During one of my morning walks last fall, I discovered some broken blue glass by the side of the road. I took it home, cleaned it up, and melted it in my kiln.

Glass has a specific rate at which it expands (called a Coefficient of Expansion – COE), so you have to be careful to only mix it with the same COE or it will crack. I loved the color but didn’t know what to do to make it useful and beautiful. Because I couldn’t mix it with other glass, I had to get creative.

Playing around, I discovered a way to create wonderful surface designs using a variety of etching, enamels and dichroic slide (dichroic finish on paper that can be cut and then fused to the glass). And Voila! Recycled glass became jewelry!!

Even though the economy is in the tank, I realize that we still live in the richest country in the world.  So I decided to donate 20% from the sale of any of my recycled jewelry items to help fund micro-enterprises through

This is my way of giving back to the creativity of the rest of the world through the sales of “upcycled” items. I still remember when, as a single mother during a period of unemployment, a friend helped me sell Halloween masks I had made so I could raise a little money to pay for rent and food. It’s amazing what even $25 can do to help someone fund their business idea – especially in a third world country.

So far I have helped to fund 2 artisans – one in Rwanda and one in Samoa. As the funds are repaid, they become available for new loans.  These ladies have already begun repaying their loans.  If you click on the picture below, you will be taken to their profile page.


Sabine Uwanyirigira

Laitalie Lilo

There is nothing worse than wondering where your next dollar is coming from, and nothing more satisfying than to know you can support your family. These micro-loans give hope and help to people who want to support themselves.

And so I thank you for your support – not only for liking and buying the things I create, but for helping these micro-enterprises.  And by the way, you can sign up yourself and donate to whomever you’d like. Just go to KIVA and create an account!  Then preview the requests, select a recipient, and you’ve become a philanthropist!

Update May 24, 2010

Today I funded 2 more artisans. One from the proceeds of sales at the recent Humboldt Arts Festival and one from repayment by the original 2 artisans.  Here are the next two I selected:



Angela Marilu Viteri Zambrano   and  Juana Salvadora Garcia Cisneros

Thank you again for your support, which makes it possible for me to support these artisans.

Update July 23, 2011

Three more artists:



 Adis  Yeni Del Carmen  Manzura


Update June 13, 2012

Three more artists:

Maria Magdelana
Wire Jewelry

La Huerta Group



El Mirador Group

For a limited time you can fund artisans using money donated anonymously  to KIVA….

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