Couple breaking into the art world with recycled glass mosaics | Yakima Herald-Republic


YAKIMA, Wash. — In rusts and indigos and the brilliant hues of a sunset, this couple is doing something no one else in Yakima is officially able to do — they’re recycling glass.

Jeremy Bartheld and Michelle Lester are transforming used bottles and jars into art.


It’s trash becoming treasure, they say.

“We’re taking a discarded commodity and turning it into something people can appreciate,” Bartheld explains.

“It’s how you look at it,” he says. “When you create art out of something that’s been thrown away, it draws your emotions out.”

The couple begin with an old, wooden-framed glass window, envisions a design and glues broken pieces of recycled glass in a pattern on one side. The result is a luminous piece of art.


The process of turning waste into a mosaic creates radiance — one window glows with branches of a tree curling toward an azure sky, while swirls of scarlet, green, blue and white gleam in another.

Creativity and sustainability are hallmarks of how Bartheld and Lester live, so it wasn’t much of a leap to think about rescuing glass from the bin of eternal waste.

“One of our concerns was all the glass in the landfill,” Lester explains. “It takes so long to deteriorate,” adds Bartheld.


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