What a pleasure it is feature this next business and artist to you. When asked how he would describe what he does, Curtis Dionne identifies himself as an artist first. He has been honing his skill of blown glass for the last 15+ years including the 5 years he spent as an apprentice learning and practising his trade out west. Curtis has lived all over Canada but has settled with his partner Charlotte and kids in the beautiful Albert County countryside by the coast in New Horton. It is fitting that Curtis’ property borders one of the Nature Conservancy sites we featured last week on the blog at Two Rivers. This is where his studio shop is located which houses the handmade furnace he built brick by brick over a 3 year span.
If you travel down the 915, you will find Curtis’ property with a unique building on it that you can see from this photo. It is called an octahedrone.
Curtis with his new furnace. Ready to fire it up! It takes him 7 days of stoking the fire to get it to the heat he needs to form his “Crystale”, about 1100-1200 degrees Celsius! Once it is to the right temperature, he gets to work making up to 30 vases a day with over 300 lbs worth of material put in there to create these beautiful vessels and objects.
Curtis has been in business since 2008 with his company Glass Roots Canada Inc. He is well-known for his unique pieces of glass which seem to come in any form you can imagine , from a rose bud to a chandelier. It seems like he can make just about anything he can imagine or any kind of shape someone might want. On the Glass Roots website , you can browse through a great sampling of his work but there are other options Curtis and his team provide as well that have helped diversify his portfolio and business opportunities. You are able to have your loved ones’ ashes put into a Crystal Ash Memorial or to have a glass award made to recognize athletes,employees, etc Curtis has his sights set on other endeavours as well. Part of it is to give other artists an opportunity to share their work but it also to be more accessible to people for his services. In order to do this he has opened a gallery in Riverview at 406 Coverdale Road just in the past month.
Here are some samples of his work and a glimpse at some of the other artists’ work as well that are currently in the gallery. There are artists of all kind: food, sewing, mixed media, sculptures, paintings, textiles, etc. There is something for everyone’s taste and interest. More and more artists will be added in the future.
These next 2 shots are in the room where most of the individual shows will be :
He already has an artist booked for every month until late into 2020. His first show is this Thursday evening from 5-8 pm with Susan Jardine. You can check out their Facebook page for details of the event and about Susan as well. Her work will be featured in the gallery until the end of March.
He is proud to say that after 15 years he is finally an independent artist in his own right. He is excited now to be able to bring in artists locally, and hopefully internationally as his gallery gets more and more recognized. Curtis’ future plans are to build a studio in Riverview and provide training for others to learn his art. We want to congratulate Curtis and his team on a job well done. Hard work and recognition does not come easy. Koodos on this great achievement and for many blessed years of creating ahead! Be sure to stop by on The Road to Waterside ( in Riveriview or New Horton!)