From the time Patrick Vrolyk was a small boy, his parents taught him the importance of responsibility such as doing chores without arguing, showing respect towards parents and others, and earning rewards by working for his allowance. Upbringing nowadays often mean kids take pleasures for granted without earning their rewards. The expectation of overly material lifestyles evolved with our technology, depreciating the value of normal everyday things like hot water, education and non-designer clothing. Where did we get lost? I hope that this interview reminds us all of the importance of ethics, responsibility and hard work that pays off. Redbeard has experienced life, and this is his. Enjoy!
Glass has been around forever and has many stories regarding its origins. It has been identified as far back as Ancient Egypt, and was rediscovered accidentally by Phoenician sailors during the Roman Empire. From decorative Egyptian beads to Venetian stained glass windows to modern vases in our everyday decor, glass has found a purpose in human lives for millennia. Glass formation has given us choices in what we use every day: we drink from glasses, eat from delicate tableware, and look through glasses to improve our vision. Glass has been never been as practical, functional, or as profitable as it is today.
Friends kept asking if I’d be attending this year’s Great Canadian Glass Gathering but I didn’t make my decision until two days before when I bought a cheap tent and air mattress at Canadian Tire and immediately started packing.
The GCGG takes place on beautiful private grounds in Birken, BC, about forty minutes past Whistler on Highway 99. I left Vancouver in the early afternoon and still arrived late afternoon.
A few months back when a favorite glass pipe of mine—made by Hippo from Squamish, BC—started to show cracks and signs of some, let’s say, heavy usage I was pleasantly surprised to hear from many of my friends that it could be fixed. After all, this was a glass pipe; I thought once they start to crack and break they’re done, finished, and garbage. Seems that’s not the case anymore with many Canadians telling me they knew someone taking up the craft of glass-blowing.