By Barry Joe Stull
Uroboros is a company named for a symbol of a dragon eating its tail – symbolic of alchemy, the “ancient art” of turning base metals into gold. Eliot’s Uroboros combines sand and other ingredients to produce art glass in 150 sophisticated color combinations in over a dozen styles and textures. Uroboros colors stem from chemicals used in making the glass. Gold produces pinks and purples, copper green, red or aqua blue, cobalt deep blue, and so on. Textures result from rollers used on the molten glass, and manipulation, such as pushing the molten glass to produce ripples.
Uroboros Glass was founded in 1973 by glass artist Eric Lovell. They relocated from Southeast Portland to Lower Albina in 1984. Company facilities now occupy 22,000 square feet, where the company’s whimsy is seen in the colored glass used to repair broken windows. Uroboros is serious about environmental impact, and is a City of Portland certified “Green Business” for minimizing waste, reusing and recycling energy, water and materials, and for its choice of environmentally-friendly packaging whenever possible.
Uroboros glass products are purchased world-wide for use in projects and processes which continue of evolve. Sheets of glass may ultimately end up in a leaded “stained glass” window, lamp, ceiling or dome. Artists cut out glass portions selected from type and color then assemble complex works. The variety of colors, mixed color combinations and textures may represent leaves, flowers, or colorful sunsets or whatever an abstract or geometric pattern calls for. Uroboros innovates processes resulting in new products available to feed the muse of artists thrilled with new options for creative expression.
Artists can chose, cut, and melt Uroboros glass to fuse various pieces together. Since these fused pieces rely on glass that’s capable of melting together, Uroboros ensures “compatible” glass is available. In addition to sheet glass, Uroboros produces glass rods. Since Uroboros has innovated products and processes, and only time will tell what’s next.
Uroboros offers 20 minute factory tours Monday through Friday 9AM – 4PM at 2139 N. Kerby. For more information call 503-284-4900 or visit their web site at uroboros.com