In Memoriam—Ruth Brockmann

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1955-2013 (authored by Hal Bond)
Ruth Brockmann started working with glass in the late 1970’s, mainly involving herself with stained glass and etched glass. In the Summer of 1982 she was chosen, along with Gil Reynolds and David Ruth, to be interns at Bullseye Glass to help fine-tune the production techniques of the emerging fused glass movement with its genesis at Bullseye Glass. By the end of the Summer the three were sent out to glass studios across America to share their knowledge of fusing glass.

In 1983 the Bullseye Glass Company published Book One of Glass Fusing, which soon became the Bible for neophyte glass fusers throughout America and beyond. A collection of Ruth’s glass masks were on the cover. By the late 1980’s Ruth started to cast particles of glass fit into custom molds shaped from clay positives made by her.

I met Ruth in 1988 at a gathering of glass artists in Camp Colton south of Portland. Even though she was living in Seattle we managed to spend a lot of time together, and she eventually moved to Portland where we shared a home and a studio. In 1991 we submitted an application together to produce a pair of glass murals for the newly-constructed Portland State Office Building at 800 N.E. Oregon Street and were chosen from a field of 395 applicants. Each mural measured about 25 feet by 6 feet and depicted two local Native American legends, “A Legend of Multnomah Falls” and “The Bridge of the Gods”.
In 1998 we moved up to Vancouver, WA. And built a 2,500 sq. ft. shop on 5 acres. While in Washington Ruth had 18 pieces of her glass art acquired by the Washington State Arts Commission permanent collection. In 2011 we were commissioned to create three cast glass panels for The Driftwood Library in Lincoln City, Oregon. They were installed in In November of that year, the same month she received her cancer diagnosis.

Sadly, after surviving 9 months of chemotherapy and radiation the cancer returned in March of 2013, and she passed on July 9th of that year.