Yes, I know the Tour de France does not happen in Belgium but we have definitely been on a glass tour since we have been in Europe. Teaching at Cerfav in France, visiting factories and glass collections near Nancy, followed by a trip to northern Belgium to the town of Lommel. This is an area that is famous for it’s sand and as a result has a history of glass making. The town of Lommel is small and cute with a weekly market in the town square. While we were here we did an artist residency at the Glazenhuis - an amazing building with a huge glass cone, great gallery space, a shop and studio space. We had a busy/very hot week in studio making sponsor gifts and pieces for the collection, you know it is warm when people watching you behind a window are fanning themselves. Jeroen Maes the curator of the centre has organized many many glass exhibits at the centre and the current one is UK glass. It was just so nice to be introduced to the work of artist whose work we didn’t know, which it is why it is so important that this sort of exhibition occurs - we just need more of them and they need to travel around. There is so much interesting work out there that is not seen enough! Hopefully, posting some of these images will be my minor way of changing that. If you want to know some of the names of the artists who participated, check out the Glazenhuis webpage or Facebook page, there is more information on the exhibit there.
Here are some photos of our time in the Lorraine region of France. This an important area for the manufacture of glass in France, while here we visited a few factories - with a long tradition of glassmaking - Baccarat and Meisenthal. It was incredible to see the level of skill and effort that went into each of the pieces from the blowing to the cold working. At the museum there was some “live” art deco glass - gorgeous Daum vases - it is so nice to see these pieces up close.
We were very well hosted by the family of Samuel Clemoncon, and by hosted I mostly mean fed - as evidenced by the photos below. After trying countless local cheese, deserts, sausages, we were asked us what the regional specialties were from our region, to which we replied, “beef” .
We have had some great studio assistants who have studied at CERFAV, - a school in France, they have told us lots about the school and we have always wanted to visit. We have had an opportunity this past week to teach at the school. The class was focused on making sculptural work using production team blowing techniques, we didn’t have much time but the students embraced the concept and soon everyone was working together making pieces using components and equipment they had never used before. We loved the experience, the students were so enthusiastic and kind, the glass - which they make at the school, has ruined us for any other.
Some lovely students from the broadcasting program at SAIT have made a video on our studio. They came this November and videotaped us working and asked some really great questions about the work we make and what makes us want to make the work the do. They did such a great job and it was so nice to have the chance to reflect on what is important to me in my practice. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed being a part of it. Here is the link : http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nfkugS4FenA
We have been busy in the studio creating one of kind pieces that will make great gifts. We have taken inspiration from our studies and experiences in Australia to produce these well crafted pieces.
We are opening our studio doors on December 7th from 11-5pm to share these creations with you. During the day there will be glassblowing demonstrations, blown glass displayed and refreshments! Please join us for this special day in the studio.
Here are some photos of some custom pieces we made for a client. It was great to have a beautiful spot to put our work into. After installing the pieces last week, I commented to the client that essentially they had an exhibition in their home. There was a lot of thought given to making sure the pieces looked good together and that they worked with the surroundings of the home. It was just so nice to see such a cohesive collection.
Pretty excited is the way I would describe feeling about the Tour of Alberta. First off I am excited that this high level of a race is coming to our province. It is pretty much like the Tour de France of North America. It is also exciting that winners of the Tour de France will be in my town of Black Diamond! The thing that really tops it off though is that they have chosen a piece of mine to give the winner of Stage Four of the race - the Queens leg - the hardest stage. I am so honoured that the mayor Sharlene Brown thought of me for this gift. The piece is one of my Rose Vase series vessels. Sharlene picked it out because she liked the metal like mineral qualities of the black top and I see a lot of motion and movement in the top of the piece. I recently learned that winners of bike races often receive glass vases full of flowers. In this piece the idea of an abstracted flower and vase are one. Along with the race there will all kinds of festivals happening in Black Diamond on the 7th of September. Both Tyler’s and my pieces works will be on display at a booth at the Arts Festival from 10-5pm and our studio will be open to visitors for demonstrations and sales during the festival. So come by and say hello, see the new pieces we have been creating and enjoy the art, music, food and cycling! The festival will take place just a block south from the start and finish line of the race - in the field next door to our studio at 634 3rd St. S.W. Black Diamond. Maps and further information can be found on our facebook page Firebrand Glass Studio or http://tourofalberta.ca/site/festival/schedule-of-events/
The workshop dates for the fall are set!
There are only a few spots left in the September and October classes, so if these dates work for you. Book in soon!
Class size is limited and will be booked on a first come first serve basis. Cost for the weekend is $275.00 all supplies included, such a good deal for so much fun. To register or if you would like more information. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
These events are fun to do with a group of friends and Diamond Willow Artisan Retreat is a gorgeous place to stay, to make it a great get away. http://www.diamondwillowartisanretreat.com/
We are back home from our Australian adventure and loving the beautiful Alberta spring weather. Our last four months there were full of great experiences and accomplishments. Tyler has completed his masters in visual art and Julia was an artist in residence at the renowned Canberra Glassworks. For both of us this time was incredibly creative and productive and we have returned home with new ideas and many plans. We will be busy this spring participating in a glass symposium at the Alberta College of Art and Design and a group exhibition, â€śAssembly of Lightâ€ť at Endeavor Arts Galleryâ€¨ I hope you can join us for this event. The studio will also be busy with two beginner glassblowing workshops in May & June and we are creating a custom annual award for the Rozsa Foundation. On a more international level Tylerâ€™s work will be featured in an exhibition at the South Australia School of Art Gallery and we have both been published in an Australian magazine Craft Arts International. To have this recognition of our work on both a local and international level is something we are quite pleased about.
The studio is open for visits and tours by appointment and we have some new pieces available here at the studio for wedding/ birthday and hostess gifts. Please give us a call or send us an email if you would like to stop by the studio. I have attached an images of Tyler’s masters exhibition, other images can also be found on our facebook page.
I ( Julia) have spent the past month as an artist in residence at the Canberra Glassworks. What an amazing facility! I was lucky enough to have the time to work like a mad scientist experimenting with what glass will let me do , and it turns out it will do a lot! I have some great test pieces, knowledge of new processes and I feel inspired by the artists I met and worked with there. Here are some images of some of my tests and the space I worked in.