Posted on February 19, 2014 by Marina

Our Bottle Glass is a popular item in our brewery and estore but ever wonder what the story behind it really is?

bottleglass

Our Custom made Bottle Glasses start as our beer bottle and then the artisans at Artech Studios turn them into unique drinking glasses. They are heated and reformed at 2150°F using traditional glassblowing techniques. The original enameled labels stay intact during the heating process. Nothing has been added or removed from these bottles, making each beer glass one-of-a-kind, while still holding a full beer!

Jenn Wanless-Craig, co-founder at Artech Studios shares their story below.

How did Artech Glass Blowing Studios start and who are the team members?  
We started our studio in 2004 when we moved into our house (an old church) in Tory Hill, On.  We started doing craft shows and selling to stores, teaching glassblowing classes and making custom work.  Terry and I (Jenn) are the owners and our great friend, Jake Raynard works for us.  Our daughter, Anabelle is also a huge help and loves to blow glass too!

How did the idea for recyclable beer bottle glass come about?
It is based on an old factory technique and we only ever made a dozen or so a year.  We always made them for friends and it was these friends who really pushed us to start selling them.  As traditionally trained glassblowers we never thought of just transforming glass but creating pieces from scratch with liquid glass.  Upcycling seemed too easy.  Then because of the beer glasses we have become a lot more efficient with our time, materials and waste.  We are constantly looking at ways to transform old glass into something new and ways to make our studio more “green”.

What is the Artech mobile glass studio?
Our mobile studio is a mini version of our studio in Tory Hill.  It means we can take the “show on the road” and blow glass at outdoors events and festivals.  We have been fortunate to be  apart of Nuit Blanche and Luminato in Toronto,  a Busking Festival in St. John, New Brunswick and this winter, the 10th annual Cannington Dog Sled Festival to name a few.  We love the opportunity to travel with our studio, as we can demonstrate glassblowing and involve the crowd into what we are creating.

arttechstudios

What are some of your favourite events that you hosted or been a part of?
Wow, there are so many! We have been featured on two Cottage Life shows, we made the goblet for the movie Mortal Instruments,City of Bones.  We do shows all across Canada and sometimes we turn that into a vacation…or a “showcation” as our daughter calls it.  We took 3 weeks to drive across Canada last spring, doing shows and visiting galleries.  We went to SanFransico in 2012 for a craft show and took the train home. It took 3 days, got stuck in a snow storm and had a impromptu trip to Chicago while we waited out the storm.  Made a work trip rememrable.

Most rewarding part of running Artech Glass Blowing studios?
Everything.  See above!  Being an artist and making a living creating work that people love is very rewarding.  As glassblowers, we follow a long line of tradition that has changed little in 2000 years.  There is a sense of belonging and pride that goes with this lineage.  It is a honourable art form with a fire at its heart.

 Visit our friends at Artech Studios!