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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment June 20, 2018

5/29/2018 1:54:00 PM
Local artist's work to be featured at The Lodge in Sisters
Suzie Zeitner, right, works on one of her unique pieces with assistance from Linda Peck. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
Suzie Zeitner, right, works on one of her unique pieces with assistance from Linda Peck. photo provided

By Eileen Chambers

In the world of senior living, The Lodge in Sisters, currently under construction on Carpenter Lane, promises to be a place of beauty for those who live, work and visit there. As a part of their commitment to support local businesses and artists, The Lodge recently commissioned 138 architectural accent light fixtures from artisan Susie Zeitner, owner of Z Glass Act located on Sun Ranch Drive.

Zeitner's handcrafted luminaries will be featured in The Lodge's lobby, library, dining area, corridors, the "Grand Room" and at the entrance of each residential unit.

Throughout her career, Susie has successfully married her creativity and commercial success.

"Very early on," she said, "I learned that, as an artist, you can have a rewarding career if you are open to using your creativity and skill to solve a need for your customers. Whether it is a photo shoot for a clothing line or creating a light fixture for an assisted-living facility, the key I have found is to create something so attractive that others want to have it - and enjoy or experience it - for themselves."

After a fast-paced career in the fashion industry as a graphic designer/commercial photo director, one spanning almost three decades, Susie and her husband planned to retire to Sisters. During construction of their dream home outside of town, Susie came up with the idea of making the light fixtures for the home herself out of glass.

"I was already dabbling in glass, but I had never tackled something as complex as a light fixture. As a problem-solver by nature, it was a creative challenge that I loved," she said. "Fortunate for me, there were plenty of readily available resources in the Pacific Northwest including a premiere glass factory in nearby Portland who manufactured high-quality glass.

"What I discovered is that working with glass is really a science. It's all about timing and temperature. Glass is amazingly beautiful and tactile. It transmits light, evokes emotion and is so organic. Yes, it is fragile. It breaks. But you can melt it down again and create something new. The process of making those first functional yet decorative art glass fixtures taught me a lot, and quite by accident, those fixtures, and the attention they gathered, became the beginning of Z Glass Act. That was two decades ago. I couldn't be more content, living here in Sisters with an incredible business that I love, one that started out as a hobby, surrounded by beauty and good friends."

After purchasing property along Sun Ranch Drive that is zoned live/work mixed use, Zeitner built her current home with attached studio in 2017. Since those first fixtures, she has created fixtures and custom countertops for hotels, restaurants and custom homes throughout the United States.

Standing in her neatly arranged, garage-sized studio, surrounded by five kilns and shelves of rainbow colors of glass, one can see why Zeitner feels this was "all meant to be."

"This creative adventure with glass has not only helped to empower me during some years of significant struggle, it is something that I truly enjoy as an artist and which seems to be ever-expanding as a business," she said.

In early 2018, those working with The Lodge discovered her website while searching online for artists in the Sisters region.

"For The Lodge, the lighting will complement and enhance the color palettes that the interior design team has created," Zeitner said. "As a lover of interior design myself, the fixtures I create for The Lodge this summer will come from pieces as fine as powdered sugar all the way up to chips that I create by shattering larger pieces of glass myself. Our goal is to create a beautiful living space that is simply captivating.

"I am really flattered," Susie concluded. "I have found that those involved with The Lodge are very environmentally and aesthetically aware. I am thrilled to be part of the team that will create this uniquely beautiful ambiance. It is something that we hope will be inspiring and visually pleasing to everyone who walks through the doors, including residents, their families, guests and staff, both young and old."

Designed by Mayes Architecture and Planning Inc. of Sisters, Oregon, The Lodge is slated to open in the fall of 2018 with 62 resident units available for occupancy. In line with its vision to honor and reflect the beauty of Sisters itself, The Lodge will have 14 themed gardens, open to the public, each one filled with pollinator-attracting plants and works of art created by Oregon artists. Inside The Lodge, there will be rotating displays of art by regional artists, including students from area schools.

For more information about Susie Zeitner, visit

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