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The story of Lezlie Winemaker begins 21 years ago when she dreamed about combining her expertise in fashion with her formal training at art school - OCAD, York University, Parsons School of Design in New York City. She soon created such wonders in metal, glass, leather and mix-media sculpture that before long, Lezlie's beautiful jewelry, sculpture and accessories gained her a reputation as being one of Canada's most inspired and renowned creators of "wearable art". Today, Lezlie displays and sells her art at selected craft shows, galleries and boutiques in Canada, the USA and the UK. An internationally renowned expert in the field, she travels the globe, speaking about her art and presenting workshops, her artistry featured in many popular magazines, art publications and national newspapers such as the Toronto Sun and National Post.
Where were you born?
If you could have an art related vacation anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
Murano and Venice, Italy. I love Italy! I have been to Italy twice and never been to the city where the technique of lampworking (and my greatest creative passion) was born. I would love to study with one of the Masters like, Luccio Babacco, Vittorio Constantini, Gianni Toso….
What’s your favourite thing to create and why?
I mostly create beads and sculpture depicting images and stories of fantasy, love, good wishes and humour. Life can be challenging at times and I like to add light and hope with stories of love, peace and strength all inside a small glass bead!
How did you get your start in the world of art?
I have been creating art since I was born. As a child I was happiest drawing, beading, making things out of wood and macramé. We even had our own dark room for photography growing up! I studied visual arts at college and university and then apprenticed for a talented leather craftsman, David Trotter who was a great mentor and taught me about the business of art as well as the craft. I then went on to have my own business creating wearable art and sculpture which I feel so blessed to have been able to do all these years. The inspiration and ideas are unending!!!
Do you have go-to paints/colors that you love to use in your art work?
I love colour! The technique I use is called lampworking or flameworking. I melt coloured glass rods with a torch blending and layering these colours, opaque and transparent to create images and then my miniature worlds in glass. My use of colour is as diverse and colourful as I see the world. Sometimes it’s bright and sparkly and other times very earthy. This really appeals to my wide variety of customers because I have something to suit every colour preference!
Who has been your biggest inspiration as an artist?
I do not have one single inspiration but I must say my family always supported and encouraged my creativity, my children continue to inspire me throughout every phase of life they enter. The people that I consider mentors like David Trotter and Peter Norton from Nortel Manufacturing because he has helped me so much to develop every hair brained idea I come up with, because of his vast knowledge in building torches, tools. and equipment.
Then of course there is Loren Stump and Patti Walton who’s beads I saw in magazines and inspired me to figure out the technique of lampwork and not be afraid to push the boundaries of glass.
Lastly masters like Gustav Klimpt
What have been some of your crowning achievements?
To me, my greatest achievement is that I have raised 4 wonderful children as a single mother as a working artist!
Being the first lampworker in Canada and having to teach myself a technique that no one here knew anything about.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame at the One of a kind Show.
Receiving an Ontario Arts council grant for creative development.
Teaching and sharing all the knowledge I have acquired over the years to very appreciative students.
What colour best describes your personality?
RED!!! Passionate about Life!
Thank you Lezlie