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International Society of Glass Beadmakers


Keynote Speaker

Laura Donefer

9 a.m.- 10 a.m Friday, April 6, 2018 

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Our Keynote speaker this year will be the prominent and celebrated glass artist

Laura Donefer. Using glass as her primary medium for over 35 years, often in

unconventional ways and in combination with diverse materials, Laura is known

for her non-traditional approach to the material. Renowned for her innovative

colourful blown glass and flameworked Amulet Baskets, she also pushes the

boundaries with work that explores ideas concerning memory, assault,

bereavement, joy, and madness. Laura is also the creator and instigator of the

wacky and exuberant Glass Fashion Shows and to this date has organized 14 of

them. The 2018 Gathering will include frequent opportunities to view the video

of the 2016 “Crazy Corning Glass Fashion Show” presented during the Glass Art

Society Conference at the Corning Museum of Glass. Laura Donefer was trained

as a glass artist at Sheridan College School of Craft and Design, outside of

Toronto, and was an important part of the faculty. In demand as an exciting teacher, Laura teaches internationally, and has a very demanding exhibition schedule as well. Her art is included in many museum collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, The Museum of Art and Design (NYC) and the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal. Currently she is part of “Fired Up, Contemporary Glass by Women Artists,” an exhibition of more than 50 important glass pieces from the past 6 decades on display at the Glass Pavilion of the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. Laura has been the recipient of many diverse awards and accolades such as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Glass Art Association of Canada, the prestigious Honorary Membership Award from the Glass Art Society, and the International Flame Working award for extraordinary contributions to the glass art world, to name a few. Most recently the Ontario Craft Council awarded Laura the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. At the Gathering Laura Donefer will offer up her perspective on life, art, and living with glass. Surely she will share her love of kale, dachshunds, and her wonderfilled paddles with the Mighty Dave kayaking the waterways near their home in the wilds of rural Ontario, Canada.