Bringing a ‘Touch of Glass’ into your life

It’s one part craftwork and several parts artwork–and it’s become one of the biggest parts of Emily Hyatt’s life.
Hyatt has been working with stained glass for the past 17 years, and it’s earned her and her studio, “A Touch of Glass,” a bit of renown around the district.
“When I started doing stained glass 17 years ago, there was probably no other doing it in the district,” she said.
“I probably taught my first class 12 years ago,” Hyatt added, noting she travelled around the district, holding stained glass workshops in Rainy River, Emo, Fort Frances and Barwick until about four years ago.
But going from place to place proved to be tiresome so Hyatt vowed to not teach again until she had her own studio. So she did just that, setting up shop in her house in Barwick, and resuming her workshops three years ago.
“I have a classroom in the basement for the students,” she said. “I probably have taught 75 people. Of those 75, there are probably a couple of dozen who are still at it.”
It’s for those couple of dozen people that Hyatt holds an open house like the one last weekend. While some of her works are on sale, boxes of different coloured glass and metals take up much of the display space.
This is more for the benefit of her former students than future customers, she said.
“If you’re going to teach the craft, you have to supply them with the products,” Hyatt explained. “I think I’m the only person in the area who sells stained glass supplies.
“When people come to buy stained glass, they need to buy from somebody who knows the product,” she added. “There’s so many things that have to be considered when picking out glass.”
But the open houses also act as a way of attracting new students. Hyatt’s schedule for 1997-98 includes several one-day workshops, as well as six-week classes for beginners.
Only three or four people are needed for Hyatt to offer a class. Those interested can call her at 487-2360, or leave a message.
“[Friday], I had four people that were new and interested in learning more about stained glass,” Hyatt said. “There’s certain things about it that’s a craft, and the craft anybody can do.
“The art is how to put the colours together and make it beautiful,” she added. “Then it becomes as complicated as you want it to be.
“I’ve been doing it 17 years and there are still things I want to learn.”