Normally our weekends are filled with cleaning, grocery shopping, gardening, cooking, trips to the library, dog walking, and guinea pig care/maintenance. However, this weekend we had the opportunity to hang out with some friends and opted to forgo chores to make “sushi” plates out of glass.

The Passion for Glass studio was recommended to us by a friend who’d heard about it through the “birthday party” planner grapevine. Part gallery, part glass craft store, and part workshop, it sits hidden amongst the mess of shops that make up the corner of 17th Avenue and 14th Street in Calgary.

At this particular glass studio you do all your own planning, glass cutting, gluing, and laying out of the designs. The heating/melting is done after hours by Anna, the gallery’s creator and owner. The difference here from other studios is that you do your own glass cutting; with others they often have many shapes pre-cut and ready to use. This can take away the stress of cutting the glass and makes it easier to focus on your creation.

It’s an easy enough activity for kids (10 & older). One session takes roughly an hour and a half and in that time you will create one glass item of your choosing. The most popular creation is a 6×6 plate; when school groups and parties come through they make a small sun-catcher.

We enjoyed the experience. It was fun to learn a little bit about glass and see the different creations that are possible. The star of the experience is using “frit,” which is basically the granular, sandy form of glass. You can sprinkle different coloured frit on your creation to add variety and depth to the colours.