About Me

For over 25 years, I’ve been fortunate to live out my passion – creating sculpture in both stone and cast glass – often combined. I’m energized by this unique combination and how people respond.

When I create, the pieces that emerge are either personal or for my professional practise. These two areas inspire each other resulting in a body of work for exhibitions, and commissions which come together while collaborating with you.

Find out about my creative & technical processes in Working with Glass and Working with Stone. Read about key themes that often emerge in Inspiration and more about my professional journey in Bio.

Feel free to explore!

Heidi

Working with Glass

Captivated

Stained glass – that’s where it all started. The way coloured glass came to life with the sunlight behind it that was something I could not ignore.

… coloured glass came to life with sunlight behind … something I could not ignore.

Excited by the beauty, I wanted more. What could I do with glass without the limitations of the seams of soldered lines in stained glass? That’s when I discovered cast glass. I was more than curious. I was captivated. What freedom! A whole new world opened up by treating glass like paint.

Bringing Ideas to Life

It all starts with an idea – a design epiphany! A sketch, some drawings.
Questions. Is this creation doable? I love the challenge of exploring new territory, but this piece lives in the real world. What will gravity do? Will it technically work? If yes, then the project begins.

I love the challenge of exploring new territory….

Every piece has a strong foundation of clear fusable art glass which is measured and carefully cut. Then coloured glass is added to develop hue and form. Finally, powdered glass creates custom colour and depth.

Sculptural Glass

Opening a kiln during the firing process is risky, but sometimes I can’t help myself and – don’t try this at home – will meddle with the glowing glass inside. Are all of the layers fusing together? What delightful surprise is gravity bringing to the piece? How sculptural will it be?

Using a large custom-sized kiln that gets fired at about 1450° Fahrenheit, glass goes through a series of heating stages and cooled in different stages too. The goal? Multi-faceted glass. Once done, it is time for another firing. A mold is put underneath the glass to form it to a desired shape.

Finally, the piece is cooled. Refined. If there are lots of elements – assembled. What started as an idea, now has life!

Working with Stone

Discovering Sculpture

A block of plaster. It was High School art class. I looked at that cube of white in wonder. What could I do with it? Digging in, I worked that piece with gusto, even staying after class. To my amazement, my first sculpture was awarded 100%!

To my amazement, my first sculpture was awarded 100%!

My art teacher became my first mentor. He encouraged work in a variety of sizes. What fun to go to class and create large pieces. I loved it! The bigger, the better.

Chemistry class, on the other hand, was a different story…..

Visualizing

Back in High School I learned that because I paint and draw too, it was (and is) great for the design process. Seeing is good – translating it to paper is useful –  and then expressing it all in 3D – that’s the ideal. My sculptures were (and are) stronger.

How does it work?

Ideas…become AN idea. Wave Work started as a thought about water – it is so liquid, yet stone is solid. How could the stability of stone turn into something with movement?

Then … sketches … or diving right in with a piece of plaster … power tool/s to remove the excess. Refine by hand. It works? Repeat with real material – for Wave Work pure marble.

Inspiration

I dance through stone….

MOVEMENT

The Artist's Statement

Movement is intrinsic to life in so many ways.  I dance through stone, looking to raise something weighty to life and defy gravity.

Combining stone and glass…

TRANSITIONS

The Artist's Statement

Transitions involve intersections where things change in our lives. They could be simple and ordinary or complex and challenging. Combining different materials together such as stone and glass has provided fresh ways to explore these moments.

…bringing order to chaos.

HEALING

The Artist's Statement

There seems to be a common thread of regeneration or healing that appears regularly in my work. It might look like a figure that is being recreated, or it may show up in the kaleidoscopes that speak of bringing chaos to order. I can’t get away from it.

Bio

Exhibitions

Exhibitions are part of my professional practise where I share my personal creations. My work has been shown in galleries from the Thera Gallery in Toronto, and the 3 Galleries in Yorkville to venues in Ottawa, St. Jacobs, Stratford, Jordan, Hamilton, as well as the Waterloo Region.

Artist in Residence

Being an Artist in Residence was a highlight for my studio. As a result, my pieces were shown in the Isabel Bader Theatre (Toronto,) the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa), Redeemer University College (Ancaster), Liuna Station (Hamilton), and the Winter Beauty, Toyota Room, Cambridge Centre for the Arts (Cambridge).

Etherworks Sculpture & Illuminations

What is the origin of my companies’ name? Why Etherworks? As a creative that explores what is unseen – my inner processes – I thought of “ether” – there, but invisible. The name evolved to “Etherworks” – works that come from what’s unseen. I added “Illuminations” include my sculptural lighting products.

Collected Artist

My work can be found in Private Collections on four continents.

Lectures/Speaking

I enjoy sharing the artist’s journey with others and encouraging their personal creativity. As a result, over the years I’ve been leading groups or speaking in a variety of settings such as a Panelist at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, or as a workshop facilitator for The Button Factory in Waterloo. In 2017, I enjoyed being a Guest Presenter at the McMaster School of Divinity in Hamilton. You can find about the latest news and events in Seen & Heard.

Semaphore

Now on my second three-year term as President and Executive Chair for the Semaphore fellowship, and Flagship Gallery in Hamilton, I’m thrilled to be a part of this organization in the heart of Hamilton’s art district. I’m always amazed that anywhere from 80,000 – 100,000 people visit the Flagship Gallery during the Art Crawl each September.

[Heidi] “Your connection to materials and process are an increasingly scarce asset that I dare say will continue to serve you well. In a time where the detached conceptualist has the audience in thrall, it is no easy task to be an artist who insists that there is still something within the old media that can yet mediate new work and ideas.”

David Robinson

Canadian Sculptor, Robinson Studio

HEIDI BRANNAN

Sculptor creating works that defy gravity with fluid movement often combining both cast glass and stone. Heidi works with interior designers, corporations, and individuals on commissions from her studio Etherworks Sculpture & Illuminations in Ontario, Canada.

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