The Wonderful Glasswork of Jennifer Umphress

Jennifer Umphress’ work often draws inspiration from her environment. Born and raised in California, she began working with glass in 2000 while living in Hawaii. Umphress now lives and works in Kingston, Washington, where the Pacific Ocean continues to influence her work. “Although my inspiration comes from the ocean, I am most intrigued by capturing movement. I try to emulate the movement of sea life in a simple contemporary form,” says Umphress in her personal statement.

Umphress studied with Cesare Toffolo during a month long apprenticeship in Murano, Italy, and has taken workshops with Robert Mickelsen and Janis Miltenberger. Her work has been shown at galleries including Transflamations at the Pilchuck Gallery in 2012. Umphress was awarded the Glasscraft Emerging Artist Award in 2010.

In her September 2013 Instructor Collaborative Residency, Umphress worked alongside Amy Rueffert and Carmen Lozar to explore flameworking techniques. She worked on the technical aspects of flameworking, with a focus on surface design and color and an emphasis on developing a conceptual narrative for her work.

Google, Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex, Nekoma, North Dakota, October, 2012

This is what the missile site of the previous post looks like from the road. From the blueprints, the pyramid structure is about 75 feet / 23 meters tall (the structure continues below the berm). Cold War Tourist.com offers some photos of what the complex looks like inside recently. The very bottom of the page indicates the missile site was up for sale and, remarkably, was purchased by the Spring Creek Hutterite Colony (a group with some similarities to the Mennonites), for a sum of $530,000 USD. The government was generous enough to offer to pay for the extensive environmental cleanup. Click through the source to experience the drive-by, it’s a beautiful location, with the exhaust towers contrasting with the delicate windmills.


The Last Stop on the BLM Idaho leg of the #mypubliclandsroadtrip – Horse Training with Idaho 4Hers

When wild horses are gathered from one of Idaho’s six Herd Management Areas, Idaho’s 4-H youth partner with BLM to provide training for young mustangs throughout a 6-8 week period.  “I think this is the greatest program there is for kids,” said Bingham County 4-H Leader Jane Mickelsen. “They learn responsibility, they learn patience; and I feel like in learning to deal with animals, you learn to deal with people better.”

When 4-H youth finish working with the young mustangs, the horses are able to lead on a halter and are very comfortable with people. Then, the 4-H youth compete in a mustang-only in-hand trail competition. The competition judges score the youth and their horses on a small obstacle course that involves leading the young mustangs to walk over a large sheet of plastic; stepping over several small logs; trotting under halter; backing through a narrow log path; and loading and unloading from a trailer. 

After the competition, the young mustangs are available for adoption. “Potential adopters see a great benefit if a wild horse has been handled and experienced good ground work training methods,” said Kevin Lloyd, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist for the BLM Challis Field Office.

Learn more about this successful  “win-win” program, and check out the YouTube video about the 4Hers and their mustangs.