Fused Glass from Tropics of Costa Rica


Gecko Glass Art – New shop at ETSY

z cover e.pngI’ve figured out how to ship small fused glass art from Costa Rica to the US and Canada. So I’ve taken the plunge and opened an online shop on ETSY – Gecko Glass Art – to sell my handmade jewelry and small items. Take a look and tell me what you think of my presentation.

For now, the shop will focus on ornaments and a variety of jewelry including bead embroidery cuffs, wire wrapped necklaces, and dichroic glass pendants, all hand made by me.  I’ll be adding new pieces all the time.  Watch for Christmas and holiday items to show up in the next few months.  If you’re interested in something larger that you’ve seen on my website, email me and we can start a conversation.

If you’re here in Samara, you can avoid shipping charges by calling me or by visiting Samara Organics Mercado, where my fused glass work is displayed for sale.


Washed in from the sea?


a DSCF6860

Red coral wall piece, this fused glass artwork of transparent reds with black accents looks like it washed up on the beach. The flat bowl shape stands just off the wall so that ambient light makes it glow from behind. It would shimmer with an added halogen fixture.

This piece was commissioned to hang in a home here in Costa Rica.


New Website

ps3 - red leaf platter

Gecko Glass

Gecko Glass has gone live with a new website at http://geckoglassart.com.  Check it out for new work, classes info, and portfolio.  You can still follow my blog for news and events by clicking in the right hand column here.

New Work

I’ve just put some new pieces into Samara Organics.

Lots of jewelry too.


b15 red and grey bandaid

I’ve been making Bandaids for years; graphic layering of opaque and transparent glasses.

Here’s a new series in hot and cool tropical colors – it’s summer here in Costa Rica.





Thank-you to my good friend and patron (through all my careers), Lynne Alexander.DSCF3728

These two 7″ square plates are ready for shipment to Seattle.  Lynne says she’ll use them for candles.



What the ?

fused glass samara costa rica

fused glass costa rica

Since my Seattle workshop in June, I have been working every day in the studio and loving it. What have I been doing?

art glass samara

I’ve been “painting” pictures with powdered and crushed glass (frit). I’m enjoying the process immensely, but I’m less than satisfied with the results.

fused glass samara costa rica

Is it technique or technical? I don’t know and I’ve asked for professional advice.

fused glass costa rica

It would be easy if I would stick to using the tested compatible COE96 art glass – I can knock those babies out – but I am really committed to using recycled “float” and bottle glass.

glass fusing samara costa rica

And it just isn’t going well.   I am really proud of this “save”.  But why do my pieces spontaneously crack down the middle?  Like I said, I’ve asked for professional advice.

Fused glass platter - 12"

Fused glass platter – 12″

Made with scrap window glass and frit.

2 Successful clases

Here are the successful results of two recent glass fusing classes.

glass fusing costa rica

Dish and two candleholders.

casa gecko glass

Students who wanted to make more or bigger pieces paid for extra glass.  Plates, coasters, and nite lites.

fused glass cuff

Here is my newest series.

fused glass cabuchons

Cuff bracelet of seed beads and fused glass cabuchons.

fused glass samara costa rica

I’ll be showing these locally soon, at Samara Organics and Dragonfly Gallery.

seed bead bracelets

$30.00 (c15,000).

art in samara costa rica

Or order one direct from me.

Dirty Power

glass fusing kiln playa samara beach costa ricaI don’t know how often most artists have to repair their kilns but I feel like I do it too often.  In Costa Rica, we have “dirty power” – the voltage fluctuates . . . a lot . . . and frequently.  Wind and rain can cause power outages.  Bird nests cause transformers to spontaneouly blow up.  But we even have unexplained power outages on windless, dry sunny days.  The power can be out for only a second or a few hours.  It can flicker ferociously.  Although the utility is pretty good about getting us back up and running quickly, these electrical surges are really hard on equipment and appliances.

So, suddenly this week, my glass fusing kiln is not getting hot.  This is after I changed an element just 6 months ago.  so I talked with the manufacturer –  Olympic Kilns – where Sarah walked me through some diagnostics to determine that I need a 12 volt relay switch.  I called the Vitrocolor in San Jose from whom I bought the kiln but they have no parts in stock.  They referred me to repairman who wanted $200.00 to come and inspect the kiln, more if he could repair it.  I suggested he just send me the part I need on the bus – that’s how we get most packages throughout the country – but he doesn’t have that part in stock.  There’s none anywhere in the country.  What then, you might ask, was he going to do to repair my kiln if he made the 4 hour trip out here to Playa Samara from San Jose?  I didn’t bother to ask.  Instead, I ordered the part directly from the manufacturer in the US – plus an extra to have on hand – and had it sent to my cousin in California who is coming to visit next month.  I should be back up and melting stuff within 3 weeks.

The students from Tuesday’s class won’t be taking their projects home with them when they leave Costa Rica.  I’ll try to mail them from within the US when I next visit in April – I just can’t risk sending them from here.  Alas, this is life in Costa Rica.  It seems like we’re always waiting for a part for some piece of equipment or other.  But on the whole, it’s still worth the hassle to live here.  You just have to embrace the Costa Rican motto, “Pura Vida” which translates as “pure life” but really means “What me worry?”  Until my kiln repair is complete, I’ll be spending more time at the beach.

This is a problem?


Powdered Light

fused glass recycled glass

Here’s a recent result (11″ platter) of the technique I  studied with Susan Murphy at Cascade Art Center in Redmond, WA.  I’m experimenting with float (window) glass because I can recycle it from local construction projects.  sifting powdered glass through a stencil allows me to add color, which up to now has been difficult.


Connie’s Candelas

glass fusing samara costa rica

Wakeup Call

fuse glass art playa smara costa ricaIf you work in an earthquake prone region, as I do here in Costa Rica, have you properly secured your glass art?  What about the shops where you market your work?  I lost three pieces of fused glass art at the Dragonfly Art Gallery in the 7.6 mag. earthquake of Sept. 5 here in Playa Samara, Costa Rica.  Three out of 16 is not bad, I suppose.  But with nearly daily aftershocks since then, I’m wondering if it will all eventually return to the sand from which it came?  I’d better “batten down the hatches”.

What’s the best way to secure glass work?  Wax, museum gel, chewing gum?

Open Classes for Invierno

glass fusing samara costa rica

glass fusing classes in samara costa ricaGood news! My kiln repairs are complete (thanks to Jaime Cabeza at Vitrocolor, SA and my technical assistant Steve) so Casa Gecko Glass studio is up and running again.

casa gecko glass samara costa ricaInvierno (Costa Rican winter is June through October) is a great time to get out of the weather and learn a new craft. Come and melt stuff with me.

Introduction to Glass Fusing

(most) Thursday mornings 10am – noon

Class includes materials, tools, and kiln-firing of a 5” x 5” project (plate, candle holder, or window hanging.) Class size limited to 3.  Contact me for a reservation. 2656-1010


Subsequent classes can include a variety of projects – we’ll calculate a fee based on size of project and a bench fee of $5.00.

PS: There might be snacks.

New work on show

I just put some new work in the Dragonfly Art Gallery here in Samara.  I’m showing a mix of pieces using Spectrum 96 art glass and recycled window glass.  Stop by the gallery on the main street in Samara, next to Coco’s Mexican Restaurant, and owner Leo will introduce you to the compelling work of more than a dozen local artists.  In an easy afternoon you can do an art walk of several local galleries, all exhibiting hand-crafted work, made in Costa Rica.

What happened?

fused glassWhat happened? Can anyone help me? I’m trying to make a large, deep bowl. I’ve tried slumping into this clay mold and having no luck getting any height. The glass all sinks to the bottom. So I tried draping over the back of the mold. That didn’t work. Why?

New work March 2012

More new work – Nov. 2011

Recent Work – Nov. 2011

“Winter” Class

It’s “Winter” here in tropical Costa Rica and glass fusing is a great thing to do on a rainy day.  Recently, four friends gave it a first try, and produced some lovely pieces.

another fusing class