This fall the Tyrell Museum put out a call for proposals for a sculpture for a corridor in the Palaeozoic area of the museum. The purpose of the sculpture was to help visitors move through the exhibition spaces. Because of this our proposal was to make a piece that captured movement and in particular the movement of animals from a marine to terrestrial environment - a key event that happened in the Paleozoic period. We had done a project with the Tyrell a few years ago and loved the experience of collaborating with them. So, when they chose our submission I jumped around the kitchen for joy! One of our favourite things about making work for the Tyrell is that we get to learn from their experts, so we spent time in their collections, learning about the species at that time and got inspired by their forms and textures. Here are some drawings that served as source material for the sculpture.
I noticed a few years ago after our return from living in Australia how beautiful winter was. I think as artists who work with glass - a material that plays with light, winter is an inspiration, in particular the way ice and snow sparkle and transform the light around us. So when the Canoe Volant & Illuminart festival commissioned us to make a sculpture for their winter festivals our source of inspiration was the beauty of winter. In particular what we wanted to celebrate was how in winter your breath will sparkle and there are these crystals lighting up the most ordinary of things. What interests us artistically are those moments when we stop and see the beauty that surrounds us even the small and everyday.
So as a result our sculpture is titled “Winters Breath” - it will be on display at the Flying Canoe and Illuminart Festivals - here are there websites for more details : https://www.flyingcanoevolant.ca http://experienceilluminart.com
Here the schedule for our demonstrations on saturday.
-11am: Tyler- Antler - Tyler uses actual deer antlers as models to create these pieces
-12pm: Tyler- Alpen Glow Vase - these vases have gorgeous layers of colour applied similar to a water colour technique
1:30pm: Julia –Mountain Bowl - this is a new series for Julia inspired by the mountains in our neighbourhood
2:30pm: Tyler – Something Elaborate and Crazy - this is the demostration where Tyler sometimes takes requests - one year it was a goblet a little girl dreamed up
4pm: Ramona- Goblet - Ramona has been working in our studio for the past year and has focused making goblets
4:30pm: Zoulou - Moosehead - Zoulou is from Quebec and has worked in our studio this fall - it is amazing how she transforms a blob of glass into a moosehead!
Everyone is invited to our annual Christmas Open House on December 1st from 11-5pm. There will be demonstrations all day, new pieces for sale that make great gifts and cookies! Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages for photos of the pieces we are creating for this event. There will also be other art events in the area that day with the Most Beautiful Art Tour in Alberta. For more information visit: http://www.themostbeautifularttourinalberta.com
We are looking forward to opening our studio doors this saturday September 29th from 11-4pm. We enjoy these events because it gives us a chance to clean up the studio and show off some of the pieces we have been making. In both the garden and the studio it is all about the harvest - so there are pumpkins everywhere! During the day there will be demonstrations of pieces we normally make and things that are really complicated and have never been made before. The weather is supposed to be nice on saturday - so come out and enjoy the fall colours and celebrate Alberta Culture Days with us.
-11am -Antler - Tyler Rock
-12 - Bison - Tyler Rock
-1pm - Sculpted Ornament - Zoulou Desbiens
-1:30pm - Super Elaborate Venetian Pumpkin - Tyler Rock
-2:30pm - Gossamer Bowl - Julia Reimer
-3:30pm - Goblet - Ramona Stinson
Come and join us for Alberta Culture Days this coming saturday September 29thth from 11-4pm. During the day we will feature glass blowing demonstrations, there will also be a bumper crop of blown glass pumpkins for sale. Further details of the schedule can be found on our Facebook page. Firebrand Glass is just one of the stops on the The Most Beautiful Art Tour that day, for more details on the tour visit. http://www.themostbeautifularttourinalberta.com
We were lucky enough to be asked to teach at a conference at Jilin University of the Arts in China in August. While there we taught students and professors from across China who had come to attend this 3 month government sponsored event. It was a incredible experience, from teaching these eager to learn students, seeing the facilities at the school and experience the history and beauty of this country. The images below are some of the few that capture this amazing experience. We love to travel but travelling with glass is the best - because we meet people who are as in love with glass as we are. Click on the photo below for a mini slide show!
We love doing custom pieces, it is a chance to work directly with clients to design a piece that suits their needs. These pieces range from lighting that fits a certain space to memorial pieces that incorporate the ashes of a loved one. Recently we made a decanter and spinning goblets with "Dexters" ashes with colour that matched his fur. With these pieces his family can remember him with toasts to a wonderful dog.
On cold winter days the glass studio is the best place to be. It is like taking a warm vacation while making something beautiful! We still have some room in our winter workshops. These classes range from 4 hour private classes that can be customized to your skill level or a full day workshop for beginners. For more information and to sign up check out our workshop page.
We are wishing you and you family a year is filled with love, success, and laughter. When we reflect upon the past year we have had some incredible projects that ranged from a sculpture to celebrate Canada's 150th to custom awards and one of a kind pieces for our clients homes. All of these experiences were rewarding and we are grateful for your support and encouragement. We feel fortunate to have the chance to make beautiful things for you.
We have included some photos of some of our projects last year.
Part of the fun at our Christmas Open House is the glassblowing demonstrations we do. While glass surrounds us in our day to day lives, very few people have an understanding of how a wine glass is made, so it is always a thrill when our guests discover the beauty of molten glass being transformed into an object. During the day we will show how we make some of the pieces on our shelves and sometimes we take a request - such as the year a young girl requested Tyler make a goblet with an elephant for a stem.
11:30am Tyler- Antler
12:30pm Julia – Gossamer Vase
1:30pm Tyler- Sculpted Bison
3:00pm Julia –Ornaments
3:30pm Tyler - Something Crazy & Elaborate
We really love having our Christmas Open House, it gives us a chance to connect with people in our community after months of working hard in the studio. We also enjoy making smaller pieces that make nice Christmas gifts. Every year we come up with new designs and it is fun thinking of ways to create a one of kind ornament or the ideal scotch glass. With each of these pieces, we learn something new and we look forward to hearing what pieces people love. Here are some photos of what we are preparing for the open house on December 2nd.
Everyone is welcome to attend our Christmas Open House on Saturday December 2nd from 11-5pm. There will be glassblowing demonstrations throughout the day, one of kind gifts and cookies! In the coming weeks we will be posting the schedule of pieces that will demonstrated and photos of our creations. For a map to the studio click here
Thank you to everyone who came to the opening of our Exhibition "Landmarks" at the Alberta Craft Council last Saturday. It was great to share our new works with friends and family. The show features new sculptural work by Tyler, Julia & Katherine Russell. The pieces featured reflect upon the beauty and richness of the prairie environment. Katherine, like Julia & Tyler spent a significant amount of time in Australia. Early European explorers saw both the Australian outback an the western prairies as an empty places. The sculptures featured in this show reflect the visual richness of these "not empty" spaces.
The photographic images in our public art piece "Transect" were sourced from the Glenbow Museum and the Provincial Archives. We combed through 100's of photos and picked ones that showed the transformation of the province of Alberta. It was really important for us to show a diversity of people working at building all the things we take for granted today. We also couldn't resist any photos of moose!
Come and join us for Alberta Culture Days this coming saturday September 30th from 11-4pm. During the day we will feature the up and coming talent in our studio. There will be glass blowing demonstrations by Katherine Russell during the day. There will also be a bumper crop of blown glass pumpkins for sale. Firebrand Glass is just one of the stops on the The Most Beautiful Art Tour that day, for more details on the tour visit. http://www.themostbeautifularttourinalberta.com
Here are some more images of our sculpture "Transect" which is located on Capital Boulevard, 108th St. in Edmonton. It seems since the piece was installed it has become very popular, it was featured on the front page of the Edmonton Journal, Galleries West and CTV news and the background for 1000's of selfies! Here is a link to the Edmonton Journal Article
The launch of the Capital Boulevard Public Art Project will take place at the Alberta Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre at 1:30pm on July 1st. Afterwards, we will be available at the sculpture site from 2:15 – 3pm. This past week we saw the completed metal structure for the first time and it was love at first sight! The metal fabricators at Carvel Creative did an outstanding job making the stainless steel structure. On its own the metal would have been beautiful but once we starting adding the glass the sculpture came to life. We are installing the piece next week and we will post photos on our of the completed work. Click here for a map to the Alberta Legislature Visitors Centre. Our sculpture is located at 9945 108st. NW Edmonton. We look forward to celebrating this event with you and feel free to forward this information to anyone who would be interested!
We have been working intensively the past six months to create a public art sculpture to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary. The piece will be unveiled on July 1st and will be located near the Alberta Legislature. The concept behind the piece was recognize all that has changed in Alberta in the last 150 years. When we started research for this project we looked at historical images of the site where the sculpture will be located and realized that not that long ago the streets were mud and the vehicles horses and carts. Our piece is comprised of two stainless steel spheres built in a molecular pattern composed of circles and rods. Inside of each circle is glass that either has a historical image printed on the surface or the texture of animal tracks embossed in it. Our goal with the images was to give the viewer of a sense of what existed here before and all that has been built in such a short period of time. To celebrate all that has been created in this beautiful place. Below are some of the historical images we have sourced from the Provincial Archives and the Glenbow Museum for this project.
We were recently selected to create a public art sculpture to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary. There were 50 Alberta artists shortlisted and our proposal along with that of 5 other artists was chosen. Our concept is to create a sculpture that develops an awareness of the space around it, to allow viewers to understand what existed in that space before and appreciate all that has been accomplished. The idea for this piece came from looking at historical images of Capital Boulevard (108th St) in Edmonton. It was astounding to realize that not that long ago the streets were made of mud and rutted with the tracks of horse drawn carriages. I think that in order to really celebrate this milestone, there needs to be an awareness of the transformation that has occurred. Our piece will be made of stainless steel and glass. The glass pieces will have historical images that capture the process of transformation fused onto their surface. We will be collaborating with several Calgary based companies to create this larger scale piece. This is an exciting artistic adventure that we are proud to be a part of. Check out this Edmonton journal article for more information on the project and the other artists chosen. http://edmontonjournal.com/storyline/paula-simons-five-new-sculptures-aim-to-animate-capital-boulevard-in-time-for-canadas-150th-birthday