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Find Unique Handcrafted Glass Designs at Little River HotGlass Studio

By Marina I. Jokic

Little River HotGlass studio and gallery was founded in 1995 by Michael Trimpol and his wife Monique LaJeunesse. The two wanted to make a home for themselves that would also house their gallery and workspace.

"This setup allows us to produce and sell work as well as educate and interact with the public," Trimpol said. ""Glass is unique in that it demands a very dynamic interaction to work with, an active Zen if you will?I find this to be both challenging and satisfying."

Stowe was the perfect location for them, and they decided to make the move from their home in Toronto. Having spent most of his adult life working with glass, Trimpol loves the creative challenge of glassmaking.

Trimpol was introduced to glass working in a high school course on stained glass-making in Stowe. His studies led him to Concordia University in Montreal, where he pursued a career in stained glass. During his time there, Trimpol was able to garner first-hand experience taking on many residential commissions as well as public installations. Not entirely content with the direction of his work, Trimpol enrolled at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design in Mississauga, Ontario to learn the art of glassblowing and expand his skill set.

"Initially working with stained glass, I became drawn to the dynamic nature of the blowing process which seemed to better suit both my nature and my vision," he said.

Upon graduating in 1985, Trimpol was accepted as resident at the Harbourfront Craft Studios, one of Toronto's most popular tourist destinations. Shortly after, in 1989, he founded his own company HotGlass Inc. under whose name he designed and manufactured a full line of blown glass products.

The Little River HotGlass team consists of Trimpol, LaJeunesse, and Chris Turiello. They design primarily vases and bowls in a variety of styles and patterns. Trimpol categorizes the works into series, each of which has distinctive patterning and color. For instance, the vortex series feature impressionistic strokes of pastel colors; some are variations of one color and others are fusions of complementary colors. You see violets, pinks, blues, greens, and yellows creating stunning displays of color and light. The artists' mastery of the nuances of color, opacity, and light allows them to create truly unique pieces.

"Glass-making does require design and forethought but is really about process," Trimpol said. "I have a unique vision, as should any good artist or designer or maker, and even though I make a broad range of pieces, I would like to think that the particular manifestation of function, timelessness, and playfulness is both unique and recognizable to people."

Little River HotGlass works have become well known in the glass-making world, especially because of their unique aesthetic and utility.

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About The Author

Marina Jokic holds a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in Russian and East...

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