How do you like your glass? This year Portland Open Studios welcomes four very different artists working with this tricky medium: Bob Heath, Kurumi Conley, Carli Schultz, and Heather Fields. These four artists have very distinctively different working styles.
Kurumi Conley (studio #66, NE Portland) is a fused-glass artist returning to Open Studios this year. Walking up to her studio you’ll see glass mushrooms and other elemental forms decorating her lawn and driveway. Entering her working space you may see pieces and parts of many projects, all in different stages. From creating frit in a mortar, to drawing delicate geometric patterns in powdered glass on a tile, the resulting works of art embody organic, three-dimensional shapes and multi-layered fused tiles and dishes. Kurumi also teaches workshops for students of all ages.
Heather Fields (Studio #60, N Portland) is a well known glass-blowing artist with Portland Open Studios. Heather and her husband and partner in the studio are primarily creating blown glass pieces shaped as broad pouches or more round forms and incorporating unique shades of color to create depth and variegation from the different metal oxides in the glass. Various sized glass bits and chunks along with strings are swirled together during the blowing process create layers that seem to emerge from the background.
Bob Heath (Studio #32, Forest Park) is new to Portland Open Studios this year. An engineer and member of the Oregon Glass Guild, Bob was also a finalist in the 2014 Bullseye Emerging Artists bi-annual competition. His work requires multiple components or sub-assemblies after fusing items, cutting, reassembling and fusing again to create kaleidoscopic and geometric patterns. When you visit Bob during Open Studios event, you can participate in a hands-on, low-cost activity: sandblasting a water, wine or beer glass!
Carli Schultz (Studio #24, Beaverton) also returns this year. Carli works with torches and hand tools to create beautiful pendants, ornaments and various pieces. She has a long-standing love of jewelry which combines her skills in metalsmithing and stone setting with the slow flowing glass at her workbench. Take a look through the protective glasses to see the hidden details behind the orange and blue flame that envelop her creations as she adds color, shape and texture.
While all these artists use supplies and glass from various manufacturers, Portland’s own Bullseye Glass is supporting Portland Open Studios by purchasing ad space in our 2017 Guide and offering their own hands-on activity at the SE Portland Resource Center. Stop in to make your own magnet during the Portland Open Studios event! Page XX of the guide has more details.