Rescue and Restore
Jennifer Wanless-Craig and Terry Craig are the founders, artisans, and chief bottle washers of Artech Glassblowing Studios, a traditional glassblowing studio in the Haliburton Highlands, nestled in the rocks and woods of ghost town Tory Hill, Ontario in an old United Church. As glassblowers, Jenn and Terry follow a long line of tradition that has changed little in 2000 years. “There is a sense of belonging and pride that goes with this lineage. It is an honorable art form with a fire at its heart,” says Jenn.
The Craig’s interest in recycling and transforming beer bottles into unique drinking glasses started out as something they experimented with and gave to friends and family as gifts, who saw the novelty in their ìRebeerî glasses and suggested they be added to the company’s product line. Encouraged, they went to breweries to show them their work. The rest, as they say, is the history of their company.
Jenn and Terry transform their finished products based on an old glass blowing factory technique. “We use the same equipment and tools to melt and shape the beer glasses as we do for all our hand-blown glassware.
“We get our bottles from everywhere! Friends, the dump, bottle drives, breweries. … We like using recycled bottles because glassblowing is a costly art, so we are constantly looking at ways to transform old glass into something new, and ways to make our studio more ‘green’.”
Today, their “Rebeer” product line, which includes beer glasses, coasters, glass straws, wine tumblers, and decanters, is available online at their web site, www.artechstudios.ca, and at over 175 retail stores, globally.
Blowing New Life into Old Glass