For the love of all things glass

Sandy Fontaine and Melanie Wasylyshen work together on their show of All Things Glass

Melanie Wasylyshen

The light reflects off the many glass and mosaic surfaces, creating dazzling images. Quesnel Art Gallery’s April show, All Things Glass is the work of a mother daughter team of glass artists, Sandy Fontaine and Melanie Wasylyshen.

Mother Sandy was a working business woman in 1997 when she watched a TV program, in a Vancouver hotel room, on stained glass and thought to herself, “When I retire I want to do that.”

However, upon reflection she wasn’t convinced she’d ever retire, so she taught herself stained glass through books and hands-on learning.

“It was primarily a hobby but in 2004 I opened a studio gift store in Saskatoon,” Sandy said.

For Melanie, once her mother opened her gift shop, she also began contributing her own jewelry.

Melanie admitted she had always been creative and her jewelry fit well with her mother’s glass work.

The shop closed in 2008 and Melanie and her husband moved to Quesnel in 2009 to pursue their passion for gold mining.

For Sandy, in addition to her copper foil method stained glass, she was discovering the creativity and equally interesting art of fused glass (melting glass in a kiln in a defined shape.)

Missing her daughter, Sandy also moved to Quesnel in 2011. Both women were pursuing their art from their homes and marketing their work on consignment in local retail outlets. They have plans to open their own shop in Quesnel in the near future, hopefully by June.

As for why they create the work they do, Sandy said for her its a love of pretty things.

“We live in a beautiful world; I see something and think, what can I make from that inspiration,” she said.

The show includes some interesting and unusual items, however, perhaps one of the most unique creations is a head form.

“Spirituality also guides my work and the head is called On the 6th Day, a reference to creation,” she said.

For Melanie, her primary inspiration is the wilderness  where picking wild things and observing nature contribute to her creativity.

“She always has weeds hanging around her house,” Sandy said.

For this show, flowers, butterflies, wood and raffia all feature prominently and provide the show with a truly natural feeling.

Mosaics mixes beautifully with stained class and fused glass items including a completely covered guitar, a large mosaic circle and a colourful keyboard wind chime.

Melanie said she’s never happier then when she’s creating something. Her added passion for gold mining has been incorporated in several of her pieces.

“I’m able to fuse gold into my work. It has a substantially higher melting point than glass so after the glass melts into it’s form, the gold remains as it came out of the ground,” she said.

Both women expect viewers to appreciate the work for its aesthetic value and experience happy feelings in viewing the pretty things.

“I also want people to appreciate art is more than just the traditional media,” Melanie said.

“Art comes in many forms.”

All Things Glass hangs in the Quesnel Art Gallery at the Arts and Recreation Centre for the month of April and the show is sponsored by West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Just Posted

Letter: ‘pivotal moment in the history of fisheries management in B.C.’

Editor, Open letter to Minister Wilkinson: On Friday, Dec. 6 the airwaves… Continue reading

Will snow finally arrive for good in Quesnel?

Environment Canada forecasting snowfall tonight

Barkerville’s Christmas event sees record number of visitors

More than 1,200 people attended the site on Saturday

One of the Cariboo’s greatest unsolved mysteries featured in The National

Journalists investigate bombing of Flight 21 more than 50 years ago

Quesnel figure skater places second in Terrace

Beverley Smetaniuk scored a personal best

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Trump to meet with Democrats about border wall, shutdown

US president wants $5 billion for border wall, while Democrats offer up about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Most Read