Fire to frost: The glass community shows how


Precision was the key. Participants in the second annual Glass Gathering event at the Trafalgar campus last Saturday paid extra attention to capture every small detail on their glass ornaments as they molded hot wax to make patterns and added final details.

Spectators watched flame-heated molten wax formed into vases, ornaments and glass structures. Everything was made to sell in the silent auction.

The Glass Gathering, an all-day free event, was hosted at the Sheridan College Glass Studio. The event was not affiliated with Sheridan College and was completely volunteer-based. More than 150 glass artists attended from across Ontario, along with show organizers Megan Smith and Sylvie Jensen.

“This is the second year in a row and we started ground up,” explained Smith. “The idea for this glass gathering had been floating around for a long time and we decided to make it happen.”

Smith, who is a former student in the Glass program, along with Jensen, a former student from the Art and Artistry program, graduated from Sheridan College before starting the event.

“This event is not completely affiliated with Sheridan. The alumni department has hosted the lunch so we look at it as an alumni event,” said Smith. “But we invite all glass artists to participate and the school generously donates. If it ever gets too big, we would probably require a personal studio.”

In addition to glass demos, the day offered many things for attendees. It kicked off with an opening lecture by Chris Laskey, glass artist and also a former student from Sheridan, who explained the steps to the vinyl-cutting process with ways to create eye catching graphics on glass.

This was followed by hotshop, flameworking and kiln-casting demos. The Glass Olympics and the silent auction later in the day showcased unusual ornaments, glass structures and glass pendants, which was taken care of by Gabby Wilson, who ran the silent auction and was an artist for the kiln casting demos.

“Last year we had a silent auction where we raised around $3,000,” said Wilson. “We ask people to donate generously and the money that comes in from this auction goes towards the event planning for the following year and also to the Glass Artist Association for their support.”

“It was my first time here and so far I have liked what I saw,” said Steve Campbell, an attendee and a former Sheridan student. “The glass demos were fun to watch, and each and every activity was really fun and it left me amazed to see how much talent these people have.”

The viewers were given the opportunity to see the glassware being prepared live, before they were sent in for the silent auction.

Demos took place all day long, with artists including Alyssa Getz, Andy Kuntz, Mathieu Grodet, Keshav Gupta and many more, working on hotshops or flamework, leaving the crowd applauding louder with each demo.

“We started last year and we had about 150 people show up,” said Sylvie Jensen. “This year we have around 300 people at this event. The increase has been phenomenal. It’s great to see everyone volunteer either to organize or participate and I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for people to network or catch up with old friends.”