“The Nature of Crystal”

It’s taken some time for me to process and reflect on my show, the “Nature of Crystal”, part of the MN Landscape Arboretum’s 2020 Flower Show in February. Three hundred people attended the opening reception and approximately twenty thousand people visited throughout the month. The timing of the exhibition was pure magic, given the world-wide events that followed in March.

The Arboretum staff became friends in the course of preparation and the result of their efforts was nothing short of spectacular! The beautifully planned floral vignettes set the stage to highlight my cast crystal sculptures as they’ve never been seen before. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity I was given.



Private Lessons

Both our sons are happily building their lives in faraway places, so my husband, Neil and I try to make the best of our empty nest. We work hard and stay busy, but we still miss the activities of kids in our house.

One day early last summer, I saw a social media post in search of a host family for an artistic Japanese exchange student. That evening, Neil and I agreed; it would be fun to have a teenager in our home again, and this would be a nice exchange for our many blessings. I also hoped that my years of art training might affect this particular student in a meaningful way.
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Finding Joy in the Process

On March 25th, 2017, I celebrated the close of my 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant with an artist talk and exhibition at FOCI – MN Center for Glass Arts, Minneapolis.

My grant outcome includes an educational component – to share a crystal casting process I’ve been developing for more than thirty years, to increase awareness of this beautiful and versatile art form.
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Cast Glass: Art, Science and Mentors

Glass art is a science that requires a great deal of experimentation. I share my story to encourage artists who work alone to seek the advice of an experienced teacher. A great mentor helps elevate your work to the next level by challenging your limits with honest feedback. Find a trusted teacher and you will avoid costly mistakes in both time and materials. I assure you, the guidance of a professional is priceless.

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Introducing Lagoon

Lagoon began with the discovery of a palm tree frond that had fallen onto the pier of a marina I visited on one of my last days of living in Florida. From the moment I picked it up, I knew it would become a crystal sculpture, but I had no idea how difficult the form would be to cast, nor how obsessed I would become with the challenge!

Below is a walk through of the complicated casting process and the creation of its forged steel and copper base.

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First Blush Casting

The lost wax process begins with a carefully sculpted wax model, which is encased in a heat resistant plaster mold that also contains fiberglass and ceramic grog for strength. Once cured, the plaster mold is inverted and the wax model is gently removed or steamed out, leaving a void that will be filled with glass or crystal. This is achieved by placing the mold in a kiln that will slowly reach temperature of approximately 1550 degrees. The length of the melting process and subsequent cooling is determined by the thickness, size and complexity of the model and plaster mold.  Read More…

Casting Process of Crystal Balance Stones

Inspired by the hundreds of stone balance sculptures I saw last summer on the far north shore of Lake Superior, I returned to my studio to cast a unique set of my own. Lead crystal balance stones are similar in density to actual rocks and they are nearly as durable. Practicing balance with gorgeous, colored, translucent stones raises the art form to a whole new level with the added bonus of LIGHT!  Read More…