Jill Allan

i. I work as an:
Artist and instructor, hot glass is my primary medium.

ii. I do this creative work because:
I find it fascinating, I like the challenge and each project leads to another curious possibility…what will happen?? I love that when I am teaching I am always amazed and surprised by the students work and their ideas about other students works.

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I try to be sensitive, patient, thoughtful and unique/original/personal.


iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Finding space to do it and financial sustenance! Terminal City Glass Co-op has really made working in glass in Vancouver a much more viable possibility. Now there is studio rental time available to many artists that before had to scramble and travel to find it. They also host visiting artists and instructors and have made the Co-op a community.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
My mum was a music teacher and so we played instruments and sang. I grew up in Lantzville on Vancouver Island in the 1970s and there wasn’t really a lot of organized activities. We did spend a lot of time planning and performing puppet shows for the very kind and patient neighbours…

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
I love the iittala design house from Finland. In the 1990s I saw and exhibition of Oiva Toikka’s work at the Canadian Craft Museum and it changed the path of my life. The next year I was enrolled at the Alberta College of Art and Design working towards my BFA.


vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
I completed my BFA at ACAD in Calgary in 1999 and it was an amazing experience that I relished, I highly recommend it! I went on the to complete an MFA at Bowling Green State University in Ohio in 2013, also a wonderful experience!  I worked at Starfish Glassworks in Victoria for a couple of years and learned so much from the great folks there too.

viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
?? I don’t know? I think a lot of people think being an artist is easy! Or that I just do whatever I want! But in reality it is a lot of work and the work is eccentric; I am always learning something new to fulfill and idea. There is no resting on your laurels….

But I guess I am my own boss -I am deciding what I will take on and so maybe that is why it looks easy…? It’s not easy!

ix. Some proud career moments:
Millennium Award from the Canadian Craft Museum, artist residency at the Corning Museum in NY, finishing my MFA, watching  my students discover their ‘voice’ and their excitement when their work really starts to mean something to them.


x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Check out the programs at Terminal City Glass Co-op, watch the glass blowers at Vancouver Studio Glass on Granville island. Check out the programs in glass at (Calgary), Pilchuck Glass School (in Washington state), Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario, and Espace Verre in Montreal. There is also a short program, I think it is 10 weeks in the summer at Halliburton Centre in Ontario…TCGC has resources.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
More travelling to make and experience art in different countries.

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
The Terminal City Glass Co-op spring auction Spark! May 26th check out their site for more details…

Terminal City Glass

Also Circle Craft Co-op on Granville Island, and Vancouver Studio Glass on Granville Island.

Jill Allan Website


Crafted Vancouver


Vancouver Opera Backstage

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton