Tonawanda News

Features

June 2, 2014

NEVER STOP LEARNING: Lessons in glass at Gleam & Glimmer

Tonawanda News — Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series of columns by Mia Summerson about creative classes — on subjects from art to cooking to do-it-yourself projects — available to the public in the Niagara Region

When I was a kid, writing was generally the extent of my creative talent, though I had always wished it wasn’t. And I’d be rich if I had a quarter for every time someone told me they wished they were more artistic. So it appears I’m not alone.

When I got the go-ahead to start on this column, I was excited because, in my years working as a reporter, I have encountered a lot of local artists and wished I could do what they do. Given the gigantic variety to be found within the art world, as well as the abundance of local talent, I’ve decided local art workshops would be a great place to start.

My first stop was Gleam and Glimmer Glass Studio in North Tonawanda. The Webster Street shop specializes in handmade stained-glass products. The expensive process of staining glass doesn’t happen at the shop, but everything else does. Every work is arranged and attached piece-by-piece in-house.

The front of the shop functions as a retail floor, with displays of garden and home decor, jewelry and other keepsakes. In the back, work benches are set up with all the equipment needed for whatever project the class happens to be doing that day. I went on a Wednesday evening for “dragonfly ground stake” day. (Note: Participants should enroll in classes in advance.)

The class was small, about 10 people, which allowed owner and instructor Suzanne Todaro and her assistants plenty of opportunities to work with each person one-on-one and help out anyone who was struggling. Had that not been the case, many of our dragonflies wouldn’t have come out so well, mine included.

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