Christine Ortbals

I am a self taught St. Louis, MO local artist. I work with sheets of clear, and opaque glass. Cut, Grind, melt, using learned skills and imagination to create at once original and striking abstract to simple appearing execution of warm/fused glass. Fused glass unlike blown glass is fired in a kiln multiple times, cold worked by machine and hand to smooth the finished piece and complete the design. After a career in Marketing and Advertising I now work in a home studio.


April Offerings

Fused Glass at it's best. Decor pieces both abstract and comforting by color and style.

Night Sky “Night Sky”

Created from slivers, slices and crushed shades of blue and crystal. The 10" circle held aloft by a black frame

Under the Sea “Under the Sea”

An abstract image of life under the sea

Ocean Clear “Ocean Clear”

This 15" Circle of a wave of ocean blue on a clear day.

In and Out Blues “In and Out Blues”

This amazing piece used almost 200 pieces of clear, turquoise blue, purest white, darkest black to create a 32 inch long statement piece.

Box of Crayons “Box of Crayons”

I loved the first day of school and the best part was being given a fresh box of Crayola Crayons, all those bright colors, fresh smell of wax, pointy tips, what beautiful artwork I would make with my new "Box of Crayons"!

This is one of many reasons I loved school and because of that excited feeling I chose to create my own "Box of Crayons". Notice the rows of colors just like a "Box of Crayons" I chose the colors of glass carefully to reflect the cohesiveness of the array of color, cutting the glass just so to revel the layers of colors. Once colors of glass are chosen the glass is cut and ground to fit the base glass. Fired in a glass kiln at over 1400 degrees to just bond the layers without fulling melting the glass then allowed to cool to under 100 degrees into a once again solid sheet of glass.

The once simple glass is on it's final journey of hand sanding and polishing like a fine piece of wood using multiple grades of diamond embedded foam pads to smooth the edges till it looks like...well, glass! The stainless steel display stand is designed created, powder coated in a satin black paint and formed at my direction to show the piece as one unit.

A Little Color “A Little Color”

I have explored many mediums in my life as an Artist... and being an Artist has been my goal since I was a child, I remember my first project, my grandmother encouraged me to enter a contest to color the sailor on the "Cracker Jack" packaging. I still remember the feel of those really thick crayons as I tried to color ever so neatly. I loved the colors in the drawing, bright, colorful full of reds and was the inspiration for "A Little Color"

"A Little Color" is just that although it shows my love of warm reds, oranges, amber and greens. Strips of colors cut and formed into a disk that when fired at over 1400 degrees the glass to thick of melt into a smooth layer but instead heated just enough to bend the strips leaving a very textured 15" piece held aloft like the sun in a thick black iron display stand. The disk is 10" in diameter.

Sticks and Stones “Sticks and Stones”

A unique challenge when working with Fused Glass is that the colors of glass are affected by other minerals to create the colors causing a reaction between the colors. This beautiful 12" bowl of Turquoise Blue and French Vanilla show this reaction by a thin dark like circling each of the turquoise pieces when the iron rich turquoise and made contact with the lead used to give the french vanilla that rich color. Once fired in a kiln to over 1400 degrees the melting and blending of the two colors strikes a reaction. So exciting to plan for this in the design element of this creation.