In true artistic fashion, Studio 73 was spawned by mistake with no concrete intention of building a business. The studio originally worked on multiple fronts with woodworking and pottery, however it was the accidental discovery of creating glass from a ceramic kiln that is responsible for the type of business it is today. This was new as they had formerly used the kiln only for pottery. They saw great possibilities with the glass and decided that they should make a go of it as a small business and to focus on the glass alone. This is not a common practice for most other art galleries or artists, adding to the uniqueness of this business. The pieces are created out of fusible glass which is handcrafted and they are best described as functional art; they can be put on display or used.
In stumbling into this craft Jodi, the current day coordinator, realized the great potential in it and Studio 73 proved just that. She had attended many craft fairs but realized that they needed to find new ways to get the products out there throughout the year. A networking opportunity with her father’s business got her contacts and as Jodi says “it just sort of snowballed from there”. The studio is now busy selling products and it was simply from connecting with other people and broadening their network. In this day and age, it seems to be word-of-mouth that is propelling this business.
Do not be tricked by the quiet atmosphere of the studio, the pieces are individually hand crafted by their employees inside the actual studio. Studio 73 believes in promoting full opportunity for the artisan’s creativity in each of the pieces. The nature of the products and how they are created means that even within a bulk order, no two pieces will be the exact same. Truly every individual piece is unique.
Running Studio 73 has been a very fulfilling occupation for Jodi, so much so that she travels from Chilliwack everyday to get to and from the studio. She genuinely enjoys the work and emphasizes how important to her it is that her employees are able to express themselves creatively. There is no hard and fast rule of how to go about creating a piece. They often do specialty orders where the art pieces are created through collaboration between the studio and the employing business.
Formerly part of a day program, Studio 73 was further established by the Community Living Society (CLS), and is now in their second year of operation in Newton. CLS is a non-profit organization that works to provide support for adults with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries. One way they do this is by helping to create employment opportunities, such as through Studio 73. This business is very proudly an equal opportunity employer that believes in letting an artist create and use the full extent of their imaginations. The artisans are paid not only to create each individual piece but are also paid when they are sold.
Studio 73 is very involved in the local community, such as taking part in the community walk initiative by the Newton BIA that occurs on a monthly basis. Having already connected with a lot of businesses in the area and their founded success, Studio 73 hopes that this established base will allow them to grow from here. Jodi also hopes to offer classes in glass making for the local community in the future.