This Studio Planning is hard work! Just thought I’d give readers a sneak preview of the article I wrote for this month’s Glass Art Association of Canada (GAAC) magazine. It’ll be published on their website shortly as well. Enjoy!
Fair Collector Turnstyle Studio aims to bring hot glass to Toronto and you can help!
by Clayton Haigh
Can glassmaking ever be considered a hobby? I’d be hard-pressed to name anyone who thinks so. You’re either in, or you’re out. This sets the material apart from other artistic mediums and I think it’s a shame. The barrier to entry can be so high that those who have taken time to develop a relationship with the material often find themselves without the means to nurture that relationship. By the same token, those with little or no training are left watching from the sidelines. With Turnstyle Glass Studio, I hope to change that. By structuring the space as a hybrid school/studio I hope to educate the public on the challenge and exhilaration of working with glass while taking some of the headaches out of it for trained glassworkers like myself.
The plan: A graduated series of workshops allowing a beginner to develop their skill set and become a self sufficient “studio member” in time. Members will be allowed to rent the studio for personal use. Studio time will be monitored for safety’s sake but free of instruction. Those with previous experience (ie: post-secondary grads) will be treated as members and allowed to rent time in the same way. My hope is that welcoming more members into the studio will create a casual, “drop-in” atmosphere for hobbyists and professionals alike.
As an artist-in-residence at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre for the past four years, I have enjoyed an extremely flexible schedule in the studio. It occurs to me that this flexibility can be vital to the career of a professional artist. An artist may need a few days in the studio followed by a long hiatus to focus on installing/shipping/emailing/researching/recovering or one of a million other things that require our attention at a moment’s notice. I hope that Turnstyle will allow this kind of freedom to its members.
In order to fund the studio during it’s first year and beyond, I’ll be launching an IndieGoGo campaign. For those unfamiliar, IndieGoGo is a crowd-funding site in the same vein as Kickstarter. Both are online organizations that serve to collect donations toward a cause. The cause in this case being Turnstyle Studio. Since 90% of the required equipment has already been purchased, all funds collected will be put towards rent and utilities during year one. Campaign organizers can offer incentives, or “perks” to those that choose to donate. Perks for the Turnstyle campaign will include select products from the Balance Glassworks catalogue (balanceglassworks.com), t-shirts, and permanent recognition in the finished studio. Workshops and studio time will be offered to high-level donors.
What I really want from Turnstyle is the opportunity to give back to a community that has served me well over the past 8 years. By providing a flexible, reliable workspace, I hope to nurture the Toronto glass scene and allow it to grow. Everyone needs a hobby, right?
So that’s one of about a million things I’ve been working on over the past month. Things are slowly falling into place and I’m excited to see the fruits of all this labour. By the way, there’s a little over a month to contribute to the Turnstyle Glass Studio Indiegogo campaign. Please click here to donate! Every loonie helps!
Oh and here’s a new video I did featuring the creation of one of my favorite designs; the Hive Tumblers! It’s getting a good reception so check it out and share! Love,
1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
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