How long have you worked in glass (or have you graduated from another medium and fallen in love with glass)
I entered the Craft and Design program at Sheridan College in Ontario a year out of high school at age 19. I originally went there to study ceramics. I had never had any exposure to glass at that point, but once I tried it I was immediately hooked and switched studios. I loved the immediacy of glassworking, the colour, the same things that hook all of us. I’ve been working in glass ever since. I originally studied hot glass then learned flameworking as a summer job. I took the skills back to Sheridan and when they moved the campus in 1987 I convinced the department head to add flameworking to the curriculum. I’ve had one foot in furnace work and one foot in flamework ever since.
Inspiration: What or who inspires you
So many amazing artists! Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and Ginny Ruffner were early inspirations. I remember seeing Billy Morris’s work for the first time and being speechless. Design-wise I’ve always had a soft spot for mid-century modern and art deco. Clean lines and bright colours are my jam.
Visual Voice: Express why you create your designs
I usually look at what I make in terms of filling a need – something to drink out of, to serve food in, to adorn our bodies. Objects that are part of our everyday life or important rituals. They should add to those experiences, bring us joy or cheer and express our culture and values. It’s not just about the creator’s expression but also that of the person who chooses and uses the object.
What is in your artistic future?
I feel like I’m entering an exciting phase of my career where I can explore more of the creative ideas that have been percolating inside me for many years. I’ve also started collaborating with a couple of amazing artists in other media and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
What are your goals moving forward
I’m eager to finish setting up my new flameworking studio and offer private lessons again. Teaching has always been part of my practice and has connected me to such an amazing community of people.