Last March, I went on a road trip with my mother from Boise, Idaho, down to Mendocino, California, to visit one of her old college friends who has a little kaleidoscope shop there. We didn’t actually stay in Mendocino; we stayed in Fort Bragg, just north of there. During our stay, we noticed a little art glass gallery located on the southern edge of town, just off the highway. Though the area is chock full of art galleries, this one caught our attention because of its unique focus on jellyfish or sea jellies, as I like to call them. Owned by Buster and Trish Dyer, they specialize in making glass lighting fixtures (pendants, chandeliers, sconces and table lamps) that look like sea jellies! These beautiful pieces emulate the unique characteristics of the jellyfish seen in the ocean, highlighting their jewel-like appearance with their subtle coloration, the flowing tentacles and umbrella-shaped bells. What I find really special about these lighting fixtures is that by illuminating them, we can appreciate their characteristic luminescence observed in sea jellies as they are in their natural environment. He doesn’t stop there because glass isn’t the only thing that makes a proper light fixture. There has to be some sort of framework to hold it all together. All of his pieces are held together and styled elegantly with sculpted iron he fashions carefully in his studio, behind the gallery. Some day, I hope to buy a few of these fixtures to grace my home with.
Buster also creates pendant lights of sea shells, too! I didn’t see any in his studio at the time I visited, but you can visit his website where he showcases all of his styles of lighting there at:
But, that isn’t all there is in this gallery! You will find other artist’s painting of jellies on simple canvas frames!
There are sculptures depicting various aspects of sea life, displayed about in glass display cases, tables and shelves. Buster also creates beautiful renditions of crashing waves from glass, using a variety of techniques to include reusing glass “gravel” heated in a pan where he lays the hot sculpture in to create the foamy crest of a wave as it comes crashing down.
My mother bought a lighted jelly globe; another of Buster’s creations.
There are also little sea star pendants that can either be used as a Christmas ornament or to adorn the rear mirror of a car or simply hang in a window, banana slugs (it’s a Pacific Northwest thing) and sea shell dishes….
Not only was Buster gracious enough to allow me to photograph their gallery, but he also gave me a tour of his studio so I could better appreciate his process of creating these one-of-a-kind works of art.
If you ever find yourself down in Fort Bragg, be sure to visit this very unique glass art gallery! You never know what you may find there!