Fire and Colour in the Distillery

Distillery District Glass WorksArtist Jill Cribbin working on a glass bead in the distillery district in Toronto

I took an early lunch and decided to walk through Building 74 in Case Goods Warehouse in the Distillery District with a friend.  The Case Goods Warehouse is a building with working retail studio galleries.  We had a lot of fun exploring the inner sanctions of the building.  The hallways were full of interesting art pieces.  A lot of community art organizations with their offices were located on the upper floors and were busy working.   We started off our journey at the bottom and worked our way up to the other levels.   We even found the entrance way connection hall to our Building 58 hidden inside.  I was happy to find a newly discovered short cut to use for my next adventure.

Creativity with Fire

Our tour ended and we returned to the first level of the Case Goods Warehouse.   A glimpse of colourful sparkling glass caught our attention before we were about to exit.  It was the studio called Tank Jewelry and Beads.  We entered the studio business and found one of the artists,  Jill Cribbin working on a glass art piece, a gorgeous bead.   She was pleasant and politely informed us that when she is working a piece she can not stop.  She gladly answered our questions while working on the intricate glass piece.   She was skillful with her multitasking creativity with fire even though not available for eye contact.   I was very impressed.

Jill Cribbin and Amy Johnson glass works in the TANK studio in the distillery districtThe shop is filled with delightful colours in glass all created by the creative partners Jill and Amy.  There is some metal work for sale done by guest artists.  They do have workshops and beginner classes.  Class sizes usually have roughly 5 people, and the cost is $295.    Jill’s favourite creations are the chicklite bracelets she has created.  The art process is a gradual one.  The time to make the glass work varies depending on the piece.  One small basic bead can take approximately 10 minutes, and the larger sculptural glass pieces can take up to an hour and half.   Amy does more of the later.   The bright coloured glass they use is supplied from Italy and the United States.

Jill Cribbin and her glass work in the historic distillery district in TorontoWell, I always admire people with a passion for the work they do. This is definitely noticeable when you walk into the TANK studio.   Jill is a Flameworker who works with glass, and not to be mistaken for a Glass Blower.  The difference is that all of her work is done with a torch.  I’m sure her business background has been a benefit to the sales of their glass art work.  They do sell their art work online too.  They are fortunate to have various customers from collectors, tourists, to random people who like beads and jewelry.  Jill mentioned it’s a good cross section of people.   If you have ever been interested in working with glass this is the place to visit.  It was a pleasure to adore Jill in her work process and admire her end results exhibited throughout the glass studio.

beautiful glass beads in bracelet at TANK jewelry in distillery districtThey Play with Fire and Colour in Glass Beads

Jill Cribbin shares TANK Jewelry & Beads glass studio with friend Amy Johnson.  She has been a flame worker for ten years now, and Amy has fifteen years experience.  They’ve been located in the Distillery District, Case Goodman Building since it opened it’s doors and first invited local artists to rent studios. Jill had a business background previous to this new found art, when she took an intensive workshop in Brooklyn.  It was here she met her current studio partner, and feel in love with the art of glass working.  She became obsessed with her new creative outlet and threw away her previous business life for the opportunity to play with fire and colour all day.  It sounds like a passion for fire and colour to me.

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About Ruth Wilgress

Ruth is an expressive arts therapist in Toronto Ontario Canada.
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