“Uniquely Yours by JLM” comes from my creative escapes from my busy life as a mom and bookkeeper in Nakusp BC.  I enjoy up-cycling/re-purposing materials, playing and manipulating molten glass, silversmithing and learning and experimenting with new techniques.  Each piece is individual… unique… in its own way.

I have always loved jewelry and anything sparkly and shiny, I first fell in love with glass when I was fortunate enough to have met the late Kent Le Grand, from Witchcliffe Australia while one of my many visits to WA.  Kent took me into the studio and did a live demo on how to blow glass…  he blew my mind, as he was a one-armed glass blower that adapted to using his foot as an extra arm to roll the blow pipe!  He then let me play with molten glass and I was hooked at first pull.   I dreamed that I would take Kent up on his offer to work as an assistant in is studio, he was willing to take anyone in who wanting to learn the trade and assist him.

Joleen Minchin

I got into “crafting” for my mental health with a group I formed that focused on getting together, being creative while sharing and learning new skills.  It was in this group that I rediscovered my passion for glass.  Both my daughter’s, Alanna and Chiara, join me in my love for glass and we all have our own torches in our studio.

Once my passion was reignited 6 years ago, I was obsessed with learning all I could about glass and took as many workshops as I could afford on fusing glass.  My glass obsession eventually led me to the Molten Experience with my aunt Emily Maja and Ada Bording.  There I was able to walk among and learn from some of the most talented lampworkers such as Alexx Cheng, Joy Munshower, Hailey Tsang Sather and Sharon Peters who were more than willing to share their valuable knowledge.  These events left me with my heart full and yearning to learn more.

I have attended classes with Corina Tettinger, Sherry Bellamy and Robyn Cornelius and have been able to build on my skills.  I have been gifted with my mentors Ada Bording, from Ada Baby’s Beads, Deb Tarry, from Works in Glass, Donna Brayshaw and the twins Melanie Rowe and Leslie Rowe-Israelson, all who have taken me under their wings and have taught me techniques and encouraged me through this process.  I feel so honoured and blessed to have these people in my life.

After my first meeting with Alexx and Viyada, I reached out to Alexx to personally thank him for his generosity at Molten.  He generously committed to coming to Nakusp to meet My daughter Alanna and her grade 5 class and teach for a weekend retreat with other lampworkers.  Alanna was so taken by Alexx’s and Viyada’s humanitarian work that they do in Thailand, that her and her class wanted to help the kids in Thailand too.  Hence the Giving Glass Project was born.  I donated scrap glass, and Fusion Glass, out of Kelowna donated glass, and the students assembled pieces to fuse in the kiln.  It was magic watching the entire class taking part in this project.  The students sold their finished pieces  at a stand outside our grocery store and together, with sales from a hot dog stand, raised over $1,200.00, for the school in Thailand.

My mom & dad have also been a big part of my journey. They’ve sacrificed space in their workshop for my studio, supplied me with endless scrap metal and materials.  They even open their home and property to my artist peers when I host a weekend of sharing and learning, they are both truly amazing!

I strongly believe in learn from those who know more and teach to those who know less.  I was asked to teach jewelry/glass through or School district mental health program to teenagers as an after-school program last year.  I find it so rewarding seeing the light it brings to some troubled teens.

Currently I am working on a project to help a Laotian Refuge raise money to visit his long-lost brother in Laos. They have not seen each other for over 40 years… this is unimaginable to me.  Covid has made me miss out on seeing my family… but not 40 years!  When I asked him why he has not gone back to visit, he told me that he would have been killed if he returned home, he is now able to go safely, but he said it is too expensive for him.  He has accepted my offer help to raise money through art to reunite him with his brother.  Both my daughters (Alanna and Chiara), Deb, Donna, Alexx are working with me on this project.  I am currently seeking donations of artwork to sell/auction online to raise the money.

Sharing and helping others is what inspires me to create.  Creating, helps with my mental health.  Being able to create sparkly pretty things while helping others makes my life complete!