I am always so proud to say that Tideline.Org is a mother/daughter duo because what says Girl Power more than Mother/Daughter?! And I am a female glass blower – and maybe once upon a time that was rare – but not so much now a days. There are some pretty fabulous female glass artists out there and I want to take a few minutes to not only celebrate this day with you all with absolute pride and gratitude in my heart but spread that word that the glass community is pretty bad ass when it comes to International’s Woman’s Day! First Lady I’d like to acknowledge is Katherine Gray – bonus she is Canadian and an amazing artist. I had the privilege to sit in on a couple of her artist talks and she just well she is impressive. She is inspiring to other artists because she has accomplished the dream. You may recognize her name from the Netflix TV Series Blown Away. But she is so much more than a judge on reality tv – she is worth you research.
Sarah Hall another Canadian woman known for her incredible Stained Glass Installations, another woman highly educated in her field who has gone far with her dream. You may have heard of her for her solar panel works and bird friendly glass. I have never had the honour of meeting Ms. Hall and I am not sure I would know what to say but tell me everything and anything! Another woman I find inspirational is Silvia Levenson – she is an activist glass artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina who lost many members of her family to the military. Her work is heavy with influences from her experiences. Her work is incredible! I was able see some of her pieces on display – It is definitely a different experience seeing things in person rather than on the internet or in a book. So cheers to my fellow ladies! I feel blessed and empowered daily from the teachings of my mom, my Grandmothers, my Aunts – And the guys in my life – I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t have a Dad that lifts me up, that teaches me to weld, and change the breaks on my car, and the clutch (I think he did the majority of the work) but it was never a “No, you’re a girl” from him he’d go over the safety, the why’s and the how’s the same way he did with both my brothers.
My Grandpa was of the Stolo Nation and he would always say “we” (our culture) not only would honour our Elders but we honoured our Woman. Our Woman gives us life, our Woman would make us food from our hunt, our Woman keep us clothed from the fur – we need our Woman to survive. And I always thought that was so beautiful. Cheers to all the amazing and inspirational Woman here in Campbell River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada heck the whole wide world may we all strive to be one! Happy International Woman’s Day!
Before Sheridan, before even discovering glass blowing, before I even knew who I was… or what would become of me I did stained glass. It was during the first few years of opening TideLine Gallery that my mom taught me to cut glass. She would always leave me a list of what needed to be done like sun catchers of star fish or orcas… I would never do it. I guess I was an artist back then too and didn’t know it yet.
This was one of the pieces I used on my application to Sheridan – I Had done a personal series as more of an outlet than anything but the results led me on the most amazing path.
I was the girl in high school that had her plans laid out, I would get married, have some babies, and live the most beautiful magical life possible. And I remember breaking out my duo tang of my wedding plans to my fiancé when he finally proposed at the young age of 20. He was a little shocked at the guest lists, the dress selections, etc and I thought nothing of it. Now I think “wow, red flag”. We didn’t plan for the biggest loss of our life when we turned 24 or the divorce that quickly followed –
The Universe has hardly listened to me, laughed at my plans at best but has laid out a path I am now thankful to have experienced – this piece in the picture I called The Fight. It was the time in a divorce where your partner becomes a stranger and it is survival of the fittest.
What was once sad – is now how I am able to lead my best life! And for that my heart is full of gratitude.
So loving life lately! Love my business and where it is going – and with the excitement leads me to wanting and craving more. I am interested, I am obsessed – I want to learn and get better. And I am not blowing glass right now so what else do you do??! Its too cold to paddle board for this girl so yea… YouTube is my friend. Marketing videos keep me up at night, manifesting like a wild woman. Like I said life is great. And also Chai Tea lattes aren’t too bad either.
So in my discovery and how to get a bigger online platform apparently I have to take FaceBook Live… uh what? You want me to video tape my awkward artist self and say what exactly? Great. So there goes our online business because well – yea. 90% of the time I do not wear make up nor do I use hairspray. I enjoy my ugly over sized sweater and leggings. No. Just no.
OR should I? It is all part of my “New year New Me” mantra – maybe you do want to hear what I have to say. I say “I” because I haven’t ran this whopper by Victoria yet… and I can already hear her laughing at me. But maybe just maybe these professionals are on to something here. So tell me what you think? Would you want to join me in the hotshop one afternoon to see how its made? Or maybe you’re a stained glass beginner and there is a Tip we can share with you about scoring glass…
Its a thought!? Ill think about it… You think about it… and maybe we can convince to Vicki to do it!
It is Crystal you give for anyone celebrating their 15th Anniversary and guess what! TideLine.Org turned 15 today! What an adventure! What a learning curve! So much glass!
Did you know:
Vicki was working on a stained glass project back when she was making out of her home as a hobby when her and I went into the local glass store in town who at the time was getting out of the stained glass part of the business – she asked inquisitively “Well how much?” At that moment Vicki looked at me and said well do you want to do a stained glass business? I said sure. Vicki produced her Visa and proceeded to buy the stained glass and supplies…
We had the supplies but no store – so we drove around Campbell River giddy with excitement when it hit us that we needed to tell our husbands what had just happened so we went to Save-On to buy steaks.
Glen said “Oh Vicki what have you done?”
I had no idea anything about glass, or the supplies for that matter and lets not get started on the business end of things… but how hard could it be?!??! Our first customer got her glass and supplies at Whole Sale price because well – how hard could it be?
TideLine wasn’t our first choice – we had Seaview Gallery as top choice… Kiss My Glass (Vicki said no). Final Destiny (Glens idea). Above Tide – not the hotel.
We didn’t have a lot of luck with employees until we met our Frannie. She didn’t know how to do stained glass but for weeks would come in and buy sheets of class because they were so pretty. Eventually she turned into one hell of a glass artist and dancer.
We moved four times with less and less volunteers to help us move. We are finally where we dreamed of being – right outside Vicki’s front door.
Dakota was 5. He was our store mascot and every customer was his friend.
Vicki was only taken via Ambulance ONE time. Tiny bit of blood… nothing Tonis dirty hoodie couldn’t handle.
Vicki would do the ordering for the stained glass and would only buy blues and purples… She was replaced.
Toni faked her way by doing mosaics because none of her pieces ever fit together and was featured in the Nanaimo Art Gallery…
Vicki won first prize in the Sooke Fine Arts show the same year Toni graduated from Glass school and didn’t win.
We won New Business of the Year from the Campbell River Commerce – when Vicki Johnson was called to the stage Toni ran up and accepted as Vicki. Vicki was very confused and offered to be Toni. We were excited.
Vicki received the Aboriginal Woman in Business Grant that helped with our expansion and new learnings.
Did you know business is harder than we thought? It’s time consuming, it’s costly, and frustrating to name a few, but it sure makes our gratitude list every day!
We are here, 10 – 4pm open and ready to meet, greet, chat and so on with you. If you are looking for handmade, & local then come see us. We have some beautiful pieces on display from jewellery, to glass for the tree and gift ideas that are all made on site!
Today we will be working on our jewellery collection – I will give you a hint its with leather! Ha! And you were thinking it was glass… silly!
I love how loved we are – and trying to find a balance between my work life and glass life so that I can continue to share with you all!
I have posted on our website the days the studio will be open for you to drop in – and will continue to post this way as well as setting appointments via email(Toni OR Vicki). Eeeek so exciting! Again, gratitude is in our hearts – we love making! Living the dream!
TLG will be attending this years spring Arts & Bloom Festival at the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens May 20-22! Not only is this the most beautiful setting, but there is so many talented artisans that come out. This is by far Vicki and I’s favorite venue!
We are planning to have some Tidal Balls, Jelly Fish, sea urchins, sea stars, and some new garden art made from blown glass as well as our soy candles that we have been experimenting with! There will also be the driftlines on display and some tea cup motif as well!