2017 Beauty of the Northwest Awards Juror

Charlene Collins Freeman

“I am both enthralled and comforted by the richness of everyday objects and moments. Something catches my eye, something common, and in that moment it strikes me as extraordinary. There is great beauty in the every day.”

– Charlene Collins Freeman

Gallery North is honored to have Charlene Collins Freeman selecting the awards for our 2017 Beauty of the Northwest Exhibit. Charlene is an award-winning artist who has exhibited her artwork in many national and international competitions. She is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and a Member of Women Painters of Washington.

Her work has been featured in several highly-regarded art publications and is included in the art collection of the City of Kenmore. Charlene has taught drawing, painting, and the joy of sketchbooking at Arts Umbrella Art Center, Cascadia Community College in Bothell, and Everett Community College.

The artist also leads workshops around the world through World Tours Studio. This summer she led a group of artists on a sketching tour of London and Bath, England.

Her newest creative endeavor, Cloud 9 Studios, just opened its doors in Bothell, Washington. Cloud 9 Studios is a new art center offering classes in arts, crafts and mindful living for kids, teens and adults.

You can see several of Charlene’s beautiful watercolors as part of our Beauty of the Northwest Show. Be sure to join us at Gallery North on Saturday, September 9 from 1-4pm for the Beauty of the Northwest Artists’ Reception. Charlene Collins Freeman will present the awards at 2pm.

“You COMB glass? HOW do you do THAT?”

Since we get asked that a lot, we thought it would be fun to share the glass combing process.

All of the pictures in this post were taken during the creation of our “Hot & Cold #4” sculpture.

Glass Preparation: After specially preparing a Stainless Steel form, strips of glass are cut from large sheets of glass and are placed on edge inside the form.


Into the Kiln: Once the form has been filled with glass strips, it is placed in a kiln. After the kiln temperature reaches about 1670° F (and after we have put on our safety gear), customized Stainless Steel rakes are used to move the molten glass around in various patterns.

With the kiln open, the glass temperature drops quickly. The glass hardens and can no longer be combed. There is only about 25-30 seconds each time the kiln is opened before the glass gets too cool/hard to comb. The process here is open kiln, comb, close kiln, reheat glass to about 1670° F and repeat this process until the combing pattern has been completed.


After Combing: The combed glass piece then slowly cools in the kiln for approximately 15-24 hours. After that, it is taken out of the Stainless Steel form, the edges are smoothed using bespoke grinders, saws and tools.

Back Into the Kiln: After the edges of the piece have been smoothed, it goes back into the kiln for about 24 hours to add a high gloss polish and further smooth out the edges.

Time: It takes about three days for a glass combing like this one to go from sheet glass to completed piece.  The end product is always colorful and unique!

The “Hot & Cold #4” combed glass sculpture featured in this post is currently available at Gallery North.

In Memory of Brenda Hall


We are sad to hear of the recent passing of artist and former Gallery North member Brenda Hall. Brenda was a member of Gallery North for decades and was a treasured friend to so many in the local artist community. Her whimsical artwork and wonderful sense of humor brightened the lives of everyone she knew. We are so grateful for her life and for her art!

Obituary and Memorial Service Information