Keeping Afloat

My maternal Grandfather was smitten with those magical little glass spheres known as Japanese fishing floats … and then he passed them on to me.

Kim, what would you like people to know about you? All the good things! I am a honest, hard-working girl who is lucky enough to spend my days creating. I try and stay true to those ethics by keeping my work affordable and always using authentic glass fishing floats.

How did you find yourself doing the work you do? I was born and raised in a town in Northern BC when the fishing industry was in its heyday. My father and both grandfathers worked in the industry. My maternal grandfather was smitten with those magical little glass spheres known as Japanese fishing floats. He fished for over forty years and had a knack for finding them floating in the Pacific. One of the floats he found was about the size of a basketball and was made from lavender coloured glass. A very rare colour, rumoured to be from the Emperor's fleet. It was the most precious of his large collection and was proudly displayed in my grandparents’ living room.

Many years after my grandfather hung up his woolen fisherman's pants and retired to Vancouver Island, my grandmother accidentally broke his precious float. Knowing I did stained glass, she asked me to fix it. It was quite an undertaking but after much trial and error I was able to get it back together and they were both pleased with the result. So much so, my grandfather gave me what was left of his collection to 'work' with.

In order to do so, I had to break them to be able to put them back together. Eventually, and at the expense of many a shattered float, I developed a technique with just the right weighted hammer, and just the right force, and was able to break them into workable pieces. After a few years I had a rather large pile of discarded broken glass fishing floats and it came to me to tumble them and make them into jewelry. This meant that every piece of the precious glass fishing float was used.  In order to make the pieces into jewelry I had to learn how to work with sterling silver, which enabled me to branch out with other lines of jewelry. These new lines don't include fishing float glass, but they all have a story behind them.

When Kim started she was a stay-at-home Mom with two kids. Her husband worked for his family's business and her work really did help keep them afloat.

I'm always grateful that I am lucky enough to make a living at what I love to do.