Critter Totem Pole

This 1 day workshop will take the glass student through basic principles of fusing while creating their own Critters Totem Pole.

Students will complete 4 small 2" x 2" (51mm x 51 mm) fused critters of their own design. These will have surface ornamentation added prior to being mounted on a pre-fired totem pole shaped glass back. The final size will be around 10" x 2" (254mm x 51mm). Shona's experience with Pacific and Maori culture is reflected in her whimsical approach to design.

Note that your critters will be fused and annealed in the kiln overnight and mounted on the glass back for you on a day after the class by Joan and Shona. Dates to pickup your pieces will be discussed during the workshop.

Students that have never done glasswork are welcome to take the workshop as well as people with glass experience.


Workshop Location:

Al & Joans Hot Shop, Shields, SK.


Workshop Date:

Saturday August 14, 2016 - 9am - 4pm


Workshop Total Cost:

Guild Members - $225.00
Non Guild Members one time only special price - $225.00
(no membership included)


Workshop is limited to 10 participants.


Registration form and 100% of the workshop cost is required for registration.
Cheques should be payable to the Saskatoon Glassworkers' Guild.

Submit - completed form and cheque by August 5th, 2016 to:

Yvonne Kurpjuweit
205 Rossmo Rd
Saskatoon, SK, S7N 2W3

Download: Fused Glass Critters Registration form


Workshop Materials List

Class includes glass, glass pens, pre fired background, and firing.

Each participants needs to bring:

(If you don't have any glass cutting tools plase let us know on the registration form where indicated.)

Lunch - will be a potluck affair so please bring something to share as well as anything special you wish to drink.
Coffee will be available.


Facilitator - Shona Firman

blue_canoe Shona Firman works with cast glass, and her spiritual and symbolic pieces are stunningly beautiful. Many of Shona's vessels and sculptures are blue, since the touch-stones of ancient people were often blue, giving this colour a special significance. Her series of canoes, based on ancient New Zealand wakas, are each unique. Each one is made from a mold which is destroyed when the glass is released from it.

Shona Firman was born in Whangarei, in the North of New Zealand, in 1940. She started her career as a display artist for a retail store, and in her thirties spent time sailing in the South Pacific and working as a designer and artist in Hawaii and in Canada. In the 1980s she started her own business designing, manufacturing and selling soft toys. She studied management and later attended Northland Polytechnic studying applied arts. It was here that she studied glass making under Keith Mahy's direction.

After graduating with merit and majoring in Glass, Shona was awarded a scholarship to attend the Pilchuck Glass School, in Seattle, USA. She was awarded a New Craft Artist Production Grant from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council of New Zealand, and made a study tour to Perth, in Australia. On her return she became she conducted workshops at Auckland Unitec, and a year later in 1995 she and Keith Mahy became partners and set up the Burning Issues Glass Studio and Gallery in Whangarei.

Over two decades of professional practice Shona has had constant threads of Pacific narrative; canoe forms, tattooed needle fish, frigate birds, tangaroas and pods, as well as a reflection of the human affinity with the sea. The most constant of all her influences is the glass itself; its colour, transparency, fragility and parallel robustness and a steady play with the light captured within.

"We all paddle our own canoe through life, and its a different journey for each of us, but basically its the same canoe".......Shona