Artists in glass increasingly turn to Southeast for their medium
The neighborhoods south of Powell seem to be becoming the Art Glass center of Portland, if not of the Northwest. You knew about the art glass manufacturer Bullseye Glass in Brooklyn; but there's Boro Art Supply in Westmoreland, too.
Those working with art glass tell THE BEE that Boro Art Supply, which features a large, colorful image – in the "Watershed Building" at 5040 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, Suite NW-7, and Mitchell Street – is "Portland's premier source for borosilicate art glass supplies". Owners Paul Bonham and Mason Layman manage a showroom filled with plain and colored glass tubes and rods for "lamp-working" artists, who create in front of a torch.
Bonham shares that, "Borosilicate glass, which is a 'hard' glass, was originally used by the scientific industry. However, since the 1980s, people have been using it for art purposes. We carry a selection of Trautman Art Glass and Northstar Glassworks products. These two companies, based in Portland, are the first two companies in the nation to make colored borosilicate glass."
The 1,200-foot-square showroom on Milwaukie Avenue just south of the McLoughlin overcrossing also offers a color selection of jars of powdered "frit" glass, ground joints and adapters, and graphite tools for manipulating blown glass. Bonham explains, "Soft glass, such as that produced at Bullseye Glass in Brooklyn, is worked in ovens, or 'glory holes.' Borosilicate glass is manipulated by hand, using graphite tools and torches."
Most of Boro's glass is slated for use in creating art, and comes in a variety of sizes in solid rods and hollow tubes. "We're open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.," says Bonham. "You can contact us at 503/436-5066, or online at – www.BoroArtSupply.com ."