Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas is pictured shed hunting.
Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas will show this piece, a stained-glass antler chandelier called “Sundance,” at the exclusive Western Design Conference and Sale in Jackson.
Sundance from below
Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas will show this piece, a stained-glass antler chandelier called “Sundance,” at the exclusive Western Design Conference and Sale in Jackson.

Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas is pictured shed hunting.
Last year, Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas reached new heights in her career when she was accepted to an exclusive design show and sold her masterpiece — a 50-pound, five-panel stained glass antler chandelier named “Ascend” — for five digits.
That helped set her professional life off in a different direction, and she’s hoping for a repeat this year.
The Western Design Exhibit and Sale is held each year in Jackson, Wyoming. Delonas, whose business is named Mountain Girl Studios, says she is honored to be among the nearly 100 artists accepted to the show, which takes place Sept. 8 to 11.
“It’s a very prestigious show,” Delonas said. “Only the best of the West go to that show.”
The design show, according to its website, “is in its 30th year and “brings together artists, scholars, collectors, interior designers, architects, and fashion designers with a passion for the West. From documented American craft, to home design, to fashion the Exhibit + Sale encompasses all aspects of the best of Western design. This event celebrates functional museum-quality creations capturing the spirit of the West.”
Last year’s show was the first that Delonas had applied to participate in, and she told the East Idaho Business Journal in November 2021 that she was “blown away” when she was accepted.
Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas will show this piece, a stained-glass antler chandelier called “Sundance,” at the exclusive Western Design Conference and Sale in Jackson.
Sundance from below
After being accepted, she pivoted. Instead of spending her days working on the artwork that made her well known locally — small pieces made of stained glass, feathers, rocks and gemstones soldered between the tines of antlers — Delonas put all that aside to spend four months creating “Ascend.”
It was a process that nearly broke her. It was tedious and frustrating. In the end, it took her to new heights.
“You don’t really know you’re going through an enlightening or spiritual process until you’re onto the other side of it,” Delonas told the East Idaho Business Journal at the time. “If you had asked me … while I was building it, as pieces are breaking and I’m having to learn and fix things (I would have said), ‘This isn’t spiritual. This isn’t enlightening at all.’ It was breaking me, mentally, everything.”
At the 2021 show, “Ascend” sold for $20,000.
“Year after year, I had a deeper desire to just build something that was authentically me,” she told the Idaho State Journal this past week. “These (chandeliers) were always in the back of my mind.”
Making that sale affirmed to her that she was on the right path, and she gave herself permission to keep going.
So, what’s she bringing to the show this year? Five chandeliers that she created over the course of a year, three of which are the size of “Ascend.” Two of those three are similar to last year’s.
One is something new. It’s called “Sundance,” and its attention to detail and color and its connection to nature is astounding — but fitting. Delonas spends much of her life in the outdoors — climbing mountains, hiking, hunting for antler sheds and gems and rocks — and it inspires her work.
Delonas wants to tell a story with the piece, which she says is so big she can barely put her arms around it.
“It has five different animals. It has the bear, the buffalo, the moose, the elk, the deer,” she said. “It’s ‘Sundance’ because all the animals come out during dusk and dawn — to move, to migrate, to eat.”
Pocatello artist Ashley Delonas will show this piece, a stained-glass antler chandelier called “Sundance,” at the exclusive Western Design Conference and Sale in Jackson.
“‘Sundance’ comes to life through five panels framed by bone,” Delonas writes in her artist’s statement about the piece. “Scenes of untamed western wildlife come to life as the light shines through hundreds of fragments of warmed toned stained glass, precious gemstones, geodes, crystals and ancient fossils. Just as the light of day changes in the presence of the majestic animals, so does the experience beneath the cascading rainbow of lights of this piece.
“While the chandelier hangs above, casting beams of light from across the spectrum, you cannot help but feel a connection to the Earth below. The collection of the shed antlers as well as the gemstones and geodes from amongst the soil grounds this piece, emanating a solace only found amongst nature. Together warm oranges and reds and cooling turquoise and pinks illuminate bathing the space in tranquil purity.”
She’s submitted “Sundance” into the Western Design competition, which has cash prizes.
“(Each chandelier) weighs about 50 pounds. They’re massive,” Delonas said. “They’re not anything to bat an eye about. I think they’re the coolest things ever, I really do. Especially this one I have in the competition. … It’s breathtaking.”
She’s cognizant of the fact that just because she saw success last year doesn’t mean she will again. That would mean that six months devoted to and investing in her work, without bringing in income, wouldn’t pay off.
That said, she’s optimistic it will work out.
“I believe in my whole heart that I have clients out there,” she said. “There’s four people every year that can fund my whole life, you’ve just gotta find where they are.”
Plus, in her 13-year artistic career, Delonas has become more comfortable with taking risks.
“I’ve just learned that it typically pays off,” she said.
If you want to stop in and say hello, the Western Design Exhibit and Sale is open to the public and takes place at the Snow King Center, 100 E. Snow King Ave. in Jackson. Sept. 8 features a preview party and fashion show. Day passes for the exhibition, which takes place Sept. 9, 10 and 11, can be purchased at westerndesignconference.com.
For more information on Delonas’ work, visit mountaingirlstudios.com. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram, @mountain_girl_studios.
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