GBS Glass Blowing was one of the last stops for Cherie and Kevin Oke (Cowichan Valley Photos) and friends during the Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival. We were warmly welcomed –pardon the pun – by Ann Fowle at their spacious bright studio and workshop then entertained by , Grahame Fowle, glass blower par excellence who demonstrated his glass blowing technique. While we stood oohing and aahing, Grahame explained the process. Seemingly effortlessly, he torched, blew and shaped, while the glass melted and flowed flawlessly into one of his gorgeous large wine glasses.
Grahame’s demonstration of the strength of the glass was almost as spectacular as the glass blowing itself. He took a finished glass, wacked it against a hard surface and, voila, the glass remained intact. Cherie bought two of the white wine glasses but has no intention of repeating Grahame’s demonstration at home.
While forming a wine glass was appropriate for the occasion, it scarcely illustrated Grahame Fowle’s virtuosity. His oil lamps run the gamut of elegant tear shapes to that of animals and birds: exquisite dolphins, sea stars, herons and hummingbirds among them.
All the glass in the studio is made right there, even the gorgeous beads that are on the stems of the glasses. And all sales are made directly from GBS Glass Blowing. That making glass is a labour of love for Grahame was evident from the way he so enthusiastically demonstrated his skill, smiling all the while.
Visit the GBS Glass Blowing web site at www.glassblow.ca.