Round Trip Group Exhibition

February 1, 2011

Eau Claire Market, Calgary, AB


September 2010


By Diana Fox

Installation view of Round Trip; photo: Jillian Logee

For Canadians, the allure of Australia is completely understandable.  We perceive it to be warm waters, sandy beaches, friendly people and long beautiful summers.  For Canadian glass artists, you can add to that appeal highly respected Graduate programs and artist residencies, as well as opportunities to work with some of the best glass artists in the world.  Truly, it’s a wonder then that Canadian glass artists aren’t shipping themselves off to Australia in droves.  Indeed, there are those who go and come back, and those who go and stay, but both will tell you that their experience there is one that greatly affected their practice and the results of it.  It is this hypothesis that was the idea behind “Round Trip”, an exhibition that took place in Eau Claire Market in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in September, 2010.  The five artists involved in this exhibition all had ties within their glass work both to Canada and Australia.

Chris Boha; Three small bags… Thirty years of stuff; 100 x 110 x 30 cm; Copper, wood, blown glass, 30 years of stuff; photo: Jillian Logee

Chris Boha was a Calgary resident for ten years, and graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2003.  Prior to relocating to Adelaide to complete his PhD at the University of South Australia, Chris travelled extensively working and studying with numerous glass artists around the world.  His piece in “Round Trip”, entitled Three Small Bags … Thirty Years of Stuff reflects the universality of the feelings that come with relocating and being limited on what can go with you.  Suspended from the ceiling, it is a copper and wooden boat, with glass buildings on top.  Inside each is a cloudy figurine, the forms of which are broken down by the glass that houses them.

Melanie Long; Canadian Cod Cabaret of Canberra; 16 x 16 x 16”; Hot glass sculpted, painted, various textiles, and mixed media; photo: Jillian Logee

While Boha’s piece deals with the emotional aspects of home and what home means when you relocate somewhere, Melanie Long’s work conversely takes a more whimsical approach to her time in both countries.  Melanie was first in Australia on a student exchange in 2008, and after graduating from ACAD the following year, she returned there to work as a studio assistant.  Her piece, entitled Canadian Cod Cabaret of Canberra, is a culmination of her experiences in both Calgary and Canberra.  Her hot sculpted fish, with big red lips and tall boots, have a burlesque feel to them particularly as they are displayed on small, glittery stages.  These works are particularly tongue-in-cheek as both Calgary and Canberra are landlocked cities, with neither being particularly laden with sea life.

Jaan Poldaas; Rare Fruit; 25 cm, 10 cm; hot sculpted glass, 2010; photo: Jillian Logee

Jaan Poldaas has had a different experience in Australia.  His time spent as a resident at the Jam Factory in Adelaide has given him a keen sense of design, and this is evident in the works he displayed here.  Using coiled clear glass he focuses on the exterior shape of the glass and the distortion evident through the clear.  In other pieces, rings of red that are just off centre offset the clear glass. In placing them slightly off centre, he defines both the forms and the space they inhabit. The placement of the pieces is essential.  In some cases they are almost touching; in others, they need small amounts of space for the shapes of the pieces to be able to be really considered.  They communicate with one another and while each would be a beautiful object on its own, there is so much more to contemplate when they come together.

Natali Rodrigues; photo: Jillian Logee

Natali Rodrigues is currently the Head of the Glass Program at ACAD, but her path through Australia took place when she did her Masters degree at the Australian National University.  Her pieces in this exhibition deal with notions of scale.  Small solid pieces of transparent coloured glass are dwarfed by larger, densely coloured textured pieces which share a similarity of form. 

Katherine Lys; Adaptation; 15” x 10” x 10”; turned jelutong, wood beads, blown glass, lamp-worked beads, wire; photo: Jillian Logee

The relationship between things is also something that Katherine Lys deals with in her work.  Like Boha and Poldaas, Lys continues to call Australia home.  The impact of the Australian climate has had a profound impact on Katherine’s work.  The slow, meditative qualities are evident in pieces that are wood turned.  This quality is then translated to her glass pieces, the forms of which are complimented by the wood pieces.  Each of her pieces form a relationship to the one next to it.  In some cases this is quite literal, with a string of beads connecting one piece to another, and in other cases this is implied, with forms that mimic or compliment one another.

What is most evident from the work in this show is that an experience abroad remains personal to the individual involved.  From the emotional aspects of departure and arrival, to the nuts and bolts of what is learned somewhere new, each artist involved in “Round Trip” has managed to show us that no two trips from Canada to Australia are the same.


Peripheral Vision: the 15th Biennial Ausglass Conference, Sydney

An international conference addressing expanded practice in studio glass


Andrew Lavery

Director, Bachelor of Visual Arts, Subject Chair, Glass Studio, Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney and the Ausglass Conference Chair


Peripheral Vision engages questions crucial to the future of artists, educators, writers, galleries and institutions working with the glass medium. This conference aims to stimulate and provoke fresh critical thinking by broadening the possibilities of studio glass in Australia. Peripheral Vision aims to review the diversity of contemporary local and international approaches to making that challenge the palatable aesthetic, subject matter and contextual boundaries of studio glass.

In 1995 writer/curator William Warmus proposed the end of the first wave of the American studio glass movement. In the 1980s and 1990s, the efforts of key Australian craftspeople, educators and historians to establish a distinctive local studio glass style is well documented, but little reflection has followed. This conference presents a new opportunity for some long due critical analysis. i

Marina Hyasat, Burden from the Blue Soul series, 2010, glass, sterling silver, 360 x 110 x 100 mm, photo: Matt Hoggett


Reigniting the discussion – observations

For over a decade, critics and scholars have questioned the legitimacy of medium-specific protectionism and whether championing of a popular style or aesthetic is healthy for the progression of the medium. In a paper delivered at the Ausglass Conference in 1993, titled the Australian Glass Community, scholar Sue Rowley observed the following, “The Australian glass community is likely to protect privilege and resist incursions from other art forms and intellectual practices,” and that “Experience from other disciplines and art forms suggests that new leaders tend to emerge from previously marginalised areas of thought and practice.” ii Around the same time, writer Nola Anderson argued that the commercial success of boutique glass was effectively marginalising the work of practitioners from contexts such as design and production. iii Recently critic Suzanne Frantz expressed similar concerns in her chapter of the book titled Australian Glass Today. Her chapter, titled Notes from a Distant Observer, discussed the reliance on the Australian landscape and environment to support a claim of uniqueness and its use to carve out a niche for Australian glass as a whole. She argued that specific protectionism and championing of elements of Australian glass is no longer necessary and that work should either stand or fail on its own, whatever the context. iv

Robert Stewart, One, H 1300 x W 800 x D 250 mm, 2010, Photo: Greg Piper


Current issues

Within current international debates about the future of studio glass are issues of stagnation, commercial imperatives, the fetishisation of technique, connoisseurship and a lack of critical discourse amongst makers. In a keynote address at a recent conference, titled Shaping the Future of Craft, artist Martin Puryear describes craft as taking on a form of “semantic indeterminacy”, in that it wants to be art, can be design and no longer wants to be called craft. A similar argument was presented by scholar Bruce Metcalf, in a recent lecture at the 2009 GAS conference. His lecture titled, The Glass Art Conundrum, presented the argument that craft and art are not the same. vvi He asserted that craftspeople have been claiming that they are artists for decades without engaging in the discourse of contemporary art or understanding its complex history and current practices. He argued that glass artists have to be prepared to not use glass if they want to be accepted in the temple of contemporary art. His conclusion was that the majority of studio glass falls within the contexts of craft, design and decorative arts, not contemporary art. vii

Much of the criticism levelled against the Australian Studio Glass Movement is similar to that of the American movement and the points raised in Metcalf’s lecture. The modernist legacy of material-specific studio-based practices driven by aesthetics and the fetishizing of skills can be traced back to burgeoning Australian movement of the 1970’s, when European educators were employed by the various university programs. At the same time contemporary art was acquainting itself with conceptual, inter-disciplinary and post-studio practice. The now mature Australian Studio Glass Movement is facing a similar set of changes to contemporary art in the 1970’s, with the emergence of a new generation of artists producing work that operates within different parameters.

Detail of Robert Stewart's One


Hybrid practice

These practitioners are often highly skilled in glass techniques and regularly exit the craft and design sphere to work and exhibit in a diversity of contexts. Some of these practitioners are creating what has been termed the hybridised object. Hybrid objects blur the traditional boundaries between artistic media such as sculpture, film, performance, craft, design and architecture in the form of a cross-disciplinary or multidisciplinary practice. Hybrid art forms expand the possibilities for experimentation and innovation in craft, design and contemporary art by making interventions and investigations in other disciplines, such as natural and physical science, industry, technology, literature, popular culture, or philosophy. viii Recently, new movements coined post-glass or guerrilla glass have gathered momentum, particularly in America. These artists openly reject the well- respected traditions of studio glass by making use of ubiquitous new media. ix

Marina Hyasat, Ego, 2010, glass, 200 x 220 x 450 mm , photo: Matt Hoggett


New paradigms

Internationally, craft and design institutions are removing or lowering the emphasis of craft in their names in a response to changing practices and contexts outlined above. One example is the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, formerly the American Craft Museum. This allows them to be sympathetic to a greater diversity of approaches, enabling them to expand their audiences. x

With development and support, these new paradigms will provide opportunity and scope for practitioners, writers, galleries and institutions to venture outside the traditional constructs of studio glass and reach broader audiences. Peripheral Vision seeks to challenge the conservative image of studio glass and expand the focus of people who work with glass, by investigating innovative and diverse approaches in the use of glass in a range of contexts.

Robert Stewart, One Two, 200 x 450 x 250 mm, 2010, Photo: Greg Piper


Peripheral Vision will address these issues under the following categories:

i)       Institutions and Galleries

Are the strategies of our institutions and galleries aligned with new international currents in glass and do they support a range of contexts? Looking to the future, how can galleries and institutions support and enhance contemporary practice using the glass medium? Are museums, galleries and glass prizes meeting the changing needs of artists and audiences? Are they capturing and educating audiences and collectors by exhibiting glass work that is progressive and challenging of traditional constructs of studio glass? How can commercial galleries work with the artist run spaces and public galleries in the presentation and promotion of emerging artists and art forms?

ii)      Contemporary Practice

What differentiates one form of practice in the glass medium from the other? What sort of art is glass art? How can artists form a critical expanded practice that doesn’t destroy their income? Is there a happy medium between decorum and concept? Is there a framework for establishing a critical practice? Do studio glass practitioners need to pay greater attention to theory surrounding the material and its relevance to a concept? How have practitioners entered these contexts and how successful have they been? Are these contexts overlooked and what are the opportunities for expanding these areas into the future? Where do skills, virtuosity and connoisseurship fit within these contexts and how do we value and support these areas? Who are the innovators in this context?

Marina Hyasat , Metamorphosis II from In the State of Becoming series, 2008, glass, cotton, 550 x 330 x 300 mm, photo: Greg Piper


iii)     Design and Production

What is the history of design and production in studio glass and how has it informed studio glass in Australia? Are these contexts overlooked and what are the opportunities for expanding these areas into the future? Who are the innovators in this context and how are they positioning themselves within this context?

iv)     Critical Discourse

With the scarce amount of critical discourse surrounding Australian studio glass, are there debates that need to be initiated or reignited to expand and develop the movement? What is the theory surrounding the medium and how can this be applied in the development of concepts? Has the strength of the master narrative of Australian Studio glass overlooked some pertinent contexts and practices on the periphery? Should we be recognising the styles and idioms that we reference more readily before calling them our own? Should we be looking at the way we write about studio glass? How can we change the way we write about glass to give it more currency across contexts? Is there an amount of backslapping and self-congratulatory writing that is hindering the progress of the material in critical terms? How can writers constructively add to discourse in a way that will take the medium forward?

Marina Hyasat, Threshold from In the State of Becoming series, 2009, glass, nylon, 500 x 300 x 280 mm, photo: Greg Piper

vi)     Education

Is the Bauhaus methodology still relevant and is the brain to pedestal paradigm moving with the times? Can the skills-based elements of the Bauhaus style approach be adopted in the development of a hybridised or interdisciplinary approach that embraces experimentation? What is the ideal balance between skills, theory and concept? What sorts of practice should we be encouraging into the future? What areas of theory are well suited to the glass and how can these be integrated into our educational programs?


vii) Technique and Virtuosity

How do we maintain the heritage of the practical skills and knowledge the movement has developed over nearly four decades? How do we develop and support practitioners who wish to work within this context? What are the pitfalls of this focus and how does one avoid them? Who are the practitioners who are reinterpreting the skills heritage in an innovative and forward thinking fashion? Does collaboration with contemporary art, design and architecture lead to innovation and does this filter into the studio glass movement in Australia?

Andrew Lavery’s website is and more info on the Ausglass Conference can be found at


Robert Stewart, One Two Three, 900 x 800 x 100 mm, 2010, photo: Greg Piper


i           William Warmus, The End, Glass Magazine, autumn, 1995

ii          Susanne Frantz, Notes from a Distant Observer in Australian Glass Now Today, Wakefield Press, South Australia, 2005, p.38

iii         Noris Ioannau, Australian Studio Glass – The Movement its Makers and Their Art, Craftsmen House, New South Wales, 1995, p. 48

iv         Sue Rowley, Australian Glass Community, In a paper delivered at the Ausglass Conference, 1993

v          Martin Puryear, Shaping the Future of Craft, Keynote Address: Shaping the Future of Craft, American Crafts Council, New York, p. 25

vi         Bruce Metcalf, The Glass Art Conundrum, The 2009 Strattman Lecture, Glass Art Society (America) Conference, Corning New York.

vii        Ibid. Metcalf viii Susan Rotilie, Hybrid Art Forms,, accessed Sunday 6 September, 2009

ix         A post-glass artist or glass guerilla is what happens when people who either are bewilderingly unable or desire not to cope with obvious, well-established, perfectly reasonable techniques and methods laid out for them by time and history and tradition, come together in a post-modern world; a post-modern world of which ubiquitous new media is an integral part. Yukanjali, Post Glass Artists: Who are they? (accessed August 19, 2009

x          Carmine Branagan, Shaping the Future of Craft, American Crafts Council, New York, p. 23



Vision périphérique: 15e Conférence Australienne Biennale du Verre Ausglass, Sydney

20-23 Janvier 2011

Une conférence internationale se penchant sur l’élargissement des pratiques verrières

Andrew Lavery

Directeur de la Conférence Ausglass


Vision Périphérique se penche sur la question cruciale de l’avenir réservé aux artistes, enseignants, auteurs, galeries et institutions travaillant avec le verre. Cette conférence a pour but de stimuler et de provoquer une nouvelle réflexion critique en élargissant les possibilités alternatives des ateliers verriers d’Australie. L’objectif est de répertorier les diverses approches contemporaines régionales et internationales afin de challenger l’esthétique usuel plaisant qui thématise et limite les contextes de la verrerie.

En 1995, l’auteur/conservateur William Warmus sous-entendit la fin de la première vague du mouvement artistique verrier américain. Dans les années 1980 et 1990, les efforts fournis par les principaux artisans, enseignants, et historiens australiens pour établir un style verrier distinctif local sont incontestables, mais peu de réflexion s’en est suivie. Cette conférence donne une nouvelle chance à cette occasion d’en faire l’analyse critique si attendue.i

Relancer la discussion – observations

Depuis plus d’une décennie, les critiques et les spécialistes se sont questionnés sur l’intérêt du protectionnisme envers un matériau spécifique et si le fait d’entretenir un certain esthétique ou style populaire était sain pour l’évolution du support en question. Lors de la conférence Ausglass de 1993, Sue Rowley constate dans son écrit intitulé La communauté Verrière Australienne que “La communauté australienne du verre a tendance à protéger ses privilèges et résiste aux incursions d’autres formes d’arts et de pratiques intellectuelles”, et que “Les compétences provenant d’autres formes de disciplines et d’arts sous-entendent l’émergence potentielle de nouveaux leaders issus de ces domaines de pensées et de pratiques autrefois marginalisés.”ii Au même moment, l’auteur Nola Anderson soutient que le succès commercial des boutiques verrières marginalise effectivement le travail de ceux pratiquants dans les contextes du design et de la production.iii Récemment devenue critique d’art, Suzanne Frantz exprime les mêmes inquiétudes dans un chapitre de son livre Le Verre Australien De Nos Jours. Son chapitre Remarques d’un Observateur à Distance se demande jusqu’à quel point il est possible de se reposer sur le paysage australien ainsi que sur son environnement pour revendiquer son originalité et l’utiliser dans le but de fournir un secteur niche au verre australien en général. Elle prétend qu’un protectionnisme spécifique n’est plus nécessaire et que le l’oeuvre devrait alors soit réussir par elle-même soit échouer, indépendamment du contexte.iv

Questions actuelles

On retrouve au cœur des débats internationaux actuels sur l’avenir des verreries, des inquiétudes concernant la stagnation, les impératifs commerciaux, la fétichisation de certaines techniques, l’expertise et sur le manque de discours critique parmi les créateurs. Lors d’une conférence récente, l’artiste Martin Puryear définit l’artisanat dans son discours introductif  Définir l’Avenir de l’Artisanat comme étant en phase “d’indétermination sémantique”, sous-entendant qu’il se veut art et même parfois design et ne souhaite plus s’appeler artisanat. Un argument similaire a été présenté récemment au cours de la conférence GAS de 2009 par le spécialiste Bruce Metcalf. Sa présentation s’intitulant Le Mystère de l’Art Verrier défend la théorie qu’artisanat et art sont diffé Il y mentionne que les artisans se proclament artistes depuis des décennies sans jamais avoir été réellement en lien avec le discours de l’art contemporain ni cherché à comprendre son histoire complexe et ses pratiques actuelles. Selon lui, les artistes verriers doivent s’attendre à travailler avec d’autres matériaux s’ils souhaitent obtenir leur droit d’entrée au palais de l’art contemporain. Il conclue suite à cela que la plupart des ateliers verriers relèvent en fait du contexte de l’artisanat, du design et des arts décoratifs et non de l’art contemporain. vii

Les critiques envers le mouvement des verreries en Australie sont relativement similaires à celles soulevées par Metcalf dans son discours sur le mouvement américain. La contribution moderne des pratiques verrières qui se basent sur un matériau unique et sont motivées par l’esthétique et le fétichisme de certaines compétences remonte à l’essor du mouvement australien dans les années 1970, quand on employa des enseignants européens au sein des établissements d’enseignement.  Au même moment, l’art contemporain faisait se joignait à de nouvelles pratiques conceptuelles, interdisciplinaires et post-verrières. Avec l’émergence d’une nouvelle génération d’artistes qui incluent divers autres médias dans leurs œuvres, le mouvement verrier australien devenu désormais mature est lui aussi confronté à ces mêmes changements comme le fut l’art contemporain dans les années 1970.

Pratique hybride

Ces personnes pratiquant le verre sont souvent hautement talentueuses en matière de techniques verrières et sortent fréquemment de la sphère de l’artisanat et du design pour œuvrer et exposer dans des contextes très variés. Certaines d’entre elles créent ce que l’on qualifie à présent d’objet hybride. Ces objets hybrides biaisent les frontières traditionnelles existantes entre les différents moyens artistiques tels que la sculpture, le cinéma, le spectacle, l’artisanat, le design et l’architecture sous forme de pratiques multidisciplinaires et interdisciplinaires. Ces formes d’art hybrides élargissent les possibilités d’innover et d’expérimenter avec d’autres disciplines comme les sciences naturelles ou la physique, l’industrie, la technologie, la littérature, la culture populaire ou même la philosophie.viii Récemment et plus particulièrement en Amérique, de nouveaux mouvements étiquetés post-verriers ou urbains se sont regroupés. Ces artistes rejètent ouvertement les traditions très respectées de la verrerie en employant de nouveaux médias. ix

Les nouveaux paradigmes

Conséquence de cette évolution des pratiques et des contextes mentionnée précédemment, les institutions verrières partout dans le monde ont choisi de diminuer voire de supprimer l’emploi du terme artisanat dans leurs noms. Le Musée des Arts et du Design de New York dénommé autrefois Musée Américain de l’Artisanat en est un bon exemple. Cette démarche permet de s’ouvrir à une plus grande mixité d’approches variées, et de toucher le public plus largement.x

Avec appui et développement, ces nouveaux paradigmes fourniront des opportunités qui encourageront verriers, auteurs, galeries et institutions à s’aventurer au delà des concepts traditionnels du verre et leurs permettront d’atteindre un plus vaste auditoire. Vision périphérique vise à mettre à l’épreuve cette image conservative du verre et à élargir la vision des personnes concernées, en étudiant les approches multiples et innovantes de l’utilisation du verre dans des contextes variés.

Vision Périphérique a regroupé ces questions sous les catégories suivantes:

i)       Institutions et Galeries

Les stratégies de nos institutions et galeries sont-elles en phase avec les nouveaux courants internationaux du verre et soutiennent-elles une variété de contextes? Au regard de l’avenir, de quelle façon les galeries et les institutions peuvent-elles soutenir et encourager les pratiques contemporaines par l’utilisation du verre? Est-ce que les musées, les galeries et les prix verriers s’adaptent suffisamment à l’évolution des besoins des artistes et de leur public? Parviendront-ils à captiver et éduquer public et collectionneurs en leurs exposant des œuvres progressistes qui défient les concepts traditionnels de l’art verrier? Comment les galeries commerciales peuvent-elles collaborer avec les espaces gérés par les artistes et par les galeries publiques pour représenter et promouvoir au mieux les artistes et les formes d’art émergents?

ii)      Pratique Contemporaine

Comment différencier les pratiques verrières les unes des autres? Quelle sorte d’art est l’art du verre? De quelle façon les artistes peuvent-ils élargir de manière critique leurs pratiques sans mettre en danger leurs revenus? Y a-t-il une structure préétablie pour définir une pratique critique? Les verriers doivent-ils se concentrer d’avantage sur la théorie englobant le matériau ainsi que sur l’appartenance à un concept? Comment les verriers ont-ils découvert ces contextes et quel a été leur succès? Ces contextes sont-ils négligés et quelles sont les possibilités d’agrandir ces domaines dans le futur? Où situer le rôle des compétences, de la virtuosité et de l’expertise dans ces contextes et comment juger et soutenir ces variables? Qui sont les innovateurs dans ce contexte?

iii)     Design et Production

Quelle est l’histoire du design et de la production du verre et de quelle façon a-t-elle été retransmise au verre en Australie? Ces contextes sont-ils négligés et quelles sont les opportunités d’élargir ces domaines dans le futur? Qui sont les innovateurs dans ce contexte et comment se positionnent-il au sein du contexte?

iv)     Discours Critique

Suite à la faible quantité de discours critiques concernant le verre australien, certains débats devraient-ils être initiés ou relancés afin de pouvoir accroître et développer le mouvement? Quelle est la théorie qui englobe le matériau et comment pourrait-elle être appliquée dans le développement des concepts? La trame d’évolution globale du verre en Australie a-t-elle négligé dans son élan certains contextes et pratiques pertinents qui se situaient en bordure? Devrions-nous reconnaître plus spontanément les styles et les idiomes que nous citons avant de les considérer nôtres? Faut-il se pencher sur notre façon d’écrire à propos des ateliers verriers? Comment changer notre manière d’écrire à propos du verre pour lui apporter plus de crédibilité dans les contextes? Certains écrits amicaux et s’auto-félicitants entravent-ils au progrès du matériau en terme de critiques? De quelle façon constructive les auteurs peuvent-il enchérir au discours de manière à faire progresser le matériau?

vi)     Education

La méthodologie du Bauhaus est-elle toujours aussi pertinente de nos jours et la force élisant les paradigmes évolue-t-elle avec le temps? Est-ce que les éléments du style Bauhaus basé sur les compétences peuvent être réemployés dans le développement d’une approche hybride ou interdisciplinaire qui inclut l’expérimentation? Quel serait l’équilibre idéal entre les compétences, la théorie et le concept? Quelles sortes de pratiques devrait-on encourager à l’avenir? Quelles parties de la théorie conviennent bien au verre et comment les intégrer dans nos programmes d’enseignement?

vii)    Technique et Virtuosité

Comment conserver l’héritage des compétences pratiques et des connaissances développées par le mouvement depuis près de 40 ans? Comment développer et soutenir les verriers qui souhaitent travailler dans ce contexte? Quels sont les pièges de cette focalisation et comment les éviter? Qui sont ceux qui réinterprètent cet héritage de compétences de façon innovante et audacieuse? Est-ce que collaborer avec l’art contemporain, le design et l’architecture mène à l’innovation et cela s’imprègne-t-il dans le mouvement verrier australien?

Le site internet d’Andrew Lavery est et vous pouvez trouver plus d’informations sur la Conférence Ausglass en allant sur

i           William Warmus, The End (La Fin), Glass Magazine (Magazine du Verre), Automne, 1995

ii          Susanne Frantz, Notes from a Distant Observer (Remarques d’un Observateur à Distance), dans Australian Glass Now Today (Le Verre Australien de nos Jours), Wakefield Press, Australie Méridionale, 2005, p38.

iii         Noris Ioannau, Australian Studio Glass – The Movement its Markers and Their Art (Verrerie Australienne – Le Mouvement, ses Fondateurs et Leur Art), Craftsmen House (Maison de l’Artisanat, Nouvelle Galles du Sud, 1995, p.48

iv         Sue Rowley, Australian Glass Community (Communauté Australienne du Verre), dans un rapport édité lors de la Conférence Ausglass, 1993.

v          Martin Puryear, Shaping the Future of Craft (Définir l’Avenir de l’Artisanat), Discours d’Introduction: Shaping the Future of Craft, (Définir le Futur de l’Artisanat) Conseil Américain de l’Artisanat, New York, p.25

vi         Bruce Metcalf, The Glass Art Conundrum (Le Mystère de l’Art Verrier), Cours Strattman de 2009, Conférence de la Société des Arts du Verre (Amérique), Corning New York.

vii        Ibid. Metcalf

viii       Susan Rotilie, Hybrid Art Forms (Formes d’Arts Hybrides),, extrait le dimanche 6 septembre 2009.

ix         On considère les artistes post-verriers ou urbains, ceux qui ont été soit déconcertés, soit incapables, ou qui ne souhaite pas utiliser les méthodes et les techniques évidentes et parfaitement raisonnables établies pour eux à travers le temps, l’histoire et la tradition, et qui se regroupent dans un univers post-moderne ou les médias omniprésents deviennent partie intégrante de leur art. Yukanjali, Post Glass Artists: Who are they? (Les Artistes Post-verriers: Qui sont-ils? (Extrait le 19 Août 2009)

x          Carmine Branagan, Shaping the Future of Craft (Définir l’Avenir de l’Artisanat), Conseil Américain de l’Artisanat, New York, p.23


Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition versus One of a Kind: A guide to two popular art shows

By: Emma Gerard

Drawing on my experience in art shows over the past few years, I have compiled the following guide to compare the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE), and the One of a Kind Show (OOAK) in Toronto.

When you first start participating in art shows, there is a lot of stress of the unknown.  Things like booth design, what to expect on setup day, and even the application process, can be overwhelming.  My hope is that this guide will serve as a reference for emerging artists as they familiarize themselves with the professional art world.

Lots of heat and sunshine at Toronto Outdoor, July 2010, photo: Emma Gerard

Application Process/Notification

TOAE: Applications open mid December and close March 1.  The date you apply has no bearing on the success of your application, but it will dictate your preference when selecting a booth location.  TOAE does not have a waiting list and they do not accept late applications.

Notification of acceptance arrives end of April/early May, which leaves roughly two months to prepare for the show. This lack of preparation time, I would say, is the most frustrating part of the show.

OOAK: The deadline for the Christmas show is around the end of March (this year it’s March 25 for the first round of jurying). However, unlike TOAE, they continue to accept applications past the deadline.

OOAK gives exhibitors a re-sign form at the show, which allows you to sign another contract to come back again the next year, without needing to submit an application year after year.  This guarantees your size of booth as well. Tip: five foot depths are highly coveted, as are corner booths.

Notification for OOAK depends on which deadline you apply for (they have many; check their website for more details, but they generally give you a lot of time to prepare for the show. When I applied for the Christmas show (March deadline) I was notified at the beginning of June, which gave me five months of preparation time.

Again, unlike TOAE, OOAK has a priority waiting list, which means that even if you are not accepted, there is still a chance to participate.

Something to consider: the exclusivity clause.  This clause in the contract means that for 30 days before and 30 days after the show, you cannot exhibit your work in any other show within a 50 km radius.  A few exceptions apply (ie. one day shows with fewer than 40 vendors), but they are pretty strict about it.

Visual Art section at the One of a Kind Show, Christmas 2010, photo: Kelly Grace

Setting Up

TOAE: The best word to describe setup at TOAE is: chaos. There are 400 artists converging on Nathan Phillips Square at the same time.  You are given 4.5 hours to setup, regardless of weather conditions.  Since you may not be able to park to unload your display near your booth location, bring a dolly and someone to help you.  Keep in mind that cube vans are not allowed in the underground parking garage, so plan accordingly.  If you plan to park underground during setup, don’t rely on the elevators working; you may end up taking the stairs.

OOAK: Even though there are 800 vendors participating in the show, there is enough space and enough time that it is never chaotic. There are two days for setup rather than a only few hours, and there are several options when it comes to bringing your work into the Direct Energy Centre.


TOAE: The most important thing about your display for TOAE is that it needs to be easy to transport and set up since you have to do it quickly – and sometimes in the pouring rain.  Almost all of the booth spaces are 10’ x 10’  and most people just buy or rent a 10’ x 10’ tent.  My advice:  if you plan on doing more than two outdoor shows, invest in your own tent.  For the cost of renting a tent two or three times you could have your own.

OOAK:  Lighting is the most important part of your booth at One of a Kind. You want your booth to be bright to draw visitors in.   Signage is also important; you want people to know who you are — especially so they can find you again in the sea of 800 vendors.

It’s important that your booth look full, but not cluttered.  This is why storage is also important to consider when designing a booth.


Theft is the sad reality of any art show, especially if you have small work. Make sure you can see what is happening in your booth at all times.

Both shows have security, but in different capacities.  Since TOAE is outside, they have security guards who monitor the grounds.  It is strongly recommended — and in your best interest — to take your work with you each night.

At OOAK, they lock up the hall and have security monitoring it.  Some jewellery makers still bring all of their work home with them, but security in the hall is quite good.  However, you should stick around for a few minutes after closing to allow any customers to depart who may still be in the hall.

Lots of White Tents in the Early Morning Sunshine at Nathan Phillips square, July 2009, photo: Kelly Grace


TOAE: Even though the cost of participating has gone up by $50 this year,  it still pales in comparison to OOAK.   All things considered, it is still a fantastic price — especially when you factor in the price-to-attendance ratio at many other outdoor shows.  The show is well-attended and well-advertised and worth every penny. Go to the TOAE website for pricing details.

OOAK: There are many different pricing options for booths at this show. Most people have a full booth for the full (11 days) duration of the show.  I found the full booth to be really beneficial.  It was great to have the added space that I didn’t have in Rising Stars section.  More area to display work means more exposure, which ultimately leads to more sales.  You can also choose to participate in half of the duration of the show, which does save you a bit of money. A new initiative this Christmas is the Share a Booth program where two artists can share a 10 x 10 space.

Rising Stars is an open-concept, emerging-artist section that allows you to rent space by the square foot.  You can only be a Rising Star once at Christmas, and once at Spring, then you must commit to a full booth and it is highly competitive to get into, but a great way to test the market.

A new option for this year’s Spring show is the Craft Community of Canada Section, where art organizations sponsor the booth of an emerging artist, The Glass Art Association of Canada is one of the sponsoring organizations.  Applications are closed for this year, but  next Spring’s application information should be available over the summer.

Some of the additional costs, above and beyond just the booth price, include: electricity, phone line, internet, carpet rental, lighting rental, and parking passes.

OOAK has a New Artisan Scholarship Fund, as well as a New Artisan Travel fund to help offset the costs.

For residents of Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council has a fantastic Exhibition Assistance program that has helped me a lot for the OOAK show.

The Rising Star Section at the One of a Kind Show, Christmas 2009, photo: Emma Gerard

At the Show

TOAE: No admission charge means lots of visitors to TOAE.  People who visit, generally have a great appreciation for art and all things handmade and are very enthusiastic. Gallery owners visit TOAE to find new work and to network with artists they represent.

Tip: bring a notebook for a mailing list and bring lots of business cards! It’s easy to go through 1,000 cards at this show.

Conversely, no admission price also means that you can meet quite the cast of characters at the show.   The likelihood that you will run into the woman predicting the apocalypse or the man in the petticoat is pretty high.

OOAK: They charge admission to come to the show, but there are still thousands of visitors each year.  The crowds at the show can be overwhelming, especially on the weekends.

Eleven days is a long time, especially when those days are eleven hours long.  The day opens at 10 am, which means fighting rush hour traffic in the mornings.

It’s critical to have people help work your both during the show, to prevent burnout. You will be there for lunch and dinner, so plan your meals ahead of time to make sure you are eating well during the show.  Make a pot of chilli, or soup beforehand and bring it with you.  There are fridges and microwaves in the exhibitor’s lounge.  Bringing food comes with the added bonus of saving some money, as food options at the show are rather expensive especially for the portions you receive.

Credit Cards

TOAE: Optional, but not necessary depending on your price-point.  Most visitors bring cash to outdoor shows and there are ATMs closeby; but, there is the potential to miss out on a few sales if you don’t have a credit card machine.   Patrons are more forgiving with students, but once you are a full time artist people expect you will accept credit cards.

OOAK: You will lose a lot of sales if you don’t accept credit cards at this show. Fortunately, one of the services offered by the Direct Energy Centre is the rental of a debit machine, where you can sign up to use it for the length of the show or opt for a longer term vendor’s agreement


TOAE: Weather seems to make or break this show, but the weather can affect more than just attendance.  Wind is your biggest enemy on the Square.  You must make sure you have weights for your tent, since you are not allowed to use spikes on city property.  Ideas for weights include: sandbags, concrete blocks, PVC piping or old paint cans filled with cement, or large water jugs.   If you are concerned about your artwork moving in the wind, use museum gel or a similar product to keep your work firmly in place.

Sun and extreme heat can also be a problem; make sure you stay hydrated.  Bring a cooler filled with cold drinking water.  Wear a hat and sunscreen and try and stay in the shade as much as possible.

OOAK: Weather affects this indoor show more than you might think.  At the past Christmas show, we had surprisingly low attendance on the first day because the weather was rainy and miserable.  Likewise, the weather on the weekend of the Spring show was beautiful, and people spent that time outside in the sunshine rather than at the show.

Tearing Down

TOAE: Teardown for TOAE is as chaotic as setup.  Furthermore, this is when exhibitors seem to stop being considerate to one another.   They park on the street before teardown even begins, often leaving others around them miffed.  There is not much you can do except relax, take your time, and know this process will take longer than expected.

OOAK: You can use a loading dock, or drive into the adjacent hall, but first you need to have your entire booth packed up and someone from the show must verify this and give you a pass to what they call the Marshalling Yard. Getting to the Yard can take a very long time. Once you get there, you will be given another pass, allowing you to use to the loading docks or to drive into the building.  This system may seem chaotic, but it provides a great system that avoids people from pulling their vehicle forward before they are ready to load (unlike the TOAE).

Helpful Links

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition:

In the fall of 2010, a number of GAAC members who exhibited at TOAE sent us their tips. Read the article Outdoor Art Shows: Advice from Artists.



Exhibition Coordinator

Phone (416) 408 – 2754


One of a Kind:


Manager of Exhibitor Relations & Recruitment
Telephone: 416 960 4511


Manager-Bilingual Exhibitor Relations & Recruitment
Telephone: 416 960 4514


Rushing Into the New Year

By Brad Copping


Glassblower, musician and organic farmer Clark Guettel

It feels as though I have been caught up in a rush to get this year started.  For the first time in a very long time we have had the glass furnace running through the holiday season.  And while the commitments I have made continue to keep the pressure on and my focus dialed in, it is the recent death of Clark Guettel that has me pausing and once again reflecting on our community.

Clark was one of the very early graduates of the recently developed glass program at the original Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in Mississauga, Ontario.  Having blown glass for 38 years, Clark has been a mentor and source of inspiration for many younger and older people wanting to find their own way with glass.  Whether through one of the three private studios he has built, or at Fleming College’s Haliburton School of the Arts, where he towed his portable studio for many summers, his passion for glass and, more often than not, his love of music, made him much beloved.  Always an opinionated storyteller, Clark could talk your ear off given the chance.  He will be missed.


Clark Guettel demonstrating glassblowing on Bloor Street East in Toronto

Nancy Schnarr also reflects on our community in this issue of Contemporary Canadian Glass, looking at the history of glass education in the country.  Her essay originally appeared as part of the recent Glass Factor exhibition catalogue, as was Christian Singer’s curatorial essay.  We thank the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery for permission to share these pieces with you.

While these days are staying light a little longer, the temperature keeps reminding me we have a long way to go yet.  And so it seems appropriate to spread a little warmth from south of the equator with Marcela Rosemberg sharing her warm glass experiences in Buenos Aires.  For more on the warmth down under, the 15th biennial Ausglass Conference, Peripheral Vision, has just finished in Sydney, Australia.  Andrew Lavery has shared his conference paper with us, in which he succinctly outlines the issues being considered during the conference; issues which are also familiar concerns to the glass community here in Canada.

And while I have you thinking about community, I’d like to remind you to please participate in this conversation.  If you have something to say about the articles you read please use the comment section below the article to post your thoughts.  Or if you think you have something you would like to share in an article I would suggest you read Kate Tippin’s article on how to write well for the web, also in this issue.  Submission guidelines for Contemporary Canadian Glass can be found here.

Analytics for the GAAC website are revealing thousands of visits a month, with a large majority of those visits going to the artist’s directory.  I encourage you once again to get some images up on your profile page if you have not already and to add a link from it to your own website if you have one.  If you do have your own site, consider providing a link back to the GAAC site.  All this stuff works better when you participate, just like community.



Début d’année mouvementé


Par Brad Copping

Souffleur de verre, musicien et agriculteur biologique Clark Guettel.



J’ai la sensation d’avoir débuté cette nouvelle année sur les chapeaux de roues. Pour la première fois depuis longtemps, nous avons du faire tourner le four pendant la période des fêtes. Et bien que mes divers engagements veillent à me garder le nez dans le guidon et sous pression, le décès récent de Clark me fait relever la tête et prendre un moment pour réfléchir à nouveau à ce que signifie notre communauté.

Clark fut l’un des premiers diplômés du programme d’arts verriers développé il y a peu au sein de l’Ecole des Arts et du Design du Collège Sheridan à Mississauga, en Ontario. Souffleur de verre pendant 38 ans, il était devenu un mentor et une source d’inspiration pour bon nombre de jeunes et de moins jeunes à la recherche de leur propre voie. Que ce soit dans l’un de ses trois ateliers privés ou à l’Ecole des Arts d’Haliburton du Collège Flemming où il avait pour habitude d’installer son atelier portatif durant plusieurs étés, sa passion pour le verre ainsi que souvent pour la musique ont fait de lui un homme très apprécié. Grand parleur obstiné, il ne manquait pas de nous parler de ses idées à la moindre occasion. Il va bien sûr nous manquer.

Clark Guettel démonstration sur la rue Bloor Est, à Toronto.


Nancy Schnarr réagis elle aussi sur le thème  de notre communauté dans cette édition du Contemporary Canadian Glass (Verre Contemporain Canadien) en se penchant sur l’histoire de l’enseignement du verre dans notre pays. Son texte fut édité dans le catalogue de la récente exposition Glass Factor (Le Facteur Verre), tout comme l’essai rédigé par le conservateur Christian Singer. Nous remercions la Galerie Canadienne de la Poterie et du Verre pour nous avoir autorisés à vous présenter ces articles.

Alors que les jours commencent à se rallonger, la température est là pour me rappeler que l’hiver est bien loin d’être terminé. Le moment semble donc bien choisi pour répandre un peu de chaleur en mentionnant Marcela Rosemberg qui nous fait part de sa chaleureuse expérience du verre à Buenos Aires. Toujours dans l’hémisphère sud, la 15e conférence biennale Aussglass (Verre Australien) intitulée Peripheral Vision (Vision Périphérique) vient juste de s’achever à Sydney en Australie. Andrew Lavery nous a prêté ses notes de conférence dans lesquelles il souligne brièvement les questions qui y furent traitées et qui sont bien souvent similaires à celles que nous rencontrons ici au sein de notre communauté verrière canadienne.

A propos de la communauté, j’en profite pour vous rappeler à ne pas hésiter à participer à cet échange. Si vous souhaitez nous faire part de votre avis sur les articles que vous lisez, déposez un commentaire à l’endroit prévu sous cet article pour écrire vos pensées. Si vous avez envie de rédiger un article et de nous en faire profiter, je vous suggère de lire l’écrit de Kate Tippin sur comment bien écrire pour internet. Les instructions pour proposer des articles à Contemporary Canadian Glass peuvent être lues ici.

Les études nous montrent que vous êtes des milliers à visiter notre site web chaque mois, la plupart afin d’y consulter l’annuaire des artistes. Je vous encourage donc une fois de plus à ajouter des photos à votre profil si ce n’est déjà fait et à y mettre le lien pour accéder à votre site personnel lorsque vous en possédez un. Dans le cas où vous n’en auriez pas, vous pouvez par exemple le remplacer par un lien menant au site internet du GAAC. Tout cela fonctionne bien mieux lorsque l’on s’y met tous en tant que communauté.


Keep Calm and Carry On: A Perspective On The Industry of Public Art

By Sally McCubbin

Here Today Gone Tomorrow, 2010 by artist Sally McCubbin installed at Earlscourt and St. Clair Ave., Toronto –for more on the project visit

In 2008, the City of Toronto in partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission invited artists to apply for the St. Clair Avenue West Transit Improvements Public Art Program. The initiative was to provide visual art for the then almost-completed light rail transit line along St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto. The streetcar stops to be adorned with art panels would extend from Yonge St. to Keele St., making up a 6.2 km stretch of public art.

When I was approached about applying for the project, I was a resident in the glass studio at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and my career was focused on that. The idea of making large public works wasn’t on the radar, but the conditions seemed right:

  • I grapple with making art that is affordable and available to so few.
  • I am a wholehearted supporter of the transit initiatives in my city.
  • My work surrounds social commentary and I liked that it could live in the context it reflects.

Although I didn’t know how I would produce glasswork large enough (or safe enough) to meet the 3 foot by 40 foot criteria, I applied.

* * *

Corridor, 2010 by artists Jane and Kathryn Irwin installed at Glenholme and St. Clair Ave., Toronto

On a blustery winter day, about a half an hour late for the meeting, I burst into a North Toronto conference room snowy and out of breath … I had had car trouble. I was there for the project briefing, to understand better the scope of the project so that I could propose a design to be considered for inclusion into the transit line installation. This was stage two. All those that attended were very calm and collected. Many artists had brought an associate and the slideshow had already begun. About a minute after my inelegant arrival my cell phone rang, shredding the silence again. I spent the rest of the meeting acting invisible.

This memory, from over two years ago, is so vivid to me because of the inferiority I felt. To say I was nervous would be putting it mildly. Regardless of who was sitting around that table, arts-cultural-folklore had taught me that they were advanced in their artistic practices, had more experience and therefore more artistic merit and vocabulary than I.

Was I too unqualified to be there? If not, why did I feel that way?

Flatspace, 2010 by artist Sara Graham installed at Winona and St. Clair Ave., Toronto

I’ll skip to the end of the story, both to save you from the details of the next couple years and also to make my point. As it turned out, I was qualified to be there. I was awarded one commission on my own and a second commission for a collaborative design with Aaron Oussoren. We have since completed the projects, the pieces are installed along St. Clair Avenue and all twenty-five works by the city’s photographers, multi-media artists, metal and glass artists, painters and sculptors look great.

My question remains, why was I so intimidated? Why does the realm of public art reek of hierarchical greatness?

Meeting, 2010 by artist Panya Clark Espinal installed at Dunvegan and St. Clair Ave., Toronto

The GAAC conference in Montreal this past May was filled with artist lecturers who make their careers as public installation artists or have received periodic public commissions. Among their assortment of project types, scales, locations and varying degrees of success, I noticed some thematic congruencies from lecture to lecture:

  • All the presenters are established artists and, having had long careers of making their work by way of personal mandate, each showed distaste for the commissioning criteria and selection process.
  • As a common rule, it was agreed by most that an aspiring public artist must have previous large-scale/public experience to be selected for a subsequent project, which is a discouraging double-edged sword.
  • And, finally, I noticed signs of disinterest for second, third or mid-career projects that may have been less stimulating for the artist. This apathy is sometimes evident in the work’s overall success.

It seems to me, in the greater context of public art, that in many cases mature artists are simply ‘graduating’ into the realm of large public art projects.  Are juries looking for visual artists with a long history and a reputation, or are they looking for qualities that fit the criteria presented for the project? Probably a combination of the three, but does that make sense? Could Canada’s art in public spaces be more engaging and treasured if new and unusual talent was a criteria? Where does the artistic integrity end and the addiction to a large, reliable, paycheque begin?

Scenic Route, 2010 by artist Carlo Cesta installed at Avenue and St. Clair Ave., Toronto

I ask these questions in the spirit of discourse.

In my own story, concerning my selection I’ve considered the following possibilities. Perhaps the TTC and the city did have the initiative to hire new and emerging talent, as I was not the only “newcomer” among the artists commissioned. Perhaps it was difficult to find glass artists who could make work to fit the safety and structural limitations of their project. Or, perhaps it was simply the quality of my work.

One Among Many, 2010 by artists Sally McCubbin and Aaron Oussoren installed at Arlington and St. Clair Ave., Toronto –for more on the project visit

I poured my heart (and brain) into the design and I have to believe that that is why they selected my proposal. So for anyone interested in making art for a public forum, if you feel your work suits such an audience and surroundings you don’t need a foot in the door, previous experience, or a reputation … you need to be passionate about the work you dream up and the reasons you need to make it.  As always.

Sally McCubbin is Managing Editor of Contemporary Canadian Glass and  is also an instructor at Sheridan College. She recently opened a studio of 12 artists in Toronto, called Elevator Art Lab. Sally is passionate about thoughtful design and created a company entitled Timid Glass Toronto with partner Aaron Oussoren that reflects this enthusiasm as well as their shared interest in environmentalism and conservationism.


Stop wasting time on your website: How to write for the web

By: Kate Tippin

Having a website in this day and age is critical. If you don’t have one, stop reading this article and go get one. If you do have one, chances are you are spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to put on it.

Since most artists are not trained writers, even if you do have a great looking website, you may be losing web traffic, potential buyers, or gallery gigs because you are not effectively writing for the web.

Writing for the web and web magazines is very different from writing an essay for school, a proposal for funding, or a marketing brochure. To help ensure readers will actually read what you’re putting on your website, or your GAAC web magazine article, here are 10 tips to better web writing:

  1. 1.      Know your audience

One of the first rules of good communications is to know your audience and to write specifically for them.

Before you created your website, you probably thought about the type of audience with which you were trying to engage (e.g. people with an interest in glass art, people with an interest in stained glass art, wholesale buyers, etc). Keep this in mind when you write a news item, bio, artist statement, etc. for your website.

Regardless of who you created your website for, you should also know who is frequenting your site. If you haven’t signed up for Google Analytics yet, do it now. This handy website tells you who is visiting your site, in which country and city they live, and so much more. Best of all, it’s free.


  1. 2.      Write a catchy headline
    This is your first opportunity to: (1) interrupt,  (2) engage, (3) educate, and (4) provide an opportunity for the reader to discover more information. 


You need to interrupt the reader for a split second – just long enough to notice your headline. Your headline then needs to engage readers long enough that they read the entire headline. Next, your headline should provide new information to the reader, or educate the reader. Lastly, it needs to provide an opportunity to get more information (e.g. URL to the gallery opening, URL to an article with more information).


Consider writing a sub-headline as well. This gives you the opportunity to be more creative with your headline and provide more information in your sub-headline. Here’s an example from Macleans magazine: 


            The main headline is:

Grandma, Uncle Frank and Peter Mansbridge


                                And, the sub-headline is:

CBC tackles the big questions of 2011 with an exclusive panel made up of my relatives


This headline employs all four of the basic elements of good marketing, mentioned earlier: (1) it interrupted me long enough to (2) engage me and make me want to read more. (3) The sub-headline educated me, letting me know what the main headline was talking about and (4) the Macleans magazine website gave me a link to the article, allowing me to discover more.

  1. 3.      Use bullets, numbered lists, italics, bold, or subheadings to break up text.

If you are writing an article, bio, or artist statement that is longer than 500 words, it is critical to break up the text into smaller chunks; this will make longer pieces of text much more readable.

Using bullets, numbered lists, italics and bold helps break up your text and make it seem like fewer words.

Including subheadings in your longer articles will help readers see that you were thoughtful of their time and of their tired eyes and will encourage them to keep reading.

  1. Use the inverted pyramid for your news items

Have you ever noticed that when you read a newspaper article, you can often read the first two paragraphs and know what the article is all about? This is because journalists use a style called the inverted pyramid.

The inverted pyramid style places the most important information in the first paragraphs of the story. This includes the: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

This simple writing convention allows your readers – some of whom may not have a lot of time to spend reading your entire article – to quickly understand what you are trying to tell them.

  1. Include links to other sources.

The Google search engine likes when websites link to other websites. It seems to tell Google that your website is more relevant in the world and increases your rank in Google when people search for you (for the next magazine, I’ll write an article about how to increase your Google ranking – and why you should care about this).

The best way to do this is to embed the link directly on the “keyword” to which you are linking.  See the hyperlink used in this tip and in tip #4 for an example.

Never use “click here for more information”. This clutters your site, insults savvy web users, and can count against you in Google rankings.

  1. Write like you talk (and start talking like a writer!).

The benefit of web writing is that it tends to be less formal. A common rule of thumb for web writing is to write like you talk. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use accurate grammar and spelling.

Furthermore, you should always use best practices in writing, such as using the active voice. However, you can have more fun with web writing and web magazine articles. Add your personality and have fun.


This newest line of artwork was made by a Vancouver-based glass artist who attended Sheridan.


A Vancouver-based glass artist and graduate of Sheridan made this new line of artwork.


The 2010 RBC Award for Glass was awarded to Rachael Wong.


Rachael Wong receives the 2010 RBC Award for Glass.

Tip: Active writing follows the following formula: subject of sentence acts upon something (whereas in the passive voice the subject is being acted upon). Typically, the active voice also uses fewer words.


  1. Keep it short.

How long is your attention span when reading something on your computer screen? While computers are getting better, computer screens cause eyestrain and fatigue in a similar way to reading a small-print book in low light. Not to mention, most computer users have a fairly short attention span. We want small chunks of information and we want it to be easy to read. So, why would you put something on your website, or write an article in any other way?

For web writing, aim for 500 words or less. Use short paragraphs with one idea per paragraph, one or two sentences long. If your article is longer, please read tips #3 and #4 to help make your longer article more readable.

If you copy and paste this article into Word and go to Tools > Word Count, you’ll notice it certainly exceeds my own suggested word count. However, using subheadings, bold, italics, and a numbered list, it doesn’t feel like 1,392 words, does it? That is four full pages in Microsoft Word.

  1. Double-check everything.

Sure, the web can be changed immediately; but, this doesn’t mean you should make mistakes. There’s a website called the Wayback Machine that keeps a snapshot of your website (try it! Enter and have a look at the past GAAC websites).

The more mistakes you have on your website – spelling, grammar, factual errors – the less credibility you will have overall.

  1. 9.      Websites are not a one-way communication tool.
    If your website doesn’t invite your readers to engage with you in some way, you are making a mistake. Website visitors want to interact and engage with you in some way.  Here are a few examples: link to your professional Facebook page or Twitter page, enable a comments feature on photo albums of your artwork or on videos that you post.


10. If you have relevant images and videos, include them!

There’s no excuse these days for not including a relevant image, video, sound clip, photo album, or something that helps make your article less flat. No one wants to read a 500-word article without relevant images on an artist’s website.

Including relevant images, videos, sound clips, etc. might take a few minutes of thought, but it will be worth it. You’ll provide a much more rich and engaging experience for your readers.


Falling Glass Experience In Buenos Aires, Argentina

Seminars in the Studio of Rita Neumann

December 3-5, 2010

By Marcela Rosemberg 

I would like to share with you my feelings and thoughts about bringing my first international seminars on glass to the city where I was born and lived all my life until the day I emigrated to Canada 7 years ago.  As they were conducted in the studio of my mentor, Rita Neumann, I’d also like to talk about her influence on my career in kilnforming.

The two seminars, with a total of seventeen artists, were sponsored by Spectrum Glass Co.  In these, I talked about the technical, aesthetic characteristics and  possibilities System 96 (Uroboros Glass and Spectrum Glass Company) has to offer.  I explained the story that led me to start discovering the fluidity of this glass giving a special effect with suggestive movements.

Seminar Participants, photo: Marcela Rosemberg

The interaction was the key. Technical discussions and power point presentations about the characteristics of the glasses encouraged participants to expand their ideas. I also talked about surfaces, designs, coefficients of expansion, compatibility, deformation, motion and its variants. Temperatures for different types of firings were a major subject of consultation.  Both 3mm clear and colored glass were used to develop unique designs.  Once projects were completed and the kiln was opened, we saw the magical transformation of this glass which allows itself to go very deep one into the other.

Seminar participant’s projects in progress, pre-firing, photo: Marcela Rosemberg

As a second activity, I taught extrapolation from one language to another.  A piece of fabric with a design brought by the participants was chosen to transport its language visually to glass.

On the last day we analyzed the experience as a whole. One touching moment was when each participant introduced him/herself to the group accompanied by a power point presentation expressing their feelings and what they felt was accomplished for them in that seminar.  Everyone felt the seminar was full of personal discoveries.

Seminar Participant’s Work, photo: Marcela Rosemberg

I wanted to conduct this seminar with the artist who many years ago first gave me the tools to develop my art. She was more than a hostess. I felt that no time at all had passed by; that our bond is still the same, based on mutual respect and admiration.

It was the year 2000 when I met Rita. I remember the old studio and a triptych piece of clear bas relief glass that, lying on a shelf, caught my attention.  Because of that single, influential piece, I now focus on working with clear glass.

Box casting by Rita Neumann, photo: Marcela Rosemberg

At the seminar, Rita mentioned to me that her fond memory went back to the two long years, a decade ago, when I came regularly to study in her studio. She says that today she sees me and remembers the freshness, the predisposition and desire to know, together with my ceaseless smile.  She knows that I have found in Prince Edward Island the place to flourish and develop my daily work, further my education and continue to create with the same pleasure and thoroughness that characterizes me.  Having me with her again in Argentina showed her that there is no change in my identity, but that I’ve grown and continue to grow.  That gives both of us great satisfaction.

Rita is not only a great artist but a great teacher because she transmits her skills and knowledge to her students with a special language and human quality. I always point out that she gave me, and is still giving me, the best of her … in those days she gave me a soft kick to help me to fly. And here I am flying and trying, as Jonathan Livingston Seagull, to maintain a steady flight. Of course there were and still are ups and downs.

Her choice of glass as a material was probably due to her curiosity about the process that leads to making a product.  Coming from painting where you see an immediate result, in glass at first everything is a surprise and then, over time, the alchemy of the material takes you to further research including running more and more technical risks to achieve an image. Rita believes that its inherent beauty, light and transparency, and its fragility makes us learn to treat it gently.

It was at this time that Rita went through different techniques, constantly changing according to what she wanted to express.  She began with modeling clay and proceeded to learn the long process of mold-making for glass casting.  When she wanted to make “absent” male and female bodies she cast glass in the shape of clothes with no body.  It was the missing shape that suggested the human body.  She then used clothes as sculpture in relief technique, which she believed transferred the idea better.  These appeared as shirts with flying ties and petticoats.

Fused dress by Rita Neumann, photo: Marcela Rosemberg

Rita believes that the work of an artist is never completed without the other’s gaze.  Allowing the creator’s feelings and emotions to touch another person’s sensitivity is the most important and fascinating thing about this language.

Glass has been the key for me to start living in beautiful Prince Edward Island but I always look back to my beautiful Argentina and my great friend and mentor there, Rita Neumann.  Together, Rita and I plan to bring to Canada a seminar to teach a unique technique in sculptural pieces sometime in July-August 2011.

Marcela Rosemberg immigrated to Prince Edward Island from Argentina in 2003, where she now lives and works.  Color, beauty, simplicity, elegance and functionality are key components of her designs. In her studio she is always looking for that mix of colors and textures that leads to each carefully designed piece. Nature, the sea, and her Jewish faith are all avenues of expression for her work.  You can check out her work at  Rita Neumann’s work can be seen at

Marcela recalls that the temperature was 35C the day she left Argentina; Canada was at –24C on the day she landed.  Despite this and other challenges, she says that little by little she is settling in, as Canada is a country where she feels she can reach her goals.