As most of you know Ambiente Art Glass is a 42 year old creative endeavor owned by Jane Godfrey and Sondra Radcliffe. We frequently are asked what inspires us in our work. Even though we often collaborate as we create, we decided that each of us needed to respond to this question individually.

I (Jane) feel that many of my creations are nature-inspired. Since living in the Northwest I like to go to the coast and photograph inspiring colors, patterns, tones, shadows, textures – whatever holds me in the moment. There is so much inspirational beauty looming in every direction. It isn’t that I turn these images into glass designs. It’s the feelings that stay within me and my drawings flow out from this. There are times when I envision a whole design but mostly it evolves organically.

I feel that as this process unfolds the depth of my life experiences intermingle with the mix. I also find inspiration from music: Rachmaninoff, Goreki, Morriconi. The Rachels, Karl Jenkins, Nina Simone……It seems as if it is the darker, deeper side of music that opens my heart. Creating designs is challenging, meditative and at times tedious. I often begin with small sketches and then pick a few and draw them to size with changes evolving in process. Occasionally I draw full scale from scratch. I like to focus on the fluidity of line. This means all lines are design with no extraneous lines inserted for cutting. This is a challenge and often means reworking the drawing until the feeling of movement and flow is just right, like a dance. My designs definitely have a personal style to them. There are times that I have to intentionally break out of that flow when designing for a customer who may want a design quality that is not exactly within my comfort zone.I welcome this challenge in that it pushes me down the river so to speak to new images or feelings. Thankfully if I find myself in a stuck place where the design is not flowing, I can turn it over to Sondra to put her creative spirit into it. That is one of the many blessings of having a business partner.Our design repertoire ranges from very abstract to realistic.

Having worked with glass for so many years I am very sensitive to color choices. That too evolves in process even though I begin with a color vision. I have been known to re-cut whole sections of a stained glass design. In both stained and fused glass the color choices are infinite and sometimes feel personal and close to my heart. It is how the shifting light penetrates each color that brings out the richness and depth of glass. I love doing the color work.

Finally, being in my studio is often pure bliss. It feels safe and at times private. It is where I escape for solace. We live in a three generation home with constant movement, excitement and at times noisy wonderful grandchildren. Their spontaneous, contagious energy and delightfulness also is part of who I am at this time in my life.