People

Sonya Labrie

i. I work as a: Glass artist /Glassblower, designer, and instructor

ii. I do this creative work because:
Glass has endless possibilities and I keep discovering new ways of working with it. The medium is challenging and I enjoy learning and growing as an artist. There is a physical nature to glass that I am attracted to. 

iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Being flexible (physically and mentally) and adaptable to changes; in a sense “going with the flow” of the glass.

iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
There is a very steep learning curve in working with glass, there no other medium quite like it, and this is what most beginners find most challenging. There’s also a huge challenge in finding studio space that can accommodate glass. We are lucky to have a place to make glass in Vancouver.

v. Creative childhood hobbies:
Drawing colourful pictures. Photography, flower arranging, and gardening. I was also a collector of shells, sea glass, sticks and stones (which I still do to this day!)

vi. Other creators who inspire you:
Glass artist Toots Zynsky for her use of colour and form and Tom Moore for how playful his work is, its so inspiring to work in a medium so diverse. My work-wife Tara Pawson is also super inspiring she is always pushing me to keep working at new and developing projects. I make my work at Terminal City Glass Co-op, working within a co-op you get to meet and see so many other creative individuals working in the same medium which is always super inspiring. 

vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
My fist glass class I attended was at Red Deer College in Red Deer, AB. I then went on to complete a 3 year Advanced Diploma in Craft and Design at Sheridan College, majoring in Glass. I’ve also had the opportunity to study glass at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Northern Washington.

viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Giving up too easily, or setting your expectations too high can impact your sense of accomplishment.

ix. Some proud career moments:
I had a large part in developing Terminal City Glass Co-op, the co-operative studio at which I make most of my work. I have been a key contributor to educational curriculum development and am deeply involved in community building practices, as well as being one of the instructors in several disciplines of glass.

In 2017 I graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC with a Bachelors of Education, Secondary Technology Education & Art, with highest distinctions of the Deans Educational Scholarship. With this degree I have pursued my love of sharing craft with others by becoming an Applied Arts educator with the Vancouver School Board.

x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
I’m a lover of school, so any opportunity to learn about and make glass is the best and first step towards working in this creative field. Next would be to practice, practice, practice.

xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
In the New Year I’m looking forward to experimenting with electroplating and revisiting adding imagery onto glass. I would also love to exhibit my work internationally.

xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
www.sonyalabrie.com / Instagram @sonyalabrie  / In person at Shiny Fuzzy Muddy December 14 & 15:  http://shinyfuzzymuddy.com/

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