Our business originated as Studio Glass by Sharon Laska. She had been designing and selling fused glass from her own gallery in Maitland, Nova Scotia, for many years. She retired in 2014, and we decided to purchase the business. We trained with her for a few months, and then jumped in head-first, moving tons of glass, tools, equipment and products to our home-based production studio on a very cold day in January, 2015. After several years of working at home, we’ve moved our production to a retail space at 53 Main Street in Hantsport, where we also now offer workshops and a full selection of our hand-made fused glass, as well as other fun art and gift items from local artists.
We continue to offer many Studio Glass products and have also created many new original designs. The majority of our glass is destined for shops and galleries across Canada–we welcome new clients to contact us about wholesale orders. Check out the list of other places you can find our products here.
The glass we use is “System 96” fusing glass (made in USA and Mexico), which is pre-tested to ensure that all the different colours will fuse together without cracking or breaking. We have a palette of about 40 transparent and 30 opaque glass colours, and the glass comes to our shop in 2ft x 2ft sheets. Glass requires special tools and safety gear for cutting, and all the finished pieces are fired in electric kilns we keep on site.
Our products have anywhere from 2 to 50+ individual pieces, which we produce in quantity by following our own unique hand drawn patterns. After scoring, breaking, and often grinding and washing the many pieces, we assemble them with a little bit of glue. Some pieces also require special glass paint and/or “frit,” which is crushed glass that adds texture, and they’re kiln-fired to a temperature of about 1425˚F (about 770˚C). Pieces which require shaping, like trays, bowls, or candle holders go back in the kiln a second time at a lower temperature to “slump” or bend the glass into special molds.
Every bit of glass can be used, down to the smallest scraps, leaving almost no wasted materials. Best of all, the bright colours of glass will not fade, even in direct sunlight.
Fused Glass vs. Stained Glass
Fused glass, like nearly all forms of glasswork, is an art form whose origins go back centuries, and we enjoy the challenges of working in this beautiful craft that we’ve loved for a long time. There are many different techniques for shaping glass. Fusing separate pieces together with carefully controlled heat is easy to understand, but allows infinite possibilities.
Fused glass is not the same as stained glass. Though both processes start by cutting and shaping bits of glass, the rest of the process is very different. With fused glass, the artwork is finished by firing all the glass bits together in a kiln. Because of this, all the glass pieces have to either be sitting on a base of fusing glass or overlapping enough that they will fuse together in the heat of the kiln. With stained glass, there is no heat involved. After the pieces are cut and shaped, they’re wrapped in metal foil and usually attached to one another with solder.