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Back to Teachers' List LAURA DONEFER

In 1985, Laura Donefer graduated from the glassblowing program at Sheridan College in Ontario. She has given workshops all over Canada and the United States. Laura has shown her work in Asia, Canada and the United States. Also, she coordinated the numerous editions of the Glass Fashion Show, including VERRE COUTURE held at the Montreal Science Center in May 2010. Many of Espace VERRE’s students participate by dressing up in clothes with glass elements. Laura has been teaching at Espace VERRE since 1988.


There are inner forces in my life that seem to be unrelated to conscious thought, and it is from within those unseen realms that I uncover my voice. My body is my house: the bones and blood of me linking my inner core to the physical world around me. Throughout my life I have been twinned with nature, sometimes feeling no different from a tree, a stream, a boulder. I have always tried to be free within the company of the earth, to let my insides open up within the strong presence of the sensual world; licking pebbles, burying my face in moss, rolling in leaves, howling alone in the forest. The works that I create are narrators of my innermost core, and sometimes I make them bound by love, and sometimes I make them bound by lust, and sometimes I make them bound by terror. Many times they make themselves through some ancient song that only bones and blood can hear. All that I know is if I cannot create, the noise within me becomes deafening, and I can no longer hear my own heartbeat.

So I choose liquid heat as my main medium, and working with molten glass is like dancing the magma right out of the earth. It is hot and it is dangerous, and it feels like I am making love with the very essence of creation… For me glass is a metaphor for life. It can be totally transparent and reveal what is inside, or opaque to hide, or translucent, mysterious, by giving mere glimpses of what might be. It can be sharp and truly wound or luscious with life when married to colour. Glass bonds perfectly with metal and sand, and its surface can be smooth as ice or crude and rough. It has become the perfect material for my own expression, and it is an extraordinary sensuous act when I am working it hot. Yet there is that crazy kamikaze aspect of it… like a tightrope at the river’s edge… it feels like all or nothing. And that is how I like to operate, even though it is a dangerous way to live, celebrating life through fire.

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