December 15, 2009 – Montréal will become a City of Glass in 2010. This has nothing to do with the glassware of the many 5 à 7 (happy hours) that ritually occur across the island, but rather glass in all its artistic glory: blown, handcrafted, coloured, opalescent, and fascinating.
With a reputation for abundant creativity, Montréal is home to numerous master glassblowers and artisans who deftly transform this medium into magnificent works of art.
A one-stop research and training centre, studio, boutique and gallery for glassblowers, Espace VERRE is one of the pillars of the Montréal artistic glassblowing community. For the last twenty-five years, this non-profit organization, whose mission is to develop and promote Québec glassblowers, has not only offered a multitude of services to professionals, but has also made the art of glassblowing and all aspects of the craft accessible to the general public.
From guided tours to open-house exhibitions and special events, glass is displayed in all its forms and uses in a 4 000 m2 space dedicated to housing all necessary equipment and materials required by master blowers, engravers, painters and casters to practice their craft.
And if you would like to learn more about certain techniques or just the art of glassblowing itself, Espace VERRE offers many introductory courses in glassblowing on the weekends, from the simple Introduction to Glass class to the more elaborate workshop, such as Photosensitive resist technique for sandblasting.
Espace VERRE also houses a research centre containing more than 1 000 specialized reference materials that is open to the public, students and professionals alike.
And finally, if these works of art inspire you to take a little bit of Montréal home with you, the boutique offers a dazzling selection of original glasswork designs created by the students of the Espace Verre school. And as Espace Verre is a non-profit organization, the artists actually receive a higher profit margin from the sales of their creations here than they would otherwise in a commercial gallery. So don’t feel guilty about spending a wee bit more than you had planned: you’ve just raised a glass to the health of Québec glassblowers!