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Meet your makers: Glass cacti artist makes pieces for black thumbs

  • Updated

Plants that you can never kill, even if you tried. No need for watering or getting enough sunlight for Alexandra Berger Clamons’ cacti.

They are made of glass.

Berger Clamons’ business, The Glass Desert, specializes in stained glass artwork.

She is most known for her potted glass cactus plants.

Berger Clamons has been interested in glass artwork since 2003. She taught herself torch working in college.

After school, she moved to Tucson and worked under local artist Tom Philabaum, one of the founders of the Sonoran Glass School.

While working at the school, Berger Clamons learned mosaics and stained-glass work.

Berger Clamons said she has always found inspiration in plants and the environment, especially the desert landscape.

“(I am a) certified master gardener and longtime horticultural enthusiast, so translating glass into plants — or plants into glass — was almost instinctual,” Berger Clamons said. “I am constantly inspired by the plants of the Sonoran Desert and always looking for new ways to express them in glass.”

Berger Clamons has been working in the Tucson area as a full-time stained-glass artist for the last two years.

Her work consists of creating stained glass cactus set in small pots to look like succulents and other desert flora.

Her shiny, vibrant green cacti catch the eye.

“My art appeals to people for different reasons,” she said. “One thing I hear a lot is ‘Oh, that’s a cactus I couldn’t kill.’

“I think it appeals to people with so called ‘black thumbs’ or people who travel a lot ... this is a cactus that will stay with them forever.”

Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, Berger Clamons has been a pushing herself to post more of her work online, including on her website at

"We're tough as saguaros," editorial cartoonist David Fitzsimmons says. He says he saw a video made for the people of Detroit and became inspired to do his own take for Tucson.

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