Slow Glass

I have been a glass artist for over 25 years.  But I have also been a quilter for more than 10 years.  Glass turned from a hobby into a career rather quickly and I have never regretted that.  Quilting has always been something I do to keep my hands busy while watching TV at night.  I don't generally sell my quilts - I use them around the house, for warmth or decoration, or I give them as gifts.  I prefer to sew by hand, but use the machine for much of the piecing and save the applique and hand quilting for the couch where I can cozy up with my blanket, dogs and cat and husband.

My sister, Kristin Shields, is the one who got me interested in quilting (and knitting for that matter).  She is 4 years older than me and I have to admit that I still look up to her and want to do what she is doing.  I love her work and her style.  Several years ago she turned me on to the term "Slow Cloth".  

I am not a very consistent quilter and have only made maybe a dozen or two quilts over the past years.  But since moving to Oregon in 2015 and being closer to Kristin and the incredible quilting community here, I have been going through my work a little more quickly.  I was recently prompted to make this little applique dog quilt by something mentioned in our quilt guild meeting this month.  

Applique dog quilt April 2017

Our guild is having our annual quilt show in August in Sunriver, OR and they will have a display of appliqued "critter" quilts.  I had just drawn this design to make into a small glass bowl and thought it would be great in fabric as well.  While I was working on this quilt, I decided I wanted to try some "Big Stitch" quilting.  I played around more with the color of the thread and the spacing of the stitches and didn't really worry about perfect, tiny quilting stitches.  It was so much more relaxing and fun to do.

This was such a quick project that when I was done I was itching to do more work in a similar vein.  I had pieced together this other quilt many months ago and had always intended to do some embroidery stitch work in the blocks.  One afternoon I quickly sandwiched it together with the batting and backing fabric and sat down to stitch.  

Quilt 1

Quilt 2

And the term Slow Cloth came to my mind.  I pulled out my trusty iphone and googled the term which I hadn't thought much about in several years at least.  I came up with this article of a talk given by Elaine Lipson in 2012.  I read the article and then dove into my stitching.  

I was reminded that hand work, art work, should be done well, should be done with mindfulness and should be enjoyable.

As I stitched away I continued thinking about the philosophy and reminding myself to slow down and enjoy the process.  I have been working on this quilt for several days and really look forward to sitting down to it each night. 

You might be wondering how this applies to my glass work.  Well, I have recently been working on a slightly different technique from my normal work.  I am fusing my clear glass scraps into round blanks that can be painted on and turned into bowls.  I began using this Slow Cloth idea and applying it to my work in the studio.  I feel my work is always done well, with mindfulness and is enjoyable, but I had begun taking those things for granted as you do when you are trying to make a living doing your art.

I am trying to create "Slow Glass" by slowing down, taking my time and letting the work flow more.  For example, I am doing some sgraffito work on these new pieces.  In that process, I could simply transfer my pre-drawn designs onto the enamel and scratch the design in.  But I decided to try going free-hand and just let the work be molded by what's in front of me.  Since they are done without the benefit of a compass, a ruler or an eraser, they may have wonky circles or mismatched arches.  I am okay with that.  They feel very organic, unhurried and fun.  

Black and white sgraffito on scrap melt April 2017

Black and white sgraffito on scrap melt April 2017 2

Black and white sgraffito on scrap melt April 2017 4
Images are In-Progress shots - not fully finished bowls.

I hope you like them too.  I am making this first batch with a white wash of enamel on the backs to create some bold black and white designs.  Very different from my normal bright and colorful pieces so they may appeal to a different crowd.  I have more ideas for these pieces and look forward to playing with my "Slow Glass" over the next several months.

2017 Art in the High Desert

I am just pleased as punch to share the news that I have again been juried and accepted into Art in the High Desert for 2017.

This is a premier art show in the Pacific North West and I am so excited to have passed their rigorous jury process for the second year in a row.

Come check this show out August 25-27, 2017 on the banks of the beautiful Deschutes River in the Old Mill District of Bend, OR. 

If you can't make it to this show, perhaps one of my others would suit your schedule -- see where I will be this year here.

Foxtrot Close Up

Just Added - Workshop in Denver!

I am happy to announce that I will be teaching another of my 3-1/2 day Reverse Glass Painting with Opaque Enamels workshops in September 2017 at D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, CO.

This will likely be my last workshop of 2017, so don't miss out if you are interested! 

Check out the info and link to sign up for this class here.  Or check out my Workshops page to see other upcoming teaching venues.


Salem Art Fair

I am very excited that I was accepted to a new (for me) juried art show!  This is a large art fair held in Salem, Oregon in July.  It's an honor when a jury chooses my work to be shown alongside other fine artists and I don't take that lightly. 

I am looking forward to a little camping trip over to the area and to a fun and fruitful show.

Come on by if you are in the area! 

Salem Art Fair and Festival


Friday, July 21 | 10 am-7 pm (Music Headliner 7:30-9:00 pm)
Saturday, July 22 | 10 am-7 pm (Music Headliner 7:30-9:00 pm)
Sunday, July 23 | 10 am-5 pm


$5 Day
$10 Three-Day Pass
$3 Youth Student on Saturday (with Student ID)
FREE for Children 12 & Younger
FREE for all ages on Sunday from 3-5 pm
FREE with Oregon Trail Card


Bush’s Pasture Park

In Progress

Just thought I would show you some photos of some of what I have been working on.  I'm definitely keeping busy, but not always taking photos or telling the world about it, but here ya go!

"Foxtrot"  8" bowl Close Up

River Dog for Deby 2
"River Dog"  8" Custom Order 

Wild side drawing 2
Lots of new designs being hashed out...

Refused to leave 13
One of a series - "Refused to Leave"  8" Close Up

A Handful and Tall Pines in progress
Kitties and Forests on the light table - coloring in progress

Garden Tender 1
"Garden Tender" 8"  New design with person in it!  Lining and shading done, waiting for color.



Tutorial Now Available!

OMG -- I can't believe I did it!  I made a full-length video tutorial of my reverse glass painting process!

I have had many requests for workshops and tutorials over the years.  This year I am beginning my journey by holding 4 day workshops in many wonderful locations across the US.

And now, for those of you in out of the way areas, out of the US or who are short on travel funds you can still learn my techniques in your own home studio. I will always advocate for taking a hands-on workshop simply because I know I learn better in those environments, but I know that is not always possible.

So here ya go!

I cover all of the materials and equipment necessary as well as show my firing schedules for the enamels. There is a ton of information here and the video came to just over 90 minutes!  This is available immediately as a download.

Check this out and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

***NOTE:  If you have an older computer or want to watch this by streaming instead of a download, please check the initial download page after payment for those instructions.


Workshops are coming!

For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, and for those who have begged me to teach, I would like to point out my 2017 Workshop Schedule.

I will be teaching my reverse glass painting with opaque enamels over a 3-1/2 day course in several locations around the US.

As of right now, I still don't have a set up to teach in my own home studio, but if you are looking for a fun class to play with enamels and learn my techniques, now is your chance!

Hope to see you there!


"Foxtrot"  Close up of 8" bowl

Turning Over A New Leaf


I hope that 2017 is going well for everyone so far.  At the end of the year I cleaned up all my tables and finished up a few pieces that needed painting, fusing and slumping.  

That left my schedule open to FINALLY figure out something to do with all of the clear scrap glass that I have.  I literally have boxes full of it.  I have tried small projects with it in the past, but I found that I wasn't thrilled with the quality or they just didn't fit with my current style.  It is very difficult to market a whole new style when I am just establishing my work in reverse glass painting.

These are the first three tests.  There are three layers of scrap glass pieces stacked up ready to fire.

So, I played around with making my own glass blanks to paint on from the scrap glass.  I am pretty happy with them and I hope you like them too.  They actually take a bit longer to make than my regular bowls because I have to first fuse the glass into flat rounds rather than simply cutting them from a sheet of glass.  But, the ability to use up all that scrap has my very excited!

Here are the three pieces after firing.  They are about 1/4" thick and do have some bubbles and wobbly edges, but I am very happy with that sort of organic shape.


Here are the blanks, flipped over with the first painting of enamel on them.  This is the outline stage.

I'm not supposed to have favorites, but this one (above), although on the darker side, is my favorite of these three.  It has a very soothing color palette.  And I like the little lacy edge detail painting along with the fluttery edge of the glass.
The way the yellow flows over the edge on the bottom of this piece in the photo is an illusion of the glass.  It's due to the magnification of viewing the painting through the glass at this angle.

I am calling this series "Refused to Leave".  This references the idea of re-fusing the otherwise wasted glass and the idea that they will all have renditions of some of my fanciful leaves.  This is just the first three that I made as tests.  I am going to stick with this size of 8" diameter (at least for now).  It is a great size for display or to use for fruit, nuts, candy, or whatever you like.  

2017 is gonna be fun!!


Light Your Way

I've been working on some new candle screens for one of my retail outlets - Junque In Bloom.  These are the same as the one's I made earlier, but now using the enamels for the color instead of glass frit.  I think the enamel colors are more vibrant and although I didn't take pictures of them this way, the enameled pieces look better without the candle behind them than the frit pieces.

If you are interested and don't see these on the Junque in Bloom website, please let me know and I can hook you up.  Each size is available in any colorway.  Candle is not included.

These will be available at Junque in Bloom just in time for their big Craft-O weekend this Saturday and Sunday and anytime after that.  


 Large Candle Screen in Blue - 7 x 7" - $50

Candle screen large blue


Medium Candle Screen in Green - 6 x 7" - $45 

Candle screen med green


Small Candle Screen in Red - 5 x 7" - $40

Candle screen small 3 red