Glass-Blower Heats Up Parkland Artisan Tour

There may be no hotter spot in Saskatchewan this weekend than Ron Anderson's Odd Ball glass-blowing shop. With the equipment up and running, the shop can reach temperatures of 43 C, he says.

"Hot glass really keeps you hopping," Anderson says.

His glass-blowing "hot-shop" is one of nine stops on the Parkland Artisan Tour in and around Shellbrook this weekend. Artisans will demonstrate their crafts as well as show pieces. This is the third year the artisans have put on the tour. The first two years of the tour, there were about 300 people through Anderson's shop.

Anderson happened to see a glass-blower demonstration about seven years ago on a holiday in Victoria, B.C. He knew he had found his craft.

"I said to my wife, 'I am going to do that.'"

As far as Anderson knows, he is one of only three glass-blowers in Saskatchewan. The retired school bus driver and farmer has kept busy over the past six years building his shop - much of the equipment homebuilt with the help of his family.

Before glass-blowing, Anderson was making stained-glass pieces but he has no artistic background otherwise.

Shortly after the trip to Victoria, Anderson found glass-blowing classes at Red Deer College in 2001. He took classes there, then started to build up his shop on his own property about nine kilometres south of Shellbrook. He took more classes in 2004 and again this spring.

"With glass-blowing, you never stop learning," he says.

Anderson says he loves the way every piece can be manipulated.

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