Featured Artist Archive > July, 2010
VIRGINIA WILSON TOCCALINO
click picture to enlarge
click picture to enlarge
1984, Virginia Wilson
Toccalino has worked with glass, first making stained glass panels
and lamps for which her original designs won many awards. Her interest evolved
into sandblasting and the skills of cutting and engraving crystal. By 1994, she
was captivated by glassblowing and enrolled in the three-year glass program at
Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
assisted by her husband Tony, evolved the glass cane rods for which she is known
today. Initially she rented time at local hot glass shops to make her product.
Later, they set up their own workshop, which over the years has been known by
different names: Glas Faden, Spacesyde Hot Glass, and later, Galactic Art Glass.
For nine years in the 1990's, Virginia was the resident glassblower at the Ontario
Renaissance Festival — she gave glassblowing demonstrations while Tony provided
an informative commentary, raising awareness of the wonders of glassblowing. Since
2006, her glass has been promoted under her own name — Virginia Wilson Toccalino
— and the logo VWT, in part to avoid any connotations of factory production.
Virginia and Tony complete every step in the process themselves, making their
glass objects extremely personal creations.
was awarded scholarships to study with Venetian glass masters in the creation
of murrini, complex cane and filigrana techniques. A background in textiles has
subliminally molded her work, which is noted for its sense of style and fluidity.
Specializing in techniques that were mastered by the Venetians over 500 years
ago and held as closely guarded secrets for centuries, she has developed her art
to incorporate various types of simple and complex glass canes and murrinis as
the decorative medium on her forms. The results are linear and threadlike patterns
that dance and sway on complex, shimmering works, captivating the imagination
and stimulating wonder in the viewer.
love for making glass beads at the torch in her spare time has led her to combine
furnace techniques with flame working, to create unique beads and murrini. This
has blossomed into creating complicated, hand-built murrinis for use in solid
and blown forms made at the furnace. Her latest creations in paperweights portray
the life cycle of the frog. Mortimer the Mortified Mutant Frog (see picture
above) is portrayed from UV-activated glow in the dark egg murrinis through 4
stages of tadpoles, to a fully formed frog with attitude!
glass has been exhibited widely in both juried and invitation-only exhibitions
within Canada, the United States, and abroad, and is represented in private and
public collections worldwide. Most notably, selections of her work are housed
at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington,
DC, and the Claridge Collection in Montreal, Quebec.
Galactic Art Glass Studio
is located at 781 Main St. E #26-27, Milton, Ontario Canada and collectors are
welcome to visit the studio. Contact Virginia by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.