Meet the Artist (About Us)

I'll even make you a mushroom booty shrug for the right priceNow my daughter wears this get up :)Yes, even I dread it up sometimes!Glory HOLE!  Glass blowing

Stained Glass and Fine Metal Artisan nestled in the sweet town of Bandon Oregon, close to Coos Bay and all of the fun activities of the Pacific North West.  I like to say "where the redwoods meet the sea".  

Coquille Point beach, Bandon Oregon 97411

I adopted the name Ursula, it harkens back to my post college days when I had ample time to dedicate to the reenactment of the Viking era with our friends in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). I loved the fact that not only did it reference the north star (Ursa-Major) but also has links to bears, and of course the sea-witch octopus! On top of that, every person no matter their location could pronounce it easily.  That is not what can be said for my legal name... though beautiful and unique it definitely is nice to hide behind a benign nick name :)

It was actually the study of lampwork beads from the Viking era that first tempted my interest in glass working. Using a simple hot-head torch hooked onto a camping propane tank.  I used to wedge the tank between the silverware drawer and the kitchen counter in my first apartment, the counter was "fire proof" and I would turn on the oven ventilation fan for air flow. I'd have two 6x6" pieces of fiber blanket that I would put the hot beads between to allow them to cool down.  

Random custom order MINION
Simple beads inspired by the archeological finds at Ribe

As many artisans know, once you start something it rabbit holes down into a huge Pandora's box!  I loved trying to re-create the beads found in archaeological digs. HOW DID THEY DO THAT? was my main motivation. I thought: if they can do this over a camp fire in the middle of the woods, with no running water/power/easy fuel source, why can't I?  And I did.  With that little $20 hot-head I made the most interesting and complex beads, I even made little figurines (there are many little goddess figures floating around out there!). To this day I love going through my Viking/Slavic jewelry box and go down memory lane.  So many other artisans popped up in our group at the same time, we fed off each others creativity and it was fun to watch us all grow. Now 25+ years later, some of those artisans are a huge inspiration today!  Their works of art are truly a pleasure to behold!  The best part there was no creativity shaming, craft shaming, or artisan gate keeping.  It kept the flow going. We all benefited. 

So back to Pandora's box: with glass beads you need to figure out how to wear/display them.  I did do quite a few modern designs, made with large holes to fit on bracelets and necklaces popularized in the US an the UK, Troll beads and the Boxes name sake (have to avoid using their logo description because of Artisan Gate Keeping... but the corporation is not the movie nor the box).  I wanted to be able to display my items with out having to worry about it breaking easily. Historically they used leather thong, luecet thread, bobbin cord, finger braiding. But all of these can be worn easily through with the friction of the glass, metal, or stone.  In searching for an alternative, in a couple instances archaeological finds found Viking wire woven lengths with beads or coins attached. This brought me to learning about Viking wire weaving.... now we go down the rabbit hole. Following is the list of what occurred next: 

- Viking wire weaving

-wire stone settings

- Copper working

-Semi precious metal clay

-wire rings, clasps, closures

-soldered wire, bevels

-glass fuming

-cabochon fabrication, jewel setting, rock tumbling

-glass slumping

- Tesserae


- Glass blowing, blown glass beads and vessels

- Glass making

-Viking volcano kiln

- ceramics

- Resin art (come on, who did not try dirty pours?)

-Stained glass figurines

-Copper foil stained glass 

and of course all the non glass related things that pop up when doing research: clothing making, mead, beer, malted breads, sourdough, weaving, tapestry, card weaving, inkle weaving, henna, calligraphy, illumination, acrylic, oils, water color, mushroom paper, mushroom dyes, foraging..... 

I am even happy to make a shirt for your doggo!

Shiloh modeling her favorite shirt

It's funny how one thing runs into another. Here in my little studio that I've dubbed "The Gilded Krakken" ; I've been combining my love of artistry with the inspiration of my local natural resources. I hope one day you will be able to visit the Southern Oregon Coast, not only for the natural wonders and beauty but to also witness the plethora of artisans works in the area!

Below are just some other fun pictures, from our studio mascots: Lovey Dovey (SIC), Diana Printz (Calico), and Mephistopheles the Future Ruler of the 9 Relms of Hell (Marmalade), Shiloh our Mega-E PRAA (Lab pit), and Bowser (Pretty boy Boxer) and stuff I wanted to add. Enjoy

Bun Crown, Quartz, Rose Gold, and Moon Stone. Wire WovenLovey Dovey, somewhat willing modelMephestopheles BlepDiana and her hand crocheted, organically grown catnip infused nip (home grown cat nip. LOL)Bowser. My pretty boy