Thursday, 13 September 2012

Heart & Hand: Glass Artist Laurie Spieker

Maple Leaf
 We've asked Glass Artist Laurie Spieker about her art form and what it is about working with glass that inspires and excites her. Take a moment to meet Laurie...

How did you get your start?  What was your biggest inspiration?

On a fall evening in 1996 I got my start in stained glass in a friend’s basement, where I eagerly put together my first suncatcher.  I carefully chose pieces of glass, cut and ground, foiled and soldered –  with one piece in upside down! – and finished with a loving polish.  This small piece now hangs in my studio.  After much practice at home and in a retail setting, I decided to open my own business, Grand River Glassworks in 2007.  Here, the studio is bright, the kiln is warm, and the atmosphere is welcoming. 

My biggest inspiration remains the glass itself – there is beauty in every sheet of art glass!  I also find inspiration in the students I call friends and, of course, in the timeless beauty of Mother Nature.

Fall Fused Leaf

What are the different ways you create with glass and why?

I create glass art using the traditional Tiffany method of copper foil stained glass and I also fuse glass.  I enjoy both methods of manipulating glass – they each appeal in different and interesting ways.

Can anyone learn to create with glass? 

Absolutely! Once the basic skills are covered, the sky is the limit! Glass is inherently creative, and as with all things, practice is key. Visit for workshop information or email to join my Newsletter Contact list. Grand River Glassworks can also be found on Facebook.

 What's next? Any projects or plans you are looking forward to tackling?

Over the next months I will experience a dynamic mentorship opportunity at Sheridan College, dealing with in-depth investigations into the medium of glass.
I am also welcoming back into the studio a group of area high school students to complete a project, Glass Fourteen, for installation at RIM Park.  These students have collaborated on an impressive large-scale glass fusing artwork.

Visit Laurie at the Heart & Hand Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, to learn more and to watch her create her beautiful glass art.  

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