Hello glass friends! I’m Pam Archuleta, and my husband, Sky, and I are Sua Lana Glass Art in Scappoose, Oregon. Sua Lana (pronounced ‘Shwa Lana’) is a Basque term that means ‘created by hand with fire.’
Our business was borne from our love of art and a fascination with glass. I began my journey in glass some 15+ years ago when I was inspired to take classes in glassblowing. At the time, I truly didn’t realize there were so many ways of working with glass, and my experience with glassblowing quickly blossomed to include torch work and fusing in various ways. The process that has proven most interesting in my exploration so far is pate de verre because it’s a complex process that taught me many things about glass and its properties, and gave me an opportunity to learn how to make many different types of molds.
I began making pate de verre pieces after seeing a small bowl at the Bullseye Resource Center that captured my imagination. Bullseye was offering classes at the time, so I happily signed up to learn. I really liked the bowl I made in class, but didn’t honestly know what to do with it when I brought it home. I decided to put it on my fireplace mantle and light it up with a small candle. The way it glowed was so beautiful it inspired me to make a lamp shade. A friend encouraged me to enter my lamp in the fair that year, and it earned first place at both the Columbia County and Oregon State Fairs.
Around the time I was learning pate de verre, Sky retired from his engineering management career in high tech and was looking for a new adventure. Sky is very creative and has always loved to do artwork. Most of his art involved painting, drawing, woodworking and playing guitar, but he ventured out to the studio one day and began to work on a pate de verre piece. It’s always wonderful to have a creative person to work with in the studio, but even better when it’s your best friend and partner for over 40 years. This was the beginning of Sua Lana. We decided to focus our business on creating pate de verre lighting because we both love the way light shines through glass with this technique, and saw an opportunity to make beautiful lighting in a style we hadn’t previously seen. Today we’ve got table lamps and pendant lights in penthouse suites, yacht clubs, doctor’s offices, and private homes, and we’ve enjoyed making every piece. To Sky and I, the most gratifying part of creating each light is the positive energy we’ve received from our customers. We’ve truly received as much love from our customers as we’ve put into our artwork.
Welcome to Spring, here’s hoping the weather catches up to the season soon. It is great to see more in-person events available regionally. I hope everyone had great success at the Gathering of the Guilds in Portland, OR and Art in Bloom in Seattle, WA and other events that you have participated in over the last month.
Speaking of great glass events, be sure to check out the Glass Art Society annual conference “Between Here and There” in Tacoma, WA as they celebrate 50 years as a glass society. Check out the lineup of events they have planned over the four-day conference. Last day to register on-line for full conference is May 13, 2022, so check it out today.
The PNW Glass Guild is in the planning process for summer events, which may include in-person, regional picnics. Be sure to check out the event calendar as the events are finalized, in the meantime if you have recommendations or ideas drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with your feedback.
“Shards of glass can cut and wound or magnify a vision.” –Terry Tempest Williams
This year’s Gathering of the Guilds was truly exciting! PNW Glass Guild members Kory and Rachel Dollar, Sharon Dunham, Janiene Fitzpatrick, Kim Lawrence, Carlyne Lynch, Lesley Kelly, Lyn Kennison, Mari Aoki Knight, Mitzi Kugler, Lisa Mustain, Rose and Gerald McBride, Karla Fant Piatt, and Greta Schneider proudly showcased their work. Everyone praised Lesley Kelly’s ability to keep everything running smoothly. Carlyne Lynch did publicity. Mitzi Kugler coordinated and scheduled volunteers. Linda Roman and Kate Nichols handled sales in the group booth. There were also many additional volunteers without which the show couldn’t have happened: Shelby Anderson, Kim Graham, Jennifer Hart, Anita Harting, Kevin Kanyo, Teresa Kaufman, Barbara Kienle, Gary Knight, Kari Kugler, Rob Lawrence, Eric True, Mr. Piatt, Debbie Vourtas, Kathie Wise as well as several others whose names didn’t get written down. We thank you all.
Once the show opened, our eyes were met with a visual smorgasbord of glass treats. We had color, form, depth, texture, composition, and value. A variety of Glass Mediums were featured: Stained Glass, Mosaics, Fused Glass, Torchwork, and combinations of all. The show had fine craft items as well as fine art. It offered a break from looking at glass on our computer and smartphone screens to view glass and its depth of colors, transparency and light reflection!
Kim Lawrence sets up for her very first show.
Kory and Rachael Dollar demonstrated and displayed new visual art approaches to glass-on-glass mosaics and utilization of fused component pieces. Rose and Gerald McBride displayed stained glass art and new “slider” painterly glass. Greta not only brought her fabulous jewelry but also her enamel animal portraits. Lisa created customized stands out of metal to showcase her playful little monsters. Janiene Fitzpatrick showed her extreme mastery of her kiln with her giant flowers. Mitzi Kugler had her beautiful scenic pieces and her popular solar glass flowers.
The Ukraine donations table
Lesley Kelly created the Ukrainian fund raising table and stacked it with great donations. Lyn had a catchy corner booth that had a little of everything. Carlyne provided diagrams and introduced anyone near her booth to information about vitrigraph. She also displayed truly original vitrigraph / murrini landscapes and slider art pieces. Karla Fant Piatt’s animals with flowing lines artfully captured motion. Mari Aoki Knight showed her lovely glass flower jewelry.
Carlyne Lynch says “For me, the best part of the show was to view and experience the glass landscapes of our PNW Glass Guild artists. Their pieces were invitations to share parts of their lives. We all worked hard to make this a colorful and joyful experience. Our volunteers helped with set-up of the “Gallery” featuring many fine pieces. All of us were exhausted by show’s end but we hung together and talked, shared experiences and our glass knowledge, as we sold our diverse array of art”. Here are some videos Carlyne took at the show part 1, part 2, and part 3
A few years ago Rae Williamson got me (Greta Schneider) involved in an online glass “Challenge” put on by Kelly Crosser Alge, using her sgraffito technique with black glass powder. I occasionally had a hard time getting a project done each day but I still got so much out of the challenges. There were 30 challenges in 30 days but particularly in the beginning they were very quick, literally minutes for each piece and meant to be quick, easy….and not kept. Of course you didn’t have to do every one….. but it was nice doing the challenge online where we could compare projects with the other artists and also get more ideas. My thoughts on this came about partly because of discussions of how much things have changed due to Covid……with few meetings in person and no live shows for two years now. Many of us have taken a break from our normal artistic routines. However, that can also be viewed as an opportunity! What I liked about this particular challenge was that it was not a complicated technique… .but it really made you realize that you could “go back to the basics” and learn a LOT! It was very “freeing” to have to do lots of very quick projects in the beginning…. sometimes just minutes to produce each one….and with limited “tools”. You were supposed to take a photo and then dump it afterwards. No firing at first unless you really wanted to save something, your choice. It was to make us loosen up….take a shot…play….and not get all hung up on what we thought a finished project “should” look like. Kelly has a few videos online showing how she does some of her techniques that are fun to watch if you are interested and she will probably be doing more online challenges too. I’m going to include a few photos with quick examples I did using very simple things like business cards, wooden skewers, my fingers or a brush…..to create a pattern, shape or shading. That was part of the fun… realizing how much texture and shading you can get using very simple items rather than actual tools! This general idea also applies to other forms of fused glass. A piece of art doesn’t always have to be complicated… sometimes the simplicity is what makes something truly striking and beautiful.
The first photo shows just a simple fence in front of a bush…….done in seconds by dragging a business card through a light coating of black glass powder. The second photo uses a quick egg shaped stencil, cut from paper…and then powder lightly sprinkles mostly around the edge…..and it is amazing how much shape that simple act creates. Then by lightly dragging a card, or whatever works best for you, gently around the edge….you create just a very light but crisp exterior line. This makes a cute Easter egg too, if you draw designs across the egg with a wooden skewer, for instance. This general technique works well for creating realistic looking fruit. The next two shots are trees and branches and a little vegetation drawn in just seconds with wood sticks, paint brushes, rubber tips, etc. Add little bits of powder to thicken some areas with your fingers or a small spoon. Try all kinds of things to see what sort of impressions or drag marks they make. One of the last projects we did for the challenge was a face, either a self portrait or someone else we wanted to do….so I chose Albert Einstein. Another challenge project was something we were afraid of. I worry more about spiders than sharks but I didn’t want to look at a piece of glass art with a spider as a subject. I doubt I’ll ever get to swim in the ocean again…..so I went with a shark for the scary subject. The desert scene is just something I decided to try using the techniques I had played with during the challenge and I was quite pleased with the results. I thought it was interesting how many textures and shading differences you could create with rather subtle movements and it is something that will be useful in completely unrelated glass projects. Also, think how much you could do by combining painting enamels or line art with the powder shading.
We should all go back to basics sometimes….and play…..because we have all learned better ways to complete our projects as our glass journey has progressed…… so you can do something now that you maybe tried and weren’t that happy with when you first started glass…..and bring a whole batch of new skills to your work! Playing and experimenting can really bring new excitement, new ideas and better results to your glass work no matter what technique you use or how long you have been a glass artist.
General meeting May 22nd, 3:30pm via Zoom: Review of past events (and looking towards those coming up)
Vendors will talk about the successes from the May 6-8 Gathering of the Guilds, what we could do to improve, and we we did well. We’d also appreciate hearing how other recent shows went and how they dealt with various issues. In addition you can share your thoughts on up-coming events like Play Days, Guild Picnics, Open Studios, Vendor Fair, etc.. Anyone is welcome at our general meetings See the event listing for the Zoom link and more details.
Part of belonging to a Guild is getting together with others who share your interests. A Play Day is a free, informal gathering of Guild members to explore some facet of glass work, usually held at a member’s house. This isn’t the host being a teacher, it’s a chance to get together and play with glass. There are some videos of Play Days on the Guild website under Glass>Education. Log-in before going to any of these links: Enamel, done as before and after sessions in 3 videos, Fossil Vitria done as a Zoom, Vitrograph pulling, edited to show process rather than beginner’s learning experiences.
How to set up a Play Day
Think of some glass technique that can be done in about 3 hours or broken into 2 to 3 hour chunks. Figure out how much space it needs and how many people you feel comfortable hosting in person.
Put together a materials list. It’s OK to put out a donations bucket to defray your costs if it isn’t a project that has members bringing all their own materials.
Invite members over to play. Guild Play Days are member only events so please ask folks to join the Guild before they attend.
If you want the publicity of making it a Guild event, notify the Play Days coordinator and they’ll see that it gets on the calendar and sent out in the Guild news. If there’s enough lead time we can also publicize it through the Newsletter.
Making it a Zoom meeting allows all members to join in and helps promote the broader reach of the Guild. Doing this successfully requires getting a volunteer who acts as Zoom intermediary for the on-line participants rather than taking an active part in the Play Day projects.
We encourage you to record it, edit it, and put a link to it in the education section of the website for members to watch later (give links to the websites of instructors you’ve taken classes from rather than sharing their secrets). Contact Karen Seymour for help uploading your video to the Guild’s website or send her a link to it on your own Youtube channel.
We also welcome a short article with photos about your Play Day. Send it to the newsletter editors.
Check the Guild calendar and watch your email for a Play Day near you!
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).
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