I can’t remember when I first started working with Rafael Angel d’Jesus Navarro-Leiton. But it must have been about 1990. Joanne and I used to have casting parties on Friday nights at the studio we would invite anyone and everyone to come by and play while we used up the excess glass and made new friends. Rafael appeared at one of these parties.

I told him about work I had seen done with copper picked up on the surface of the molten glass and he asked for some. A potter by profession he had grown up in Utah and was inspired by the cave paintings of the Anasazi Freemont peoples of the area. It was a culture that died out about 800 years ago. (I had heard a lecture by Dick Marquis years earlier about "How to steal other peoples ideas" Dick said it was easier if they had been dead for a long time. He used the Middle Kingdom Egyptians as his source, so I figured 800 years was OK). As Rafael or Raf is Native American, he felt he could claim them as his distant, very distant ancestors. We use the traditional ceramic forms of the area and then embellished the surface area with the copper imagery.

The copper is laid out along with the surface colours to be picked up, on a heated steel plate. The molten glass is then rolled over the ‘pick up’ then shaped and blown. If you look closely at the copper images you will see striations or lines around each copper piece. Each of these lines show where I have blown in to the glass and the glass has been forced away from the copper. I think of them as being similar to tree rings, to show how many times I have blown into the piece.

We have received a number of awards and accolades for this work. In 1991 one of this series was presented to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, during her visit to Vancouver.