‘The Glass Shoppe Studio’ was born by ‘chance’. It’s true – Ottawa’s first full supply beadmaking shoppe and studio started out as a ‘chance’ encounter with a floral handmade bead in Houston Texas in 2001. All I needed was to see this one bead, in the right surroundings, with my bead-loving friend Lauren, to set the hook.
All my hobbies took a back seat to this amazing world of glass beadmaking known as "lampwork." The opportunity to be the initial importer of a hand pulled glass from Lauscha, Germany in 2005 began my online glass selling business. I introduced another line of glass in 2007: a specialty high silver content glass, also hand pulled. By the end of that year I knew I wanted to go the next step and take my art and my online store to the walk-in retail level. I envisioned a studio and store where you could come to learn, share torch time with other beadmakers, teach and shop for all your lampworking needs from supplies to finished artwork. And in 2009 in a ‘chance’ conversation with bead friend and business owner, Meredith Filshie, the Glass Shoppe concept was born. Meredith was looking to relocate her business, Canada Beading Supply, to a space that was more efficient, and I was looking for a space that I felt was an appropriate size and location for a studio. We met a couple more times, and got quite excited about the idea of co-locating our two businesses. We realized that each would complement and add dimension to the other. Today, the Glass Shoppe Studio and Canada Beading Supply not only share an entranceway and common space but are the journey’s end for the bead artisan.
Lampwork is the art of beadmaking. Thousands of years old, this ancient art form has changed little, except in the heat source we use to melt the glass rods into the incredible little pieces of art we make. Each color in a bead is a different rod of glass, shaped and manipulated in its molten form to create the finished piece. Each bead is made one at a time, kiln annealed, then cleaned and strung for adornment. This is nothing short of a passion: joy not only through personal creation, but gratification through teaching, then seeing first-hand again that surprise and delight in working with glass for the first time.
Lampwork is my pleasure and my day job. I do what I love every day. How lucky can a gal get?
Please drop by and see for yourself what glass beadmaking is all about. The Glass Shoppe Studio has a state of the art 8 torch teaching studio, 4 lines of glass, supplies, tools, publications and of course hand made glass beads created by Canadian Lampwork Artists. Periodically, we will have scheduled demos. Check the webpage calendar for all upcoming events.
To view some of my work, please visit www.BeadsByChance.com