“After thirty years of being involved with the molten medium, and coming from a potter’s background and being Pueblo Indian, I look at glass as clay that can’t be touched. Like clay, anything can be made from class. Some of my biggest influences stem from watching my grandfather, a silversmith who loved to work with gold filigree. He was also a wood carver and beekeeper. He was a man of many talents. The Pilchuck Glass School also heavily influenced me, where I worked many summers and falls, and was involved with many internationally known artists. Over the years, I’ve developed several techniques for creating designs on glass: sandblasting, electroforming, graal, casting. Sandblasting is a way to get images to form. Electroforming is a technique that adheres metal to glass. The Graal technique is an overlay process developed in Sweden, through which a design appears inside the glass. Casting is a way to incorporate motifs that are symbolic to my culture.
I also like to draw on the piece using very thin colored glass threads and a hot torch. All of the work is about color. I’ve always been very interested in color, so many of my pieces are color studies.
Working with the molten medium demands team effort, and that is how I work. I have found that the team method is the best way to get from idea to paper to reality. I work with no less than three highly skilled craftsmen because there is so much involved in the process to getting things done at the precise time.
My culture provides me with such endless inspiration, that I know I will never be able to create all of what is in my mind. Every piece is different. There may be a few that are similar in form but different in color and design and technique. In most cases, they are different in a variety of ways so that each piece is a unique work of art.”