Copy of About Us
Bavin Glassworks was established in 1988 by Pat Bavin. As the story goes, Pat was in Seattle, Washington picking up some stained glass for a project he was working on. At the time he wasn't a full time glass artist, but a retail business owner in the Columbia Valley. Stained glass was a passion that he played with in his free time.
He happened across a hotshop mid-morning while walking downtown in the city. He was instantly intrigued with the process, and was eventually kicked out at the end of the day as the hotshop needed to close down for the night.
This chance encounter with molten glass would shape the future for Pat as he set out to become a glassblower. He studied at the relatively newly established Pilchuck Glass School in the early eighties. He also studied in Alberta at Red Deer College and ACA (now AUArts). Through his studies he was always interested in starting up his own studio and hotshop. It was no easy feat however, as he had three businesses to run and no guarantees that becoming a full time glass artist would be a successful venture. Nevertheless, Bavin Glassworks opened in the Spring of 1988, in a small garage in downtown Windermere.
Soon after Bavin Glassworks opened, Pat's son Ryan showed an interest in learning about glassblowing and so started an apprenticeship with his father. Ryan was 15 when he started learning about glass. He would be in the hotshop on weekends and after school until graduating high school in 1991. After graduation, Ryan spent more time at the hotshop and continued to learn.
Ryan started going to the Pilchuck Glass School in the mid-1990's and went back several times over a period of eight years.
In 2000, the Bavin's felt that they were outgrowing their garage in Windermere and decided to look for a bigger facility to operate in. In May, 2001, the Bavins moved to where they are currently located on the way into Invermere, on Athalmer Highway.
In October 2018, the Bavin Family closed their door as Pat Bavin retired from running a retail storefront in order to pursue life as a full time Artist and Forest Therapy practitioner. In the following months Ryan worked to reimagine and renovate his studio at the back of the shop. The front end that used to contain the gallery was cut off, shrinking the space to about half; simplifying things and making it possible for Ryan to continue blowing glass. The space was reworked to include a small gallery where people can come to enjoy handcrafted art, meet the artists, and if you’re lucky - watch them blow glass! The doors to Bavin Studios opened in May 2019!
Check our Studio page for business hours and glassblowing schedule.