Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solo Exhibition - "Introspections and Explorations"

Here is a link to a quick report given by one of the local news channels on the opening night of my solo exhibition:

The show went well. I'll attach more info as it comes in.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


This is my first successful try at a plasma encasement. The yogi in lotus position is encased in the clear bell-housing. Inside of this is krypton and neon gas. And, inside of the yogi's head is an encased piece of copper rod. There is an electrode attached behind the seated man, and that charges the gas and creates an activated and interactively lit piece.

The effect that I was going for with the copper in the head, was that it would attract the excited particles to the area where I placed it: the third eye of the yogi. Unfortunately, there was either not enough mass to attract the plasma, or it was seated too deeply in the head. Instead of a very direct draw to the third eye, the result is instead a very general and all covering effect around the head, which is still interesting, but not exactly what I wanted.
This is my next design. I still wanted to see the effect happen that I was going for in the first piece, so I altered my approach. Instead of working solid, I decided to blow the head and place it over the electrode. In this way, the lighting is initiated from the neck and it travels up the head, wherein it resides until it finds the hole that I put in the third eye location, so that it will escape from there. It then enters the bell-housing in which it begins to really whip around and create a very satisfying lighting effect. I am happy with the way this one came out! )
This is the last design I worked on for this plasma series. Here I decided to get rid of the housing, and let the heads themselves be the container in which the gasses would be held. I opened a hole in both of their mouths, and sealed their lips together, maintaining their holes open, so that the light will travel from one head to the other, through the lips.

The overall experimentation with this idea has been very satisfying to have finally accomplished this goal that I set out to accomplish about five years ago, but, it is a fairly laborious process with a lot of technical frustrations. I need to revise a couple of key points before I return to it.

I will, in my next post, attach some video of what these look like lit up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time in Oahu

We walked down an empty lot that is waiting to be bought for the low, low price of $3,000,000.! This is a sheer cliff upon which the water pounded relentless waves that sprayed the ocean air around us.

We checked out a Pro Surfing Competition in Haleiwa, HI - the surfing capital of the world. The swells were pretty mellow, they told me, compared to other times of the year.

This is (from L to R) me, Brett, and Flynn. We just got done eating at Duke's, drinking an Hawaiian Iced Tea, and are at Waikiki Beach to soak up a little sun. Flynn and I went out scuba diving on this morning. We went to 105 feet and 40 feet. We got to see a sunken airplane from 1946 at the first sight, and we dove to a volcanic crater with some very large sea turtles at the other site. My last Hawaiian sunset...

These are a few shots from my trip to Hawaii. It was interesting to experience a land that -at first appearance- seems to be all-American, but as time passes, it shows itself to be something more than that: a cultural enigma. The 600 square mile island left me feeling like I understood less about it after my week's trip, than I did before I came. My interactions with the indigenous islanders were very open and welcoming. Aloha seems to be alive and well in its cultural circles, but beyond that reach, I am not so sure how well it is thriving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"In Search of..." and "Doorways, Edges, and Decisions"

Here's some of my recent work. It's a combo of lampworked 96 that I keep at temp in the garage, and furnace glass.

I'm on my way to Portland right now to catch a flight to Oahu, so I will update when I get a second, but I just wanted to get these pix up. Aloha!

Visit from Milon Townsend

Milon just came to do a one day workshop on the figure - torchworking - and five days on silicone mold making and kiln casting. It was an extremely educational experience having someone of Milon's expertise around to share his knowledge. I was fortunate enough to be his TA for the classes. In the photo you see me thanking the master for his offering of expert information.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Come Sit in My Garden"

This piece is part of a series that I've been working with - coloring the back of the glass and letting it be affected by the optics of the clear sculpted glass in front of it.

The seated woman is surrounded by flowers and is offering something sweet to the viewer.

This work talks about the sweet temptation of love, though it is not offered without risk.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Well, I guess it is better to keep doing now and sleep later. I keep thinking that it is the middle of the week, not the weekend because I'm a TA for Milon Townsend right now and I'm working full days down at the Eugene Glass School.

My coffee tastes good this morning. The leftover Ahi didn't taste as well as I had hoped (my stomach is still a little worked from a bad burrito I ate yesterday.)

Anyway, getting to the matter at hand, I'm trying to make a point of posting something up to my blog with a regular frequency. This is a piece I made for the girls up at They've been more than kind in helping me along my way, so this was a thank you to them for their help. It is made with Gaffer's new Red Lustre. It is a transparent red with some reactive silver in it that gives it a fumed effect of blues, greens and yellows.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

"Bush-league Savoir-faire"

I made this piece post Hurricane Katrina. There is a trapped, nameless victim inside the glass container that is covered up to his neck with dirty motor oil. The back of the container has the state of Louisiana on it. The top of the vessel is the swirling mass of clouds of the hurricane. All of this is resting on the shoulders of the Republican Elephant - a statement about the egregious handling of the matter by the Bush administration and a memorial to those that suffered because of this.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Redefining the Vase - Dialog Vases

It isn't often that I find myself trying to make what has already been made, or a replica of pieces previously made. I've been trying to balance what I've considered to be my motto in glass for years - to never make the same piece twice - with the benefit of working in a series. There is definitely something to be said for proficiency through repetition, so I try not to under play it's importance, rather I work to balance it's use to create a refined piece. Once I feel as though I've executed the piece proficiently, it is time for me to move on to the next idea.

These vases are an example of this process. I made about three prototypes in clear to figure out the problems in the process, without committing my time and money to the color and the color prep. Then, once my assistants and I figured out most of the problems, I made five of these in various shapes and positions.

I like the idea of redefining what has been with a new perspective and approach. These pieces are sculptures, but are functional for those of us who love to find more of a purpose in what we buy than just observing the object. )

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Drunken Elephant"

This is a piece I had fun making during a visit from Karren and Jason Willenbrink-Johnson. It is always a pleasure to see people work together as proficiently and smoothly as these two do.

It was interesting: in a conversation by Pino during one of his workshops he held at our school (that I was translating,) he came out and said that he was proud to say that Karren had surpassed him as an artist! WOW, what a compliment! It was a moment for everyone to acknowledge that the greatest sculptor of all time admitted that one of his former students had become a better master than himself. It gave us all something to believe in and shoot for.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"My Lady on the Water"

This is part of the series in which I've been developing this idea of creating a scenery to help describe the emotions evoked by the images/objects I create. It's rewarding to be able to make something - to be able to transfer my energy into something tangible - but it is rewarding to be able to take that something and create a narrative, or evoke an emotion. This is what I strive to do in my work! If I don't move someone to feel something, be it that they hate or love it, I don't feel as though I've succeeded in doing what I set out to accomplish: to move the viewer to think and feel more than they were before seeing my piece.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just a shout out to Doreen Garner!

Thank you for suggesting that I should get this page up Doreen! I'm digging it so far. It's kind of nice to have a line out, accessible to the

This is the series of graduated Ganesha style goblets that were inspired by a commission from one of my yoga instructors. The smallest is about the average height of a wine glass, and the biggest is about two feet tall. I had the pleasure of embarking on this series with one of my very faithful and insightful assistants - Jay Wright. Thanks for everything Jay, your help has been immeasurable!!!

Just a quickie! )

This is the prototype to a series of Elephant Goblets that I made. I will post those later, but in an effort to stay up on this world of blogging, I'm putting this up now.

Off into the spray-bottle rain of Eugene, OR!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Back at it!

I'm trying to add to this page to get some work up for all y'all to see. I'm in between moving out of my old place and picking up Miriam di Fiore from the airport, which I am supposed to have done right now, but she just called from Seattle - her plane had some issues and she's not sure when she's going to be getting in. We have a five day workshop with her down at the school, starting on Wednesday. I'll try and put up some pix from that.

In the meantime, here's is a shot of my rendition of a design by Pino that he made a few times while I was there, and that has been replicated many times over on the island. He calls it "Amanti - Lovers," and I call it "Homage to Pino."

I got the call, so I'm on the run. I guess that's today's installment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

...continuation of previous post

I thought that this was all going very smoothly, until now. It seems as though I've maxed-out on my megabyte allowance, or something? I can't seem to post any more pictures right now, so I guess this is the end of my first day of daily blogging. Sure has been a good time. Looking forward to the next time...

Sogni d'oro tutti!

Just posting away. Feeling the flow.

I've heard it gets easier as you go - sho'nuf!

This was an installation that I assisted on while living and working on Murano. It was a projected headed by Pino Signoretto. We had to make about 400 pieces for this work, each of which was then cut in half and assembled onto a structure constructed by a team of engineers. The largest components of the 400 were "feathers" pulled out to 15 feet in length.

Getting used to it, yesss!!!

Ok, ok, it's not so bad. Patience may, in fact, be the key to happiness, as I was once told by a very special fortune cookie!

These are some pieces that I made for Gaffer to exemplify some of the possible colors that you can get out of their version of an old Italian formula - Calcedonia. They call their recipe Chalcedony. It is a tricky color, but it has a lot of versatility. Check out this link if you'd like to read the "User Guide" that I wrote for them:

Yo, this is supposed to be easy. What the...: )

I'm sure it'll come clearer, but, in the meantime I'm going to have to keep stumbling into solutions. Here is another shot of some of my work.

This is lampworked borosilicate. I made this sculpture of Dante in 2007 as part of my final paper for my Italian Literature degree that I completed at the University of Oregon. I had the pleasure of studying under Professor Gina Psaki, who let me integrate my passions and work in glass with my Italian Literature studies.

The image on the top is the death mask of Dante, the center is a profile painting of him, both of which I used as references for my work. I also worked off of Gustav Dore`'s illustrations of the Divine Comedy.

This figure is part of a larger project that will depict the whole opening scene in which Dante descends a hill, chased by three "beasts", back into the dark valley - the most lonely and desperate moment of the Inferno for Dante.

My First Blog

Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. For me, it is now: my first interactive web-based page! Alright, welcome. I'm here to show you what I've been up to, and am happy to hear what you think about it. I'm going to be building on this as the learning curve eases. In the meantime, enjoy!