Telling Our Stories in Glass

….yet another fun adventure!  We had incredible students at Maryhill Museum’s Summer Art Institute, “Telling Our Stories in Glass” course.  Everyone made a fantastic tile in such a short amount of time!  These educators will go back to their classrooms inspired and ready to bring more art to their students.

Selecting Bullseye Glass

After learning about the types of glass available, participants selected what they wanted to work with from an assortment of Bullseye glass frit, stringer, confetti and sheet glass.  Thank you Bullseye Glass for discounting glass for these wonderful teachers, some of whom will offer a glass project in their own art programs.

Educators creating glass tiles.

Students then began building their tiles.

Building their tiles.

Tiles were made based on the stories participants wanted to share about their lives.

Design Decisions

Making design decisions…. Thank you Oregon Glass Guild for loaning us tools to use!

Layering the backgrounds, and building glass tiles that will be heated to tack and full fuse temperatures.

Maryhill Museum Summer Art Institute: Telling Our Stories in Glass

Finished glass tiles:  vertically, the left 3 rows were heated to 1385º, a tack fuse for texture; and the right 2 rows plus the bottom amber tile were heated to 1485º, a full fuse for a flat surface.

After class students toured my freshly scoured studio to see where and how I work.  Intrigued by all the samples lying around that I keep on hand for inspiration and instruction, they asked excellent questions about various processes.  Maryhill’s Executive Director, Colleen Schafroth brought a gift for me, “Maryhill Museum of Art” by Linda Brady Tesner, a book I’d been planning to buy about Maryhill’s history.  Thank you Colleen!

The day ended with a great meal at Everybody’s Brewing, downtown White Salmon!

Peacock at Maryhill Museum

A post about Maryhill Museum wouldn’t be complete without another peacock picture!  I love these birds!!

Next stop, Palmer Alaska where I’ll be teaching at Half Moon Creek!  Ready or not, here I come!!  Watch my upcoming class section for updates:  I’ll be coming to The Dalles and Portland Oregon as well as Austin Texas this fall; and contracts are already in for Las Vegas and Maui next spring!


June 7, 2009


Reflection of Tub Surround Tiles

Reflection of Tub Surround Tiles

Thanks to my life long friend, Paula, for suggesting I include a couple pieces from the architectural side of my work.  This is my main bathroom, for which I spent one summer making the tiles and mirror.  Due to the size of the tiles, 9″ x 12″,  I could only fire four at a time in two kilns.  The installation is comprised of 79 tiles that are each three layers of glass.  The color choices reflect my surroundings in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia River Gorge, with a small square of purple dichroic glass dancing through the design for sparkle.  

It’s difficult to see the detail in the photo above, because my bathroom is so small that it’s impossible to get a good photo of the entire installation!  You can see only a portion of the tiles through the mirror & shower doors.  The combined tiles are designed ‘bargello’ style, all fitting together in a rhythmic pattern that make me smile during each and every shower.

The mirror reflects the color and quilt-like style, but for variation on the theme, I simply made 1″ squares & placed them in gradated colors.  My kiln wouldn’t accomodate the size I needed, so I made it in two parts, connected at the top and bottom with separate 3″ x 4″ tiles.

I had my original drawing for the installer to view as he installed, taped to a nearby wall.  I also had the tiles numbered according to where they went.  Then to make it easier for him, I drew it out on a large grid and taped the grid to the wall next to the installation.  Don’t you know he put in one wall backwards!  I won’t go into the details of my angst and subsequent conversations with the installer, but have learned to live with it.  Fortunately it’s the back wall and not evident to anyone other than the designer.  Below is the layout just after installation (minus the bottom row), each of three walls photographed separately & photoshopped together into a flat plane.



Still learning my way around the Blog, I am revisiting this project now that it’s installed, after learning how to post so you can ‘click to enlarge’.  You may have to click twice, and once you get to the  larger photo there should be a magnifying glass, allowing you to enlarge once again.  It’s well worth the look.  I’m so proud of the high school students who made these tiles for our panels.  

I finished fabricating the panels Sunday night and  installed, then edited this post on Thursday!  They had to lie flat during transport so I made 5 separate trips into Hood River.  I couldn’t build a safe and reliable apparatus to transport all 5 panels together over my bumpy curvy mountain road.

The grand opening is Saturday, March 7th, noon until 4pm, to see the artwork that has been produced through Arts in Education, as well as the new wing of the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River.

If you’re coming in from out of town, come on Friday night to attend the opening at the Columbia Art Gallery show ‘Art Heals from Birth to Death’, from 6 to 8pm, where my ‘SunDrop’ series will be displayed.  The pieces are finally in the kiln being shaped into bowls today and tomorrow!

final-panels-mock-upThis has been an exciting project for me.  In conjunction with Arts in Education and Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital’s ‘Youthful Art of Healing’ program, I led a group of 28 high school students, their art teacher, & para-educator through the process of learning to work with glass, then producing a series of tiles.  These are 8″ kilnformed tiles based on the concept of ‘healing’ and span about 12 feet horizontally, 4 feet vertically.

After learning the basics of scoring & breaking glass, the students began making small samples, artist sketches in glass.  This was to show them how the media responded to heat and gave them some practice before beginning our project.  We used three different process temperatures: 1400º for a textured finish, 1500º, for a smooth finish, and 1350º for a small group who wanted to try working with powdered glass.  Each student then produced a miniature version of their sketch, again testing to see if they preferred a textured or smooth finish.  Some chose both – a smooth flat background with textured details added.

We started mid October and the last of the tiles were completed in January.  I’ve spent the last couple weeks arranging and rearranging photos of the tiles for the mock up.  My parameters were balance of color, shape, content, dark and light space; as well as evenly distributing multiple tiles made by  the students who produced more than one. (The final arrangement may change after I have them all laid out.)  The backing/frame is being fabricated next week, with installation scheduled for the end of this month.

My heartfelt thanks to all the donors & sponsors of this project:

Schlosser Machine Inc. for donating labor for fabrication of the backing panels.

Oregon Glass Guild for loaning and donating tools for the students to work with.

Dianne Muhly and Mary Caldwell of the OGG for donating tools to the students.

Fay Malench donated hand made glass stringers that the students used in their tiles.

Charles R. Hall and Toni Johnson donated plans & instruction so that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

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