Why "Milkweed Arts"?

Each week, students ask how our studio name came into being. The story behind the name is a simple one. The milkweed plant is vital to the monarch butterfly, and the monarch itself is a work of art. Just as the monarch relies on milkweed to nourish it's body, we rely on art to nourish our spirit. And hence, Milkweed Arts was born! Milkweed Arts opened in 2015, responding to a need in the metropolitan Phoenix community for an Arts resource for adults who want to expand their interests, build on their skills, and avoid the hassle of college courses. Our artist/instructors bring unparalleled education and experience to the classroom. We are all about the arts, and we hope our enthusiasm will help inspire and nourish you as well! We set out to make Milkweed Arts a place where you can get quality education, but in a setting that is relaxed, inviting, and just plain fun!

Who Are The Faces Behind Milkweed Arts?

Warren Norgaard

Owner

Warren is a multi-discipline artist whose focus is fused and cast glass. Working with glass since 1990, his work has been shown and collected internationally. His passions have led him to focus his own work around the mandala, and the traditional way they have been created for centuries, developing a method for creating these intricate designs in glass. In addition to teaching at Milkweed Arts, Warren travels the country teaching his trademark "Mandala technique" at host studios around the US and Canada. In previous lives, Warren worked in special education, retail management, massage therapy, magazine publishing, human resources, and freight management, and he believes all of these experiences have come together to make him a better person, artist, teacher, and business owner.Warren is the proud parent to his three dogs: Rex, Laverne, and Shirley.

Nancy Dorobiala

Instructor & Retail Associate

Nancy's art path began as a jewelry artist. Her father was a stone setter and she remembers watching him set stones. Once her children left the nest, she wanted to fill the void. Beginning with jewelry making, and from there entering her first glass class, she learned how to make cabochons in glass and incorporated them into her jewelry. After making small pieces, she explored making larger works in glass and became fascinated even further. Nancy immersed herself in the glass world by producing sculptural pieces of art, and loves to challenge herself by continuing to learn new techniques that she can incorporate into her glass. Glass is always moving, and so is she!

Bahney Dedolph

Instructor & Retail Associate

Usually, I tell people about my education, being a social worker for decades, my hero and mother of social work—Jane Addams, and my amazing children and grandchildren. Here, I want to focus on what drew me to crafting as a lifelong tool for stress relief. My grandmothers taught me to knit and embroider in grade school and sent me to a sewing class before my legs were long enough to reach the pedal. I dabbled in fiber arts, pottery, stained glass, decoupage, mosaics, and other “crafty” things throughout my adult life. I started taking fused glass classes at Milkweed Arts the year they opened, and I was immediately hooked — I have always referred to glass class as my “therapy” and encourage others to try fused glass as a tool for self-care and stress relief. I am very excited to be teaching at Milkweed Arts and sharing my love of this craft and artform. 

Bryant Guzman Martinez

Studio Assistant

A bilingual Phoenix native, Bryant is the newest member of the Milkweed Arts family. New to the world of kiln-formed glass, Bryant enjoys creating works in wood and metal. Kiln-formed glass is sure to be his next artistic passion! With varied interests such as etymology, manga, reading psychological thrillers, watching horror flicks and other such spooky stuff, we look forward to seeing what Bryant’s energy will bring to the studio.