they tend to change and adapt over time. I have a few new ideas to work on this spring and am looking forward to getting to work on them.
Before I moved to Oregon, I lived in a small mountain community in southern California. That is where I joined an artists’ network that got me excited about being an actual artist and I forged friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m glad I’ve finally joined this glass guild and I hope I can meet many of you in person or virtually. I love seeing what other people are creating and hearing about how they got where they are today and what they are excited about doing in the future.
Please feel free to reach out to me via social media – you can find me on Instagram and Facebook under Silly Dog Art Glass. Or through my website at SillyDogArtGlass.com.
I came to the world of fused glass in the way that I suppose most of us did; I had been working with stained glass since the early 1990’s when I “discovered” glass that had been manipulated in a kiln. Until then, I hadn’t realized that was an option! I was living in rural British Columbia (I still am) and the internet was relatively new, but my fortuitous visit to a glass retailer in Idaho awakened me to an art form that has been my passion for over 10 years now.
Shortly after buying my first kiln (encouraged by my husband) I attended the Glass Expo in Las Vegas, where I took some introductory courses in order to learn the basics. From there, I did a lot of experimenting. There are no fusing shops near me, so I had to improvise with what I had on hand to try to bring forth the ideas bubbling in my brain. I’m grateful for that. I think if I could run to a glass shop every time I thought I needed a particular tool or supply, I wouldn’t have had to become creative/innovative with what was in my studio. Within all of that experimenting, I came up with some techniques that I put into the tutorials that I sell in my shop on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SarahMillerGlass I have a Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/SarahMillerGlassTutorials related to the tutorials, which is full of tips and mini-tutorials. It has been very gratifying to be able to share in this way.
Before Covid, my husband and I would make the 9 hour drive down to Portland each fall. We would go to the Bullseye Resource Center, so I could stock up for the following year, and we’d also take part in the Run like Hell 5K. I miss that, and I miss Portland, and I wonder sometimes if I’ll ever get back down there. For now I’m ordering from Bullseye online, grateful that they ship into Canada. Having the tutorials and the Facebook group, and being part of the Glass Guild makes me feel connected to other fusers, and I’m grateful for that as well.
During this quiet time of Covid, I often find that I’m not drawn to working with glass. I’ve started working with textiles, making small art quilts using some of the same methods I use with glass. It’s quite amazing how similar quilting is to fusing, actually. That’s not to say that I haven’t been producing glass pieces.
I did quite a few pet portraits last year, just before Christmas. All of them were based on photos that were emailed to me by the person requesting the portrait. After working with the photos so intensely, I often felt like I knew the animal, which was really nice. I tried to capture the essence of the animal without just copying the photo. I mostly used just black powder, but every once in a while I added some color, as you see in this little one’s ears.
I so enjoyed creating the animal portraits that I decided to challenge myself by doing a person. My niece and her husband were separated by Covid, so I decided to do a portrait for her. I had intended to use only powder, as I did with the animals, but as I started on this I realized that dichro glass would be fabulous for the sunglasses, so I ran with that.
Of all the techniques I use and enjoy, I think the powdered evergreens is the one I’ll always keep coming back to. I have no idea how many pieces I’ve done using this technique, but I just find it so relaxing and satisfying. I can just do it without having to stress about anything. (This is one of the tutorials that I sell.)
Looking at these photos, which are some of my favorite pieces, I guess I’d say that I don’t have a particular style. The common thread running through all of them is that I’ve documented the creation of each one. I’ve been doing that pretty much since I started fusing. I find it really interesting to see how a piece looks during all of the stages of creation. That’s the sort of thing I like to share in the Facebook group.
I’m looking forward to a new year of creating, and to being inspired by your creations! -Sarah Miller www.sarahmillerglass.com
As we begin a new year it is appropriate to look back and celebrate what went well in 2021. During our annual holiday celebration December general meeting, I enjoyed hearing the 2021 successes. Members’ comments included:
Engagement via Zoom – as a regional organization it is important to engage with members across the region virtually.
Play Days – members enjoyed the recent play days and use of Zoom that made it feel like everyone is in the same room, learning new techniques and sharing our love of glass art.
General Meetings – keeping general meetings informative and opportunities to spotlight members’ art and sharing techniques
Website – recent updates to the website were acknowledged. Thank you to all the members that have been involved in bringing this to reality. Are you an IT guru? We would love to have you join us as the Webmaster. Please reach out to find out how you can help us by volunteering for this critical position.
VOLUNTEERS – members recognized all the great work that the Guild member volunteers have done. Without our volunteers we would not be able to continue as an organization. Thank you for the support and hard work that everyone does every day to advance the mission of Pacific Northwest Glass Guild. I look forward to the privilege of working with all of you.
It is now time to turn to 2022 and what activities we will focus on for the coming year. Some ideas shared included:
Increased regional activities
Continue informative general meetings – share your ideas for general meetings with Rachel Dollar – PNWGG Vice President
Member Exchange Event
To make it easy to send Terry your ideas, here’s a form to type them into.
I would love to hear even more suggestions that you have so we can see how we can continue to work to increase the value of your membership while fulfilling the mission of the Pacific Northwest Glass Guild.
Thank you for your continued support of Pacific Northwest Glass Guild. It is a privilege to serve as your President and I look forward to hearing feedback on how we can expand our impact on your art education. Speaking of impact, please check out our Sponsors when you are in the market for new supplies, tools, or glass education. Be sure to mention your membership and thank them for supporting us.
May January be filled with new exploration and creativity in your glass journey!
Valentine’s Day is celebrated every February 14 as couples across the globe honor their spouses, partners and sweethearts. Hundreds of years of traditions and customs have made it into the holiday we observe today. When it rolls around lovers and friends exchange chocolates, jewelry and other gifts. Although this popular holiday has become known for its sweet Hallmark cards and romantic dinner ideas for two, the history of Valentine’s Day is actually pretty dark.
St. Valentines wasn’t just one person. There is actually some confusion surrounding which St. Valentine the holiday technically honors. One Valentine was a priest in third century Rome who defied Emperor Claudius II’s ban on marriage (he thought it distracted the young soldiers), illegally marrying couples in the spirit of love until he was caught and sentenced to death. The other legend suggests that Valentine was killed attempting to help Christians escape prison in Rome, and that he actually sent the first “valentine” message himself while imprisoned, writing a letter which he signed “From you Valentine”.
Some trace Valentine’s Day origins to a Christian effort to replace a pagan fertility festival that dated back to the 6th century BC. During the festival of Lupercalia, Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for the year.
Every year, thousands of romantics send letters addressed to Verona, Italy to “Juliet,” the subject of the timeless romantic tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet.” The city marks the location of the Shakespearean tale. The letters that reach the city are dutifully answered by a team of volunteers from the Juliet Club. Each year they award the “Cara Giulietta” (Dear Juliet) prize to the author of the most touching love letter.
The Valentine’s Day tradition of giving a box of chocolates was started in the 19th century by Richard Cadbury, a scion of a British chocolate manufacturing family. With a new technique recently established at the company to create more varieties of chocolate, Cadbury pounced on the opportunity to sell chocolates in heart boxes as part of the beloved holiday.
History’s first valentine was written in perhaps one of the most unromantic places conceivable: a prison. Charles, Duke of Orleans wrote to the love of his life (second wife) at the age of 21 while captured at the Battle of Agincourt. As a prisoner for more than 20 years, he would never see his valentine’s reaction to the poem he penned to her in the early 15th century.
During the Victoria Era, those who didn’t want the attention of certain suitors would anonymously send “vinegar valentines.” These cards, also called Penny dreadful, were the antithesis of customary valentines, comically insulting and rejecting unwanted admirers. They were later used to target suffragettes in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The term “wearing your heart on your sleeve” may have origins in picking a valentine. Smithsonian reports that during the Middle Ages, men would draw the names of women who they would be paired with for the upcoming year while attending a Roman festival honoring Juno. After choosing, the men wore the names on their sleeves to show their bond during the festivities.
The iconic chalky heart-shaped candies that have been passed out lovingly every Valentine’s Day started out as lozenges. According to the Food Business News, pharmacist and inventor Oliver Chase created a machine that would quickly create the heart shaped lozenges before switching to using the machine to create candy – later known as Necco Wafers. Chase’s brother came up with the idea to print messages on the candy in 1866, and the candies got their heart shape in 1901, appealing specifically to Valentine’s Day sweethearts.
The chubby baby with wings and a bow and arrow that we call Cupid has been associated with Valentine’s Day for centuries. However, before he was renamed Cupid, he was known by the ancient Greeks as Eros, the god of love. Eros, the son of Greek goddess Aphrodite, would use two sets of arrows – one for love and another for hate – to play with the emotions of his targets. It wasn’t until stories of his mischief were told by the Romans that he adopted the childlike appearance that we recognize today.
The idea of using a kiss to sign off on valentines also has a long history according to the Washington Post. The use of “X” came to represent Christianity, or the cross, in the Middle Ages. During the same time, the symbol was used to sign off on documents. After marking with an X, the writer would often kiss the mark as a sign of their oath. As the gesture grew among the kings and commoners to certify books, letters and paperwork, these records were describes as having been “sealed with a kiss.”
International Quirkyalone Day is the holiday for single people the same date. The holiday isn’t an anti-Valentine Day event, but rather a moment to celebrate self love and platonic relationships. It has been celebrated globally since 2003.
Nearly 6 million couples get engaged on Valentine’s Day.
8 million conversation hearts (those candy hearts with words on them Nedco Wafers) are manufactured every year and they have a shelf life of five years.
Americans spent over $20 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2019 and is was expected that in 2020, they would spend $27.4 billion.
And last but not least, Lovebirds are actually birds…It’s the common name for the Agapornis bird which is native to the continent of Africa and they typically travel in pairs, which is why many couples are referred to as lovebirds.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all those who celebrate it.
If you do glass for a long time….like many of your fellow glass artists, you will like to take classes to learn lots of different techniques and also do experiments on your own. While some of the information seems quite simple and easy to remember….most of us will find over time…there are SO MANY ways to handle and fire glass that it is really easy to forget exactly how you created that desired affect! It really pays to keep good notes (that you can find) on what worked and what didn’t…as well as firing schedules. It also helps to make and keep notes of changes to firing schedules based on experience with your personal kiln. Every kiln fires slightly differently. Another great idea is to make simple SAMPLE SETS that clarify what happens to glass in various circumstances.
I do a lot of dichroic work…and dichro changes a lot both with viewing angles…but especially when it is fired. If you hold a piece of dichro at about a 45 degree angle… you can see sort of what color it will be after firing… when viewed straight on. However…. when I am looking for some very specific colors….. or something more monochromatic but the varied shades are important…… I cut some very small pieces of my dichro…. and make an sample set of those colors….fired and unfired, to keep. Because your pieces will turn out better, in the long run…. the small amount of dichro you use up in the samples will actually save you money. I have included here – first some samples of just reds and oranges on black glass……(from Spirit of Glass). The raw red dichro can even look brown or green… seems illogical…. but it will fire to lovely reds and oranges. Look how much the fired colors (smaller and more rounded) change. One photo is straight on and the other at an angle. The angle gives you a clue to the fired color….but this is much easier to see in person rather than a photo.
Red and orange dichro samples fired and unfired to see the actual color change. the smaller more rounded pieces are fired.
This shows the same sheet of fired and unfired colors held at an angle.
The next shot is dichro on clear glass….laid over black paper to show the colors better. As you can see…some colors change more than others…. but that is helpful to know beforehand, so your finished piece is in the color range you expected or hoped for.
The next photo (with the hearts) is of samples of colored powders mixed with clear powder. If you want to mix a color and repeat it…. do it by WEIGHT, not sight! These samples were done using a freeze-n-fuse method but just a multi-section mold works well too. It really shows how strong some colors are…..even a 20 % saturation can produce a LOT of color!
Another sample set that is helpful is using lines of powders that crisscross so you not only see the actual colors…. but which ones react with each other and what color that reaction produces. With every class or project…you will learn a little more…..and if you can memorialize the information in a simple and effective way…. especially if you can produce a visual sample….(a picture is worth a thousand words)…. you will find these reference pieces to be really useful for years to come and also very helpful if you would like to explain an idea or process to someone else. It is also so nice to be able to answer a question about something at a glance…rather than stopping in the middle of a project …. and having to run tests. Have fun….(and also take notes and photos)! You’ll be glad you did.
Copyleft: free to use for educational purposes and personal use only, with attribution.
This year the monthly General Meeting will be held the 4th Sunday of every month beginning at 3:30 pm. We are in the midst of scheduling guests and finding out what our members would like to gain from these get togethers.
January 23rd we will have studio organization tips and tricks. If you would like sign up to share an organization tool you can’t live without please contact Rachel by email or 360-910-3377 so she can get you added to the list of guest speakers.
February 27th the PNWGG team is having teachers share what they have learned from their students. Please let Rachel know if you would like to share your experiences.
Other ideas we would like feedback on include:
How to market your business in 2022 with the increase of technology.
How to market on social media. What is Reddit, TikTok and how can social platforms benefit artists?
Share your skills sets and specialties, what are you willing to share and mentor others on?
How can we help each other expand our glass horizons?
Sharing supplies meeting, what do you need, what do you have an abundance of you wish to share. Reaching out for help with a project, or idea.
If you want to see previous general meetings log in and go to the Glass>Education page
We want to know what our community would like to gain from the PNWGG. All and any other ideas are welcome and can be sent to Rachel.
Our link for finding a teacher is really taking off, thank you to Karen for getting that set up. If you would like to be added to the list of members who teach please fill out the form on the bottom of the page.
The annual Gathering of The Guilds is currently planned to be in-person May 6th – 8th, 2022 at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland. Masks and showing proof of vaccination at the door will be required.
Details of how to apply for booths etc. will be posted as they become available, watch for the email or check back at the end of January.
Glass Art Society in Tacoma May 18 to 21, 2022
Registration started Nov. 15th for the Glass Art Society’s Annual ConferenceMay 18-21, 2022 in Tacoma, WA. This huge event happens in a different city every year. GAS is celebrating its 50th year in 2022 and the conference is on our doorstep. Go and see glass from all over the world.
Member Bridget Culligan says “I went to the GAS conference in 2018, it was my first and only GAS conference. I was blown away by so many things. The glass artists were sharing, and interesting, and fun, welcoming and kind. I attended lectures on glass history, it’s future and lots of demos by artists at the top of their games. Even though I work in stained glass/warm glass, I found it of incredible value. How lucky we are to have GAS in Tacoma in 2022. I’ll be there! and hope to meet you there too.”
What do you want out of the Guild to further your glass-artistry growth? Speak up.
There’s reciprocity in any organization: the more energy you contribute, the more you get out of it.
“I’ve been a member for almost 2 years. But these have been Covid years. I joined because there was a discount for members in the on-line contest. Then I started attending the Guild’s General Meetings via Zoom and volunteered to help with the new website and newsletter. Then I started going to Board meetings to see how the decisions were being made.
Instead of feeling isolated by Covid restrictions, I have lots of new glass friends: I know who to call if I want help exploring new areas like dichro or cane pulling or lots of other things. Someday I’ll even get to meet these inspiring new friends in person.” (Karen Seymour, Seattle)
Things YOU can do to get more out of your membership:
1) You don’t even need to be a member to attend the General Meetings. “Studio tips” (members showing how they solved their organizing and other studio issues) is coming up January 23rd. Since meetings are Zoom you don’t even have to leave home. This year they will be from 3:30pm to 5pm on the 4th Sunday of most months.
These are NOT business meetings, they are discussions of various topics of interest to glass artists. Sometimes it’s a very narrow topic like “How Fusing Temperature Affects Texture”, sometimes of much wider interest like “Pricing Your Work” or “Lighting”. Meeting videos are posted in Glass>Education on the website for logged in members to view if they missed a meeting or want to review a topic.
2) Send meeting ideas or volunteer to share your insights to our VP Rachel Dollar. She’s currently looking for “Studio Tips” for January 23rd and “What I learned From My Students” (tips on teaching glass classes) for February 27th. Watch some of the meeting videos and you’ll see it’s not scary, just talking for a few minutes to a group of friends.
3) Share any ideas with our President, Terry Thomas by email or just by typing them in the survey form.
4) Go a step further and attend a Board meeting to participate in the discussion of how we implement your idea. The next Board meeting is Monday Feb. 7th at 7pm via Zoom. Members can go to email prefs in their account settings to sign up for the “Guild Business” emails to get the agenda and Zoom links for Board meetings
5) Volunteer: you can start small by helping with or hosting a Play Day or helping Rachel with a General Meeting. If you’re in the Portland area Gathering Of the Guilds in May will need lots of volunteers. Or join one of the teams with on-going projects.
6) Host an event: The Guild has an established presence in the Portland OR area for historic reasons but wants to help glass events throughout the Pacific NW. Doing so in your city requires a member in your city to lead the effort. If not you, then who?
When you ask the Guild to sponsor your event you’ll get website, newsletter, email, and Facebook publicity plus you can usually find a member who has done a similar event to give you some tips and answer questions.
Guild Picnic in Seattle, August 2021
You have a voice: use it and you’ll get much more value from your membership.
Lyn Kennison (Fletcher Designer II cutter, QEP Extreme Nippers, Narrow Metal Running Pliers)
Carlyne Lynch (PMC150 DarteGlass Pneumatic Murrini Chopper, Nipeeze nipper, and “Glass Cutter Hand Tool” about $19.50 on Amazon)
Rachel Dollar (Fletcher Designer II wide head to cut thick glass)
General meetings in 2022
will be on the 4th Sunday of most months at 3:30pm via Zoom. You don’t even need to be a member to attend. Help make the next two especially informative by volunteering to share your insights:
January 23rd General Meeting: Studio tips January 23rd from 3:30 pm to 5 pm join us on Zoom for a show and tell of tips from our members on organizing your studio, your inventory etc.” Please contact Rachel Dollar
February 27th General Meeting: What I’ve learned from my students: Have you ever wondered what it takes to teach a glass class? Some of the PNW’s experienced glass teachers talk about things they’ve learned about teaching glass classes through the process of teaching it. Join us February 27 at 3:30pm on Zoom. See our find a teacher page if you are looking for a member who gives classes or want to be listed on that page.
Contact our new VP Rachel Dollar so she can arrange a speaker order. She also wants to hear your suggestions for future topics
(Guild sponsored events are bolded)
Members can submit glass related events to the calendar with this form
Having a photo makes it so much easier to invite people to participate in an event next year. If you go to a glass event please take some photos and send the best 2 to the marketing team (400 to 600 px or “medium” resolution, about 500 KB, not more than 1MB).
Creative Ceramics & Glass and Blue Fire Molds is a company dedicated to providing quality slumping molds for the glass professional and hobbyist. We have been in the ceramics industry for over 30 years and have been dedicated to providing fine quality ceramic products for many needs. Our expert staff will assist you with any questions concerning the glass and mold industry.
Creative Ceramics & Glass and Blue Fire Molds has a large inventory of glass molds for your use including the common shapes and many unique shapes for a variety of uses. Many of our molds have sidewalls for ease of use and when appropriate have side holes to help in the distribution of heat while the glass is being slumped in the kiln.
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
Colour de Verre – Artifex Toolworks – Glass Alchemy – D&L Art Glass – HIS Glass Works – Bonny Doon