Portnoy was born in Mid West Canada. Her works mainly focus on figurative sculpture created in cast glass lead crystal. She is prolific and is known also to work in clay, bronze, cement, polystyrene, glass mosaic, and stainless steel. Portnoy also specializes in the design and fabrication of interior & exterior mosaic floors & walls. Community projects as well as weekend workshops and summer school teaching are welcomed distractions to her solo studio practice.