Charlynne Lafontaine became devoted to glass in 1990 when she began working at a stained glass studio in Ottawa. Her pursuit of glassblowing started at Sheridan College in 1993 where she studied under Dan Crichton and Kevin Lockau. She was introduced to flameworking in 2003. Since 2007 Lafontaine works and teaches out of her studio creating sculpture and jewellery of coloured and textured flameworked glass.
Her work has been featured in various publications as well as on the news, and has been exhibited in stores and galleries in Canada and the United States. Since 2012, in partnerships, Lafontaine completed two public art commissions and was herself shortlisted for another. Lafontaine has participated in numerous exhibits. In 2017, a group exhibit at Habatat Gallery’s Glassotics Show in Royal Oak, Michigan resulted in some of her pieces becoming part of private American glass art collections. Some of her art pieces were worn in glass fashion shows at the GAS (Glass Art Society) conferences held at the Corning Museum of Glass, in Corning New York (2016) and Murano, Italy (2018). She received a travel grant from The Canada Council for the Arts to help fund her trip to Italy. In 2019, the City of Ottawa purchased one of Lafontaine’s pieces from her Hairbrush series for their permanent collection. During 2020, she completed two commissions for installations. In 2021, Lafontaine was the recipient of a Research and Create Project Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and she continues to develop her unique approach to glass art.
In 2015, Lafontaine established Loretta Studios and Gallery; a glass focused multi-disciplinary artists’ collective and gallery in Ottawa and continues to manage the facility.
“Although my work has an anthropological focus, each artwork has its own connection to biological forms, whether to the botanical, mycological, animal, protist or prokaryote realms. It is easy to draw metaphors from these biological entities as they associate to our cultural circumstance. The interpolation of the organic forms with objects as they relate to fashion, the environment or social phenomena, speaks to both the atrophy and the development of our society. The use of biomorphic glass components allows for a distortion of reality, as well as the creation of pieces that are both visually stimulating and thought provoking.
Concern for the environment informs my practice. Through sculpture and installations, I think about how our society might change and the potential for constructive impacts on the environment. I hope to engage the viewer in a dialogue evoking positive relationships between the ecological paradigm and the human condition.”
See more of Charlynne's work on her website or social media page.