My love of glass began when I was age 17 in Paris. It was a sunny day as I entered Notre-Dame cathedral. Music was reverberating off the sanctuary columns from the 8000piece pipe organ as I first gazed upon one of the Rose windows. I was in love. The play of light was mesmerizing as I stood there for several minutes in awe.
Around 1990 I took my first stained glass class at Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec in Beaverton Oregon. One of my favorite types of glass to use was made by Kokomo, the texture and patterns were interesting to create with. One of my early projects was a large framed pane of a wicker basket with flowers that I took on the train with me to Colorado to give to a friend for her new house and she ended up designing her home color scheme from the colors I used on that piece. Our 3 front windows are adorned with framed stained glass large panes of an old barn, lighthouse and a covered bridge. For my husband’s 45th birthday I made a large framed bubble juke box with 45 on it.
In 2004 I was laid off my job of over 13 years as a flexible benefits administrator for a division of Blue Cross of Oregon as they prepared to close that facility. With the severance I received, I pursued learning fused glass. Once I began fused glass, I pretty much gave up stained glass although I have used some of the patterns. I took a couple of classes on fused glass at Rose’s Glassworks and purchased a 20 inch kiln and a bead kiln at Cline Glass. Since that time I have participated in a variety of learning opportunities,including ones on torch-work and sandblasting, classes at Bullseye Glass as well as being guided by wonderful teachers such as Ann Cavanaugh, Fred Buxton and Serena Smith. At this time I don’t teach classes, but I have play dates teaching my friends and family using various techniques and inspiring them with some possibilities of glass.
I create many items that include jewelry, coasters, garden art, bowls and landscape panels. I have created a double curve from a painting my daughter did that I call NW Sky five times. Some of the reeds on Heron at Sunrise were enabled by methods I learned on a zoom PNWGG Fossil Vitria play day with Karen Seymour. I very much enjoy making vases,especially when using a large 10 inch mold, it is always a challenge to get the piece centered so it will drape well. Techniques that I have used for vases include drop dots of color,dancing flowers using different methods for the flowers, lace overlay, crackle and frit stretch. There was a segment on my vases on the television program Garden Time that aired on May 25, 2019. https://youtu.be/OLltFlQIA4Y I also enjoy making landscape skies created using my own technique, I love vibrant skies so much I named by business after them!
My most recently completed project was making two more depictions of the photo I created for the PNWGG contest in August last year. I fired 103 samples of frit blends to get the colors accurate for the photo that I was creating from. Some future projects I am working on include making flowers of various sizes and to create landscapes from photos taken by a couple of photographer friends.
Considering that I have not participated in a live show since Covid-19, I have added over 125 items to my Etsy site, www.vibrantsky.etsy.com. I do however anticipate having a booth at Gathering of the Guilds this year at the end of April. I have participated in the Gathering of the Guilds 12 times from participating in the guild group booth to a full 10’x10’booth plus I have always displayed a piece in the pavilion. I view it as a glass convention with show and tell. The first few years I think we had 60 glass participants !
A few years ago I was co-vice president of what at the time was the Oregon Glass Guild. When I first joined the guild in 2005, I was impressed by how cooperative people were about sharing and passing on the knowledge they had of glass techniques and methods. Since that time I have watched and learned from my fellow artists and I cheer on their growth and accomplishments.