Barb Ridgley


I chose to do all four elements, earth, air, water and fire.   For weeks, I struggled with how to put all these elements together.   It wasn’t until I had a opportunity to vacation in Kona, Hawaii that the inspiration came.   My family and I went to visit Kilauea, and witnessed the lava flows and the steam coming up from where the molten lava plunges into the ocean.  It had a profound effect on me; I was mesmerized by the power and beauty of the forces that were creating the new earth.  The island is so desolate in some areas that you almost feel like you are on the moon, and in other areas it is a green and lush rain forest.  It is a beautiful place, and it clearly is a perfect mix of the four elements, earth, air, water and fire.     


Living in the mountains, I am also inspired by the high peaks near my home.  The volcano in the picture was based off of a mountain in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area of Colorado.   I first fused together a piece of clear glass and a piece of white glass for the background of my piece.  I then drew the mountain and cut the glass pieces in shades of grey, black and dark blue to show the ruggedness and dark lava of the volcano.   I cut out a piece of glass for the ocean, and some green to show the lush green rain forest at the edge of the volcano.  This was all tack fused onto my base glass at 1250 degrees. In the next step, I used powder and fine frit to add the lava flows, the eruption and the clouds in the sky.  Another layer was added to the bottom to add some depth to the picture.   The piece is 2 layers of glass on the top, 4 on the bottom.  It was then re-fired very, very slowly to 1350 degrees to melt the frit and layers together. 


  1. I really enjoy te simplicity of this. Wit very few strokes you’ve managed to create all four elements and shown the interactions between them.

  2. It was so pretty close
    I did not re-interpret the “The Great wave” of Hokusai.


  3. It reminds me of Mt. St. Helens (except for the water, but there’s gotta be a lake around there somewhere). Nice job cutting and fitting those pieces. I think you nailed this one.


  4. Great job of depicting all 4 elements. You did a wonderful job cutting all those pieces to fit together so nicely, too. Let’s keep the Lava flow in Hawaii and out of our beautiful Indian Peaks, though!

  5. You know I looked at the pieces before I looked at yours specifically and I knew this one was yours. It has your creative touch and that special soul you put into your work. Absolutely beautiful! Peace…..

  6. Barb,

    I think this is the strongest piece in the quilt. Clean cut, simple, elegant.

    A wonderful volcano.

    I really like the idea of the physical depth of the piece as well as the visual depth you achieved.

    Susan B

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