Interview with Paula Vandermey


This week we got a chance to speak with Paula Vandermey. Paula is a Canadian artist living and working in the Greater Toronto Area. She uses both blowing and casting to bring the unique style of her work to life. Continue reading to find out more!

Where were you born & currently reside?  Born in the GTA, Scarborough and now in Toronto.

How did you discover glass OR what school did you attend? After I lost my father I decided I needed to redirect my life. I googled glass, and went to Sheridan and ended up talking to Dan Crighton. Once I saw the glory hole I knew I was meant to be there.

Who was your favourite glass teacher?  Kevin Lockao and Mitchell Gaudet were both very inspirational. Mitchell was like a personal mentor for me.

How would you describe your style of blowing glass? Different! I don’t conform to traditional glassblowing, you must know the necessary steps technically to be able to get to the outcome you are aiming for. It’s important to understand the details. To reach a certain refinement, you have to be able to understand all the aspects of how glass behaves.

What do you try to achieve with your glass creations? A conceptual message that resonates within.

Who is your favourite artist? Salvidor Dali, and Henri Gaudier-brzeska

Who is an artist you dream of collaborating with? I would love to collaborate with Cole Swanson! I’m currently about to start a collaboration with Matt Robertson which I’m looking forward to.

What makes you proud to be in Canada? Multiculturalism, and ethnic diversity

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What’s your favourite place in Canada?  Gabarus, Cape Breton Island. It’s beautiful!

If you won a million dollars, it would buy you the freedom to: Travel, travel, travel. It’s all about exploration!

What stifles creativity? The hectic pace of our city. Balance in a job that pays, as opposed to a creative one to sustain yourself.

Have you ever made work too personal to reveal? Yes, I’ve made it, it has been shown, but I never revealed what it was about. Kevin Lockau managed to pull the message out of me, and it made us both weep a bit.

What’s your favourite colour? Iris Gold! It looks so different whether you blow it or cast it. It’s a colour of its own category!

Another glass artist you think we should interview? Jeff McIntosh

Anything else you would like to add? My solo show is still up for awhile longer if you have time to stop by. “How Many Teeth Does a JackrabbitHave” at Latitude 44 Gallery.

A big thanks to Paula Vandermey for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions.
Congratulations on all your successes and may your future as an artist continue to grow!


Belt Grit Conversions and the Return of the White Belt

Choosing the right belt for your needs can be a challenging experience. There are many different options and methods to choose from. While traditionally silicon carbide belts is widely used, 3M’s Trizact “Magic” Belts are becoming increasingly popular among glass artists. Not only do these aluminum oxide belts cut and polish faster, they save time by eliminating many of the steps from the silicon carbide process.

Just to give an analogy: The silicon carbide is like taking stairs … you start at the lowest grit and work towards a polish in increments – don’t try to skip a step! But Trizact is like taking the elevator … it doesn’t matter which floor you get on, the elevator still takes you up to the Penthouse. In other words – No matter what the “Grit” of the Trizact belt, they all take your glass up to a pre polish. You choose your belt by how much glass you need to remove. And even more impressive – they don’t dull (lose their bite) the way silicon carbide belts are known to do … their grit stays constant until you wear through the belt.

trizact graph

A160/Grey belt cuts like a 120 silicon carbide belt, but polishes to 1000 grit finish.

A100/Grey Belt cuts like a 200 grit silicon carbide belt, but polishes to a 1000 grit finish.

A30/Green Belt cuts like a 400 grit silicon carbide belt, but polishes to a 1000 grit finish.

A16/Blue Belt cuts like a 800 grit silicon carbide belt, but polishes to a 1000 grit finish

A6/Orange Belt is not very aggressive but, polishes to a 1800 grit finish. (used to buff saw marks off colourbar, touch up a scuff mark, or as a step from 1000 grit to cerium)

A30, A16, A6 belts are available in both plastic backed (slippery), or cloth backed (stronger, more traction on the sander).

Cerium Belts are Back!!

White Belt medium Crop

White Belts – or Trizact Cerium Oxide Polishing Belts – were discontinued a few years ago due to the soaring price of raw cerium oxide. We recently found an alternative version of these amazing belts, and our test run has indicated they polish as nicely as their pre-decessors.

As we await 3M to deliver our order, if you’d like to be placed on the waiting list, you will be personally notified upon their arrival. Please place an order though our website, or contact us by phone, text or email to advise us of your desired qualities.