Portland Opera The Snowy Day Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon

Fire and ice: creating beauty on the Coast

For decades Jim Kingwell and friends have been firing up the 2,400-degree furnace at Icefire Glassworks in Cannon Beach and transforming nature.

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Icefire Glassworks, 2023


STORY and PHOTOGRAPHS by K.B. DIXON


Glass is beautiful by its very nature. It takes little talent to make it more beautiful, but considerable talent to make it art. To make it art you need an artist; to make it exceptional you need experience. Jim Kingwell, a convivial creative (part Santa Claus, part Socrates), has been working with glass for more than 50 years. He founded Icefire Glassworks—a working studio and gallery in Cannon Beach—more than 30 years ago. There he and his partner Suzanne Kindland, fellow artist and wife, have produced a remarkable body of work. Mixing inspiration and intention with the medium’s caprice, they conjure bowls, vases, figures, and fantasies of incredible beauty.

The rustic studio (a “hot spot” with a 2,400-degree furnace at its heart) is not merely a work space—it is a gallery that has grown to represent not only the work of Kingwell and Kindland, but the work of a number of other accomplished artisans. It is also a center for education. The public is invited to sit in on the creation of new work and to watch the artists transform an idea and a glowing molten blob into a stunning, tangible, translucent reality—a quasi-serendipitous gift from the gods of fluid dynamics and chaotic indeterminacy.

Sponsor

Portland Area Theatre Alliance Fertile Ground Portland Oregon

Jim Kingwell, 2023

Fish 2023

Display #1, 2023

Suzanne Kindland, 2023

Icefire Interior, 2023

Display #2, 2023

Books & Glass, 2023

Furnace, 2023

North Side, 2023

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Photo Joe Cantrell

K.B. Dixon’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and journals. His most recent collection of stories, Artifacts: Irregular Stories (Small, Medium, and Large), was published in Summer 2022. The recipient of an OAC Individual Artist Fellowship Award, he is the winner of both the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Book Award. He is the author of seven novels: The Sum of His SyndromesAndrew (A to Z)A Painter’s LifeThe Ingram InterviewThe Photo AlbumNovel Ideas, and Notes as well as the essay collection Too True, Essays on Photography, and the short story collection, My Desk and I. Examples of his photographic work may be found in private collections, juried exhibitions, online galleries, and at K.B. Dixon Images.

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One Response

  1. Wow, Sue, I’m so impressed with the work you and Jim do. Truly, you’re one of the shining stars of BDHS Class of XX! Makes me want to vacation out west just to see your studio and sit in to watch you work.

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