Glass Chum on Display

It’s coming!  Artists are hard at work preparing pieces for our Soft Shore art installation this summer.

This beautiful glass Chum Salmon by Christopher Smith of Glaskrafter Art Glass is now on display in the Oceanside Gallery.


Profile: Christopher Smith

Glaskrafter Art Glass

Christopher Smith began working in Stained Glass in 1975 as an apprentice to the Glass Head Studio, Nelson B.C. That same year, he spent a semester at ACAD, blowing glass. He opened Glaskrafter Art Glass in 1977. The Studio is concerned with stained glass, sandblasted glass and sculptural glass commissions. Christopher has always worked with kiln shaped, cast and fused glass. His Art Glass has been shown extensively at private and public galleries throughout B.C. and Oregon. He has taught glass art at Malaspina College and North Island College and now holds classes and workshops at his studio in Lantzville. 


Why Glass Salmon?

The economic, cultural and spiritual importance of Salmon to the Northwest Coast is reflected in the iconic manner and recognizable image of these fish. In pre-contact society, the abundance of this source of sustenance to the First Peoples was a divine gift from the Creator, harvested and used with great respect for its origin. The image of spawning salmon, fighting through great cataracts and rapids, providing themselves to the bears, eagles, wolves and later in their death after a successful spawn, providing nutrients to the roots of the great giant fir, spruce and cedar of the coastal rain forest, is a powerful one.

The settler culture soon found great wealth in the abundance of fish and plentiful timber. Communities sprung up, up and down the coast, to capitalize on these resources. In fact, the modern economy of the Northwest Coast is built on fish and timber.

It is the spiritual aspect of the Salmon that give me inspiration. Each individual fish, one of millions, has that aura of immortality, of a life given with a purpose, sustaining and enriching the other lives it contacts. Truly a gift from God

I make the Glass Salmon, not to reproduce the fish but to create a likeness in glass that is ‘glass with Salmon appearing’. Each Glass Salmon is an individual, one of a kind. I do seriously try to make each fish a recognizable species and sex, with appropriate colouration. But I make them as glassy as possible and give each individual a personality and spirit.