Artist Profile: Karine Demers

Karine Demers aims to create “sweet pieces that display a harmony of colors and delicate designs,” as seen in these patched vases.

Funky, eye-catching colors and irregular shapes are staples of artist Karine Demers’ whimsical glass and enamel designs. Pleasing to both the eye and the heart, many of her pieces feature an engaging cast of characters. “I want people to take away a feeling of happiness and human warmth from my work,” she explains.

After earning a diploma in visual arts from Cégep du Vieux Montreal in Quebec, Demers explored working with different types of materials, including stone and metal. But it was with glass that she truly found inspiration. “As soon as I came into contact with molten glass, I knew it was going to be my favorite material,” she explains. “It offers endless possibilities and constantly sets new challenges due to its technical complexity.”

She worked for five years as a stained glass technician, then in 2002 signed up for training in glass art at Espace Verre in Montreal. In 2007, she had her first solo exhibition at Boreart Visual Art Centre in her hometown of Granby, Quebec. The following year, she created her own studio adjacent to her home and set her sights on glass blowing full time. Her unique pieces can be seen in galleries across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in the gift shop of the international traveling show Cirque du Soleil.

Demers’ current work combines blown glass, solid glass and fusion with handpainted enamel. Using enamel evokes her love of painting and two-dimensional work; she enamels the surface of her paintings using an airbrush or scratch the images by subtraction. “Working in the painting studio is very different from working in the hot shop,” Demers explains. “I scratch my drawings one by one, creating small families, or I paint directly on the glass and let myself be guided by the form I have in my hands.”

Demers’ future work will introduce her to a new challenge: metalworking. Using found and scrap iron, she plans on combining it with glass to create a cast of characters and one-of-a-kind pieces. Ultimately her goal as an artist is simple: “I would just like to add a touch of beauty and originality to people’s lives.”

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