What drives me? Passion. Lifelong learning. No matter what you think you know, glass is in charge and continues to engage, challenge, and inspire me. From the first time I saw a hand-blown vessel, I was hooked on the liveliness of the color. I eat up the challenge. I am a person who wants to win and when an opportunity arises I am likely to say, “Well, I’ve never done that before, but YES, I can do it”, and then I find a way.
When working out a custom design I start with the intention of communicating an emotion with such power and clarity that my client can actually feel the same thing. This is miraculous! We can never be sure of course if it is the SAME feeling, but that is my goal.
How can I grow as an artist? I grow my skills through community. I have found my tribe and we geek out about all things stained glass. My community is my greatest resource. I am an apprentice learning an ancient craft from master craftsmen. From my first teacher who has been “doing stuff” for 40+ years to the wonder of watching Jim at Fremont Antique Glass, to attending conferences with SGAA [Stained Glass Association of America] and GAS [Glass Art Society], to collecting a library of books, I want to know it deeply. I am grateful to others who have been so generous with me regarding their time, experience and resources. Without them I don’t exist.
Who am I? A woman, an elder, and an explorer who is filled with curiosity and who is filling my basket with wisdom. I am a glass artist, one among a chosen, a lucky few (like you) and aren’t we blessed!
We established Ambiente Art Glass almost 50 years ago. This is hard to believe because it seems like yesterday that we fell in love with glass. Our journey began in Cleveland Ohio where we built a solid business, owned 2 galleries, and did considerable commission work. We specialize in unique hand crafted fused and stained glass, and always find the glass process to be totally inspiring. It is an ever-evolving art form that invites new learning on a daily basis. We love it.
Fourteen years ago, after much thought, we left our beloved Cleveland life to move our well-established glass studio to Portland, Oregon to be closer to family and grandchildren. This move has been both personally and artistically challenging and rewarding as we have ventured out of our comfort zone to begin again. We still have deep roots and artistic ties to Cleveland but have also been enriched and nurtured by our family and the expansive Northwest.
In our work we are inspired by the beauty and the changing moods of the natural environment. All the arts, especially music, dance, poetry and our own photography, impact our creativity. The angst, depth, joys and blessings of life experiences also find expression in our work. We are moved by the regenerative and meditative quality of the creative process and the magical illumination of glass as it changes with the shifting light of each day and season.
As artists we are known for our sensitive use of color and texture, for fluid unusual designs, and excellent craftsmanship. During different periods of our lives we have maintained parallel careers; Sondra as an expressive arts therapist, and Jane as a psychotherapist. This has deepened our own artistic creativity and expanded our understanding of the healing potential of glass and the transforming effects of the art process itself.
[both in their 80s, they are currently working on two 120″x30″ stained glass panels for a client in Idaho]
Summer is upon us, and I hope that everyone has been able to get outside and enjoy time with their favorite outdoor activities. During a recent vacation I had the opportunity to visit a fantastic garden and some new beach areas for me. It was a great reminder that nature’s beauty is all around us and we should be inspired to create art that features our corner of the United States and all its beauty.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get together at one of our upcoming in-person picnics. It is a great opportunity to see fellow glass artists and catch up on what they are working on. Thanks to our generous hosts for opening their doors for these events, we wouldn’t be able to do so without their hospitality. Check out the dates and locations:
Sorry that I need to repeat this plea from my last newsletter message, but PNWGG is still in need of member volunteers for our upcoming year’s leadership team. A plea from the leadership of the Guild, WE NEED YOU! We are recruiting for the next group of leaders to move the Pacific Northwest Glass Guild forward and build on our past success. Our Sponsorship team lead has announced their intention to step away after their current term is over. The time to step up and volunteer has never been better, so you can learn from them over the next few months. Please reach out to any of our current board members or me at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime for more details on how you can assist us deliver great programs.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~~Scott Adams
President – Terry Thomas (need a candidate for 2024)
Vice President – Rachel Dollar (need a candidate for 2024)
Secretary – Haley Wigent (need a candidate for 2024)
Co-Treasurers – Linda Roman and Kate Nicklos
Sponsorship Chair – Linda Gerrard (need a candidate for 2024)
Membership Chair – Rae Williamson
Newsletter Chair – Greta Schneider
Communications Chair – Stephanie Johnston
Website Chair – Karen Seymour
A special thank you to Jennifer Hart who has volunteered to shadow Rachel Dollar during 2023. We are looking for other members to shadow board members 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 Terry Thomas (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 you log in to pnwglassguild.org and go to “For Members” (which only appears when logged in) and choose Member Contacts List.
Joseph Andrich, Warrenton OR Chris Badalian, Beaverton OR Judy Buffo, Portland OR John Groth, Hillsboro OR Robin McQuiston, Bend OR
Bob is not only a member of our guild…..but spent most of his life working with incredible glass products from all over the world that were used in mostly architectural projects. He lives in Portland OR and has also been a longtime supporter of our guild plus done classes with and purchased glass art from many of our members. He is sharing some of his unique history with glass here. This last section will show his more recent innovative use of mostly non fusible glass using special UV glues. (Note from Greta: I had seen some clear holographic glass out in the garden area at OHSU years ago and always wondered about it, It was so pretty and unusual….and it turned out to be one of Bob’s holographic products! Mystery solved!)
The photos in this section show some of the many creative examples of Bob’s glasswork using UV glues rather than kiln work and also include examples of the glass sheets with colorful holographic patterns between layers.
Even though I considered Portland to have the ‘Mother Lode’ of decorative glass in the country, only about 5% of the business came from the local area, while the majority was distributed to projects in the major cities and design centers around the country, Canada and Hawaii. An office building in Chicago was clad in Asahi glass that looked like a light gray, mottled marble, a house in Hawaii that had a hexagonal glass floor over a stream, underneath a hexagonal glass table, underneath a hexagonal glass skylight where you could watch the lychee nuts fall from the trees overhead.
“We had to laminate some clear glass to Spectrum ‘Amber Streaky’ glass to use in the overhead, surrounding valences in the U.S. Embassy in Turkey and Dan Crow was nice enough to coat some Spectrum ‘Waterglass’ in cyan dichroic for a ‘knock-your-eyes-out’ NIKE display in one of their stores in California. I also had to edge glue two pieces of a wild, psychedelic Spectrum ‘Iridescent’ glass together in order to fit into a large, back-lit display window in the Nyssa Winery in Dundee. The wife, who selected the glass, had attended the Woodstock Music Festival.
In total, working with some of the largest and most creative architects and designers in the country has been a fascinating, challenging, exciting and satisfying experience. It allowed me to write the ‘Interior Glass’ section in the ‘Interiors Graphic Standards’, published by John Wiley and Sons, the ‘Bible’ for Interior Designers and architects throughout the country. It was also a privilege to pass on some of this knowledge and dazzle the students in Joanne Thomas’s Interior Design class at PSU. It was a chance to show them many examples of glass that they would never have known existed.
In between doing everyone else’s glass projects, some 2230 at last count, I had the pleasure of dabbling in the artistic branch of the amazing material with infinite creative possibilities… glass. I was fortunate enough to be able to take classes from Linda Ethier, Morgan Madison, Gil Reynolds, Michael Dupille, the wonderful frit artist in the Seattle area at Northwest Art Glass and many at Bullseye Glass.
For many years, Gil ran the annual Hot Glass Horizons, a four day get together glass extravaganza featuring exceptional classes from the leading masters of the craft from all over the country. It was one of the best, most educational gatherings for those interested in all the different facets of the glass spectrum and offered a smorgasbord of opportunities to try so many different techniques. Every class led to an adrenaline rush to try this new and exciting adventure in glass. It also encouraged me to buy a kiln, never used and finally sold, lots of Bullseye glass and frit given away, tools that remain a mystery and boxes of molds still in pristine, unused condition.
One of the most memorable Hot Glass Horizons was in 2005 when we went to Corning, NY to see the fabulous Corning Glass Museum and the Steuben Glass Studio. You can walk from one end of Main Street to the other in about 20 minutes, but it could take days to absorb all that is in the museum. I recommend this pilgrimage to any serious glass artist sometime in their lifetime. Another wonderful opportunity was a visit to Murano, Italy to see glass at the birthplace of extraordinary glass.
After many years of glorious explorations and class exercises of limited and questionable success, I realized that time was getting short and my chances of achieving even a speck of Ann Cavanaugh expertise were getting dimmer and further from reality. I had been using UV adhesives in some of the commercial projects and liked the way it allowed me to work in three dimensions ( a definite attraction for an architect), plus, I wasn’t constrained by the limitations of COE’s and vague compatibilities, unfathomable kiln schedules, mold preps and high-priced glass. I was free to use all my textured glass scraps, anybody’s frit, cut up wine bottles, treasures from the Thrift Shop, nuggets from Michael’s and virtually anything made of glass.
It allowed the combination of fused and glued items, millefiori, beads and, with the addition of other adhesives on the market, rocks, metal and anything my fertile brain thought might artistically come together. It allowed the flexibility to do things on the work bench or dining room table at all hours of the day and night and to tap into the vast collection of flotsam and other memorabilia resources accumulated over a lifetime.
I embrace the ‘recycle and collage’ approach that allows the use of all those things we latch on to that we think would be ‘just perfect’ for that special project that resides somewhere in the dim, distant future. Over the years, I have saved up files and files of design ideas and sketches that pop into my head, periodically channeled from those creative spirits in the Universe for my use in the next multiple lifetimes. It has been a fascinating and infinitely interesting journey. The exposure to the miracle of glass will transform your life. –Bob Thompson
Save the date: Meet accomplished glass artists and see their work in various studios throughout the greater Portland Oregon/Vancouver Washington area. 11:00 am to 5:00 pm both days. In mid-September look for a map and artist list on the Event Listing on the PNWGlassGuild.org calendar which is under News & Events.
Show off your studio, talk glass and sell your work
Studio tours are fun and you get to talk glass in person again. Having some sort of demo helps you tell your story. Visitors are much more interested in your process than at the usual art show and often more likely to buy something.
Members should see Registration information if you wish to be part of this tour either at your own studio or as a guest at someone else’s studio. Registration deadline is August 29th.
Guest Artists Welcome: This year we’ve changed to a $75 site fee paid only by the host who then collects what they consider a fair share of expenses from each of their guest artists. Having multiple artists per site allows visitors to see more artists per mile driven.
Linda Gerrard and Carlyne Lynch have volunteered to organize this event, but we need help in a few areas and are hoping some of you will step up to help make this a great event.
WE REALLY NEED AT LEAST ONE SOCIAL MEDIA VOLUNTEER!
1) Sign pick-up and drop-off point:Pick which county you are in: Clark, Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas, Columbia Signs will also be available for pick-up at the August 6th Guild picnic in Battle Ground, WA
2) Pick up signs from our storage unit and distribute them to the county volunteers. Reverse the process after the tour.
3) Social media advertising (what can YOU do: Facebook, Instagram …)
Get an extra bit of publicity and help the Guild. Tour artists who take on one of the volunteer tasks get chosen first to have their art on the flyer.
The June General Meeting Discussed Glass in Public:
The 3 main speakers talked about some of the issues involved with public installations, including dealing with insurance, the sheer size of such jobs, the number of entities involved and the paperwork. We thank them and all who participated.
Rachel Dollar talked about several of Marvelous Mosaic’s larger installations including the Dukes Family Winery in Amity OR (above) and the Redmond OR City Hall.
Nancy Keating has a huge mosaic installation in Carmel, Indiana. she talked about the many entities involved in the project. Here’s the video.
Michael Dupille discussed some of his installations in schools. His glue of choice is Dow Silicone 732 or 733.
He also mentioned the reinstall he and Mauricio Robalino were working on: Someone smashed almost all of the original medallions. Repair was being covered by insurance. Working with the insurance company was going smoothly. Michael stressed the importance of being properly insured in the glass business, especially at all stages of a public installation.
Those at the meeting will be interested in seeing the photo of one of the now protected pieces after installation because Michael could only verbally describe the design of the gridwork. You can see the work along the Yesler TerraceHillclimb in Seattle.
The meeting was recorded and will eventually be posted in the Glass>Education section (We’d love to have a volunteer to edit and post General Meeting videos, contact the President)
July & August: Guild Picnics instead of General Meetings:
(Guild meetings resume in September via Zoom so it’s easy to get to them as the afternoons get dark and the weather turns: just turn on your computer or cell phone)
Gerald: “It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon full of conversations about the wide variety of artistic methods this group of artists uses, sharing our successful art projects, and talking out why some attempts failed.”
Rose: “Over some really good food, we talked about scheduling a local play date and encouraged new artists’ involvement in PNWGG’s upcoming Fall Studio Tour and the 2024 Gathering of the Guilds. It was fun to show everyone our two studios and talk about what we make. It was even more fun to hear from the others what they are working on.”
You can still attend a Guild picnic this summer!
Have some fun getting to know your glass neighbors by sharing food and talking glass (plus you might make a new friend who will lend you a mold or who will help with a Play Day.)
Please have the courtesy and empathy to notify the host you are planning to attend so they have enough tables, chairs, plates etc. For more info see the event listing on the Guild calendar or read your Tuesday Public News email the week of the event for the address etc..
Next General Meeting Sept. 24th: Custom work, 3:30 pm via Zoom
How do you do custom work without losing your shirt? If you’ve got some experiences to share or know someone who might have, please contact VP Rachel Dollar to get in the speaker line-up (it makes things run smoothly).
Renewal Problem: members please log in to be sure your membership is current. If it is not current the system should take you to the renewal page to pay for another year of membership. We chose not to set it to automatically renew, we only send you an invoice. Thank you in advance for the funds to keep the Guild going.
A small number of renewals have reported having their credit cards refused. This recent software bug may involve clicking on the “securely save to account” box located just before submitting the credit card information to finish paying. Try unchecking that box and resubmitting the payment. If you do have a problem please contact Karen Seymour for website help. Attaching a screen grab of the error message will be very helpful in getting the bug fixed. You can do that on Windows by pushing the “PrtScr” key on the upper row of the keyboard, opening an email by clicking my name above, click in the body of the email then right click and choose to paste into the email. You should see part of the contents of your screen in the email message (the whole thing is actually there, just too large to show).
Run for office: If you might be willing to serve a year as President, Secretary, Vice President, or Sponsorship Chair (or know someone with some relevant skills who might be convinced to run for office, i.e. you can help the nominating committee), please contact the current president for more information.
You’re part of the team: Please send in photos of your glass events, new techniques you’re trying, problems you’re having etc. so we may include them in the next newsletter!
Everyone I know well enough to have a discussion of this sort confesses to a need for some sort of creative outlet. It seems to be part of being human. For most of us in the Guild that creativity is expressed through glass. I invite you to take 5 minutes to share with us what would help you with your glass creativity and email it to me. I’ll compile the results and put them in the next newsletter anonymously (unless you specifically say I can quote you).
Joining together as the Guild we have more power to help each other in ways that would be difficult to do individually:
We get sponsors to give us discounts
We organize shows like Open Studios and Gathering of the Guilds to help you sell your work
Through the newsletter, website, email list, Facebook etc. we promote your events
Through General Meetings and Play Days we share glass techniques and business skills
Through picnics and parties we encourage you to get to know your glass neighbors so you can share molds, techniques, problem solving etc.
The “we” in the list above is a bunch of volunteers at all skill levels. We’ve found we get more out of the Guild when we put more into it. If you want the Guild to help you be more creative, you need to give us specifics. Write it down and email it as mentioned above. Attend a Board meeting (they’re on Zoom) and explain in person. Even better, volunteer along with us:
Help decide what the Guild does next year by being an officer: email the President for details
Help with the newsletter to connect with others: email the Editors
Join the team to fine tune the website so it is a better backbone of communication: email the Website Chair
A big thank you to the many members took turns manning the Guild’s booth at the Portland Rose Festival. They had a good time selling their work and telling folks about the Guild (not shown is Lesley Kelly’s booth)
As mentioned in a previous article, the July 16th Guild Picnic at Rose and Gerald McBride’s just south of Salem OR had a show and tell session following the food with several people bringing “how’d this happen” pieces and educational discussion. You still have a chance for more in-person glass talk at one of the August picnics:
• Sunday August 6that Gail Haskett’s in Battle Ground WA (near Portland NOTE this is a change in place and Date)
You don’t need to be a member to attend but please have the courtesy and empathy to contact the host to tell them you are coming so they have enough tables, plates etc.
July 27th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm Candace Pratt is having her first Gallery Show opening for “Melting Pot – Vessels for Unity” at the Guardino Gallery, 2939 NE Alberta, Portland, OR. She’s also giving an artist’s talk there August 12th at 2:00 pm. The show goes until August 28th.
Sept 16-17 Lynn McManuswill be on the Edmonds WA studio tour 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
The show is September 30 – October 1 in the Portland/Vancouver 5-county area: More information and a list of volunteer positions are mentioned in a previous article and on theEvent Listing.
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).
General meetings in 2023
Zoom, usually on the 4th Sunday of most months, at 3:30 pm. Contact Rachel Dollar, 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.
I have been creating mosaics in Seattle, Washington for private collections, galleries, and public spaces since 1998 and have enjoyed every minute of it.
I am drawn to soothing symmetries of sparkling glass tiles and beads that are often inspired by the rhythm and symmetry of Moroccan art and architecture. My passion for this ancient art form led me to study with masters in Italy, Spain, and the US, who instilled in me a pride of workmanship expressed in each hand-crafted piece. I aspire to bring the joy of spirit I feel with the creation of each piece to the home of others. My journey with this art form is intensely spiritual as I strive to express an interconnected world where seemingly small and inconsequential experiences affect the whole. Mosaic is a medium effective at illustrating how carefully shaped pieces can unite with other tesserae to create something rich with texture, color, and meaning. There’s something magical about mosaic when it offers a detailed and holistic view simultaneously.
I also find sharing my knowledge and experience with students to be wonderfully satisfying and fulfilling. Something I love about teaching mosaic classes is when a student is in awe of what they are able to create with some guidance and supplies. Creating your own masterpiece is a wonderful way to add personality to your home and spark your creative spirit. Best part? Experience isn’t necessary! Contact her for classes (members should log in to see the Sponsor benefit):
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