New Blog!

New Blog!

Hi There!

Thanks for checking in on the Balance Glassworks Blog!  In my previous post I discussed the challenges I was having opening up my own studio; Turnstyle Glassblowing Studio.  Well, many of the challenges are now behind me and I’m almost ready to light the furnace!  Furthermore, I’ll be moving my Blog activity to the new Turnstyle site at turnstyleglass.com.  I’ve started working on a Blog there called The Glory Hole (That’s the name of a re-heating oven in glassblowing speak.  I suggest you follow the link rather than googling it.) and I’ll be updating it regularly with info about myself as well as a lot more about the glassblowing world in general.  There’s lots of exciting things happening out there so I’ll have plenty of material.  While you’re there, why not checkout some beginner glassblowing courses?  Hope to see you!

Love,

-Clayton

Making Turnstyle Glass Studio

Making Turnstyle Glass Studio

Hey Guys,

A quick update and some video links here.  I found the studio!  It’s located at 43 Towns rd. in Etobicoke.  I love it!  I’ve been documenting the process so far and although not much has happened so far, I’m still very excited.  As I write this, most of the studio is still in storage in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  The Spring thaw has made the area around it a giant mud pit so nobody can get near it with a truck.  Hopefully that all changes soon!  Enjoy!




 

Love,

-Clayton

Things That Rule: Pino Signoretto

Hey There!

Just a quick post to spread the word about one of my favorite glass artists; Pino Signoretto.  Pino’s sculpting techniques are impossibly smooth and I just love watching him work.  You can get a sense of his style in the videos below.  I find it strange that most of them don’t show the finished piece for some reason but that doesn’t take away from his insane hand-eye co-ordination or his impressive sense of anatomy and proportion.  His subject matter is certainly as traditional as it gets but I can’t think of anyone I would rather watch in the studio.  Enjoy!

Pegacorn?

Sculpting a Hand

Love this Octopus!

Love,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

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This glassblower went down into the basement of his future studio. You won’t believe what happens next!

Prepare yourself for a trip through time…  These ancient catacombs have not been disturbed for centuries or since the 70s or whatever.  Actually it’s just the plumbing underneath the industrial unit I almost moved into a couple months back.  I wrote a very enthusiastic post about it when I first found it.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to check out this tomb until the owners got my money so I’ve been busy trying to get it back ever since.  Looks like I’ll have to take them to court.  What fun!  Take it from me true believers, if you ever go searching for any sort of commercial real estate, get EVERY DETAIL in writing.  Everything!  I know this seems like a given but it’s amazing how much trouble the tiniest amount of good faith can bring you.  Do NOT let them rush you either.  They want money and a signature.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Let them wait.  I’d love to warn you against the specific scum bags I’m dealing with but that might have to wait until after trial.

Looks ok from out here!  (That's it in the bottom left)

Looks ok from out here! (That’s it in the bottom left)

Hm.  That pipe looks a little rusty...  And this floor isn't really a....floor...is it?

Hm. That pipe looks a little rusty… And this floor isn’t really a….floor…is it?

That's worrisome...

That’s worrisome…

Oh no....

Oh no….

That shouldn't be there...

That shouldn’t be there…

Dear lord.

Dear lord.

This isn't happening...

This isn’t happening…

THIS ISN'T HAPPENINNNNNNGGGG!!!

THIS ISN’T HAPPENINNNNNNGGGG!!!

Dad?

Dad?

This has certainly been a learning experience albeit an expensive one but I’m still searching for that perfect Toronto location to bring Turnstyle Glass Studio to life!  Wish me luck!

Man, I really miss blowing glass…

Love,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

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Top 10 Superbowl commercials of all time.

Just kidding, they’re just commercials with glassblowing in them.  And there’s only 6 of them.  But that’s more than you’d think, right?  Actually, glassblowing has been showing up in a a lot of TV lately!

This is the one that got me thinking about this in the first place.  Gotta love this guy’s tidy little apartment/studio.

Even Conan is getting in on it.

This one made me a bit depressed.  I hope Chris sticks with his dream…

I would love to see more of the work that went into this Toyota ad.  Very slick.

I like Stella’s obsession with their “Chalice”.  I think this spot over-simplified the process a bit though…

This one is pretty weird.  Gotta love little stop-motion Day of the Dead glass factory workers though!

 

Love,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

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The Future Home of Turnstyle Glass Studio?

Hi There!

I think I may have finally found the perfect spot to set up the new studio.  I don’t want to jinx it but I have a really good feeling about this one.  It’s got everything we’re going to need and the location is great!  I know it’s not much to look at now but just wait!  Here are a few pics from my first visit.  They were taken on my iPod so sorry for the crappy quality.

IMG_1409

A nice, big, gas-pipe. That’s good!

IMG_1408

A bunch of crap leftover from the last guy. That’s bad.

IMG_1407

A huge window! That’s good!

IMG_1405

Being an old boiler room means a really tall chimney. That’s good!

IMG_1402

Double rolling doors are crucial for moving equipment and airing the place out when it gets too hot.

IMG_1401

Rustic.

IMG_1396

The old boiler still works so we won’t be freezing in the cold-working room.

IMG_1393

Stuart the Super and some other visitors.

Updates coming soon!

Love,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

Find Balance on:

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Studio Space: The Final Frontier.

This is getting scary.  I’ve been searching high and low in this city for viable studio space to set up all the equipment I procured last winter and I’m actually having some luck!  The scary part is that one of these days, I’m actually going to find the perfect spot and then it’s really going to be on.  many thanks to Tim and Liam at Artscape and Clair at Metcom Realty for all your help!  Wish me luck!

This was the first spot I saw.  Nice high ceilings!

This was the first spot I saw. Nice high ceilings!

It's an old printing studio but seems a little too residential for a glass studio...

It’s an old printing studio but seems a little too residential for a glass studio…

_MG_9981

Next I saw this great old brick building! More high ceilings and it’s an Artscape property meaning it’s really affordable! There’s a waiting list though.  (Hi Lana!)

_MG_9984

It’s already rigged with lockers.

_MG_9985

Unfortunately, it’s on the third floor which isn’t the best considering I’ll be lugging a 4000-5000 lb. furnace in there. I’d have to cut a larger door in the wall to fit it as well…

_MG_0003

This most recent spot is a beauty! Huge everything, excellent drainage and a brand new building!

The owners want to give the entire space to a single renter.  I'm hoping they don't take it and that the owners will split it up into smaller spots.

The owners want to give the entire space to a single renter. It’s huuuuge though so I’m hoping they don’t take it and the owners will split it up into smaller units. Love the skylights!

_MG_0022

No problem getting a furnace in here!

Keep your fingers crossed for me people!  Turnstyle Glass Studio is on it’s way!

Love,

 

Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

Find Balance on:

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Design Week Recap

Design week is always a bit of a disappointment for me.  Not because of the work but because there never seems to be enough time to see everything I want to see!  I blame the cold weather.  The photos that start to flow onto Instagram and Facebook make me realize how much I missed!  I definitely saw some pretty mind blowing work last week that I’d like to spread the word about.

First off, I’d like to congratulate my friends Tomas Rojcik and Rebecca Horwitz on curating Hand & Machine; a show that’s on right now at the OCC Gallery on Queen st. W.  Hand & Machine focuses on the blend of handmade goods and new technology in modern design.  The show won a juror’s choice award from the Toronto Design Offsite Festival and was my favorite exhibition of the week.

Vase, by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom

Vase, by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom

This artist (I can't believe I didn't get the name) took glitched-out screens displaying code from different operation systems and fed them into an industrial loom to produce these amazing blankets.  Possibly my favorite pieces of the week.

This artist (I can’t believe I didn’t get the name) took glitched-out screens displaying code from different operating systems and fed them into an industrial loom to produce these amazing blankets. Possibly my favorite pieces of the week.

IMG_1354IMG_1355

Secondly, I should mention Hard Twist.  A great Textile and Fibre Art show on the top floor of the Gladstone Hotel.  I was very impressed with the work and hope it wasn’t overshadowed by Come up to my Room a couple floors down (Regrettably, I missed that one but judging by the photos I’ve seen, it looked like a standout year!)

Also worth mentioning is the annual Not Forkchops by imm Living.  They hold this contest every year and the audience-voted winner is added to the company’s design catalogue.  The show featured some very interesting high-concept ideas as well as prototypes from last year’s winner; the lovely and talented Lana Filippone.  I can’t wait to find out who won!

I finished the weekend by attending Harbourfront Centre‘s yearly lecture series: Viva Vocé.  I absolutely love this event.  A collection of senior residents from Harbourfront’s craft department share their pasts, presents, and future plans with the audience and is it always compelling.  This year’s speakers were: Sarah Dobranoiwski, Janet McPherson, Jesse Bromm and Stephanie Fortin.  I was so proud to see all of them up there as I was lucky enough to share the studios with them during my time there.  Great job guys!

The keynote speakers were Tomas Rojcik and Chris Charuk speaking of their newly-formed design company: Normal Goods.  (They don’t allow recording of the presentations unfortunately but here’s a sneaky one of mine from a few years back.)

After attending these events, I’ve come to realize my skills in the digital world are laughably outdated.  As I’m currently searching for studio space, I’ll have plenty of time to work on that.  Here are some shots from my first attempt at 3d rendering:

An iPad app called Verto Studio 3D.

An iPad app called Verto Studio 3D.

 

Working on rendering a set of Hive Tumblers from the Balance Glassworks catalogue.

Working on rendering a set of Hive Tumblers from the Balance Glassworks catalogue.

 

Well, it looks like something you would have blown up in Goldeneye, but it's a start...

Well, it looks like something you would have blown up in Goldeneye, but it’s a start…

Thanks to everyone that makes the week such an exciting event for Toronto!

Love,

Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

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Fair Collector

I'd rather be napping.  Photo Credit: Nick Chase

I’d rather be napping. Photo Credit: Nick Chase

Hey all!

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,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

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For real this Time: Turnstyle Indiegogo is Live!

Hi There!

So I’ve finally launched the Turnstyle Glass Studio Indiegogo campaign in earnest.  It took a lot of preparation but I think it’s been worth it!  Please click the link below to be taken to the site and donate!  There’s plenty of good stuff on there available to contributors.  If you or someone you know are curious about glass, Turnstyle is a great place to find out more!  See you there!

http://igg.me/at/Turnstyle/x/4439118

The studio also has a Facebook page which you can find here:

https://www.facebook.com/TurnstyleGlassStudio

Love,

-Clayton

Owner/Designer/Maker
Balance Glassworks

1475 King st. W (Unit B-3)
Toronto, ON
M6K 1J4

http://www.balanceglassworks.com

Find Balance on:

Facebook
Etsy
Twitter