Friday, November 8, 2013

Artist/Vendor Profile: Michael Barley

Name: Michael Barley
Location: St. John's neighborhood of Portland, Oregon
Your products/projects:
All of my products are made from recycled windows that I collect from construction sites. Since this type of glass is not normally recycled and most of it ends up in the landfill, I feel good rescuing this glass and giving it another life as a beautiful piece of art to be enjoyed for years. I create my work by first cutting the glass into the size and shape I need then decorating it with glass paints and glass powders. It is then fired in a kiln to 1500 degrees, permanently fusing the colors and designs into the glass. I make an assortment of items including Night Lights, Coasters, Dishes, Ornaments and Jewelry.

Green "Cred"
Creative reuse, Handmade, Durable, Made in the USA, Recycled content product, Reused materials

Your origin story?
I grew up in air force bases in Japan and the U.S. and my favorite thing to do was making things in the Hobby shops. I spent time in the photo darkroom, lapidary shop, metal shop and ceramics studio. My professional career started as a potter when I was twenty. In 1988 I saw some glass beads that friends in Bellingham, Washington were making and in 1990, I tried it for the first time and fell in love with the process. A few years later, I was making beads full time and not working in clay. About ten years ago I built a house and wanted to make the tiles for the kitchen as well as glass panels for the fence I built. I first used Bullseye glass, the standard glass used in glass fusing, but found the cost prohibitive for the fence project so I started researching. I discovered sources for glass supplies using window glass and started working with it and exploring various techniques and built my fence and have been working with it since. At first I bought the glass from glass companies but quickly switched to recycled windows and now work exclusively with recycled glass for my fused work.
Recycled Glass coasters

Recycled glass light switch cover


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