Happy Glass…

That’s the name of the little studio up a flight of stairs on Victoria Row —  Richmond Street, a pedestrian-only street in Charlottetown, on Prince Edward Island.

We were strolling this street of shops and restaurants on a sunny day, when I saw this sandwich board:

There was no stopping me. I was practically sprinting up the stairs. Glass + Jewelery = Score!

At the top of the stairs, through a doorway, we found proprietor and artisan BJ Sandiford at her chair, working her glass beads.

There were beads everywhere. Columns of beads. Rows of beads. Beads worked into earrings and bracelets and necklaces. Beads, beads, beads.

BJ is not only a talented artist, but she’s fun and friendly and asked us if we would like to watch her create a flame-worked glass bead.

I flew to the stool by her working chair. I didn’t need to be asked twice. Mr. G, honey asked if he could take pictures of BJ working, so the pics you are about to see next are all his.

And we’re off!

Steady hands.

Forming the glass.

Hot, hot, hot.


More heat.

Color crystals becoming part of the glass bead.

It’s all about the heat.

Closer to perfection. When it’s absolute perfection, BJ will place it in a small kiln, which you can see in the first demo image, where it will harden over many hours.

Yup. This is a working studio.

Color is not just for beads. I have that same yellow on my living room wall.

Happy Glass!

I didn’t leave empty-handed. I left with these:

I asked Mr. G to wait until our PEI trip to find my birthday present. He agreed. The earrings are frosted, flame-worked beads from BJ’s Artisan Collection.

So, these:


After the demonstration and some shopping and more chatting, BJ gave us a map of the PEI Studio Tour for 2012. There are 61 artisan studios listed. We didn’t see them all, but we visited as many as we could. You can learn more here.

To learn more about BJ’s process and her love of the play of light on glass, visit Happy Glass online. When she says she is passionate about color, believe it!

And I’m passionate about her work.

I have my eye on…

If you’re visiting PEI, you can find the Happy Glass studio here.