Ted Jolda

If I am not concentrating on what I am making, I will automatically make a pear.

Yes, Ted Jolda knows how to make glass pears. Lots of them. When his pears came to the attention of Oprah magazine, he found himself making 16,000 of them in one year. Now the muscle memory is so strong that his body can make them almost automatically.

When asked how he got in to glass blowing, Ted said, “By accident”. That’s something you often hear from artists, but in Ted’s case, it really was a life-altering car accident that began his journey of becoming a world-renowned glass artist.

After being hit by a car in Vancouver, he went to stay with his Mother to recover. She was a stained glass artist and he found watching her quite fascinating. A neighbour phoned one morning and said he had to watch the noon news; they were doing a story on a glass blower. Ted watched the interview and in those few moments his life literally changed completely.

I was infatuated. I immediately went looking for a glass blowing program to enrol in, and found one at Sheridan College in Ontario. I gave up everything and moved. Everyone thought I was crazy.

Among Ted’s signature pieces are his drinking glasses, which look like they got beat up. Well, in fact, they did. He originally “designed” them for a neighbour with severe arthritis who had trouble holding a regular glass. After much trial and error, Ted decided to try something different.

Essentially, I make a nice glass, then take my tools and beat it up. This sounds easy, but it actually goes against everything I was taught. There are many glass artists who simply could not mess a piece up the way I do. So you might call it an odd talent.

For over thirty years, my passion for glass has not diminished at all. I love it.