For the last forty-five years, the beauty of the Canadian Rockies has inspired and given shape to the sculptural work of Leslie Rowe-Israelson and her twin sister, Melanie Rowe-Prosser.
Their first passion is nature. They travelled through remote back country on foot, on skis, and horseback, experiencing national parks wilderness firsthand. After spending their childhood in Victoria, the twins moved to the heart of the mountains, which sparked their journey with glass.
It comes as no surprise that the mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes are a major source of inspiration and a common theme that they express beautifully in their work.
Leslie and Melanie first juggled between stained glass and skiing. In the mid-eighties, they started adding more three-dimensional elements into their work to finally attend the world-renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, from 1985 to 2005. Through dedication, their passion for glass has become their visual language; further, it has involved training and dialogue with other glass artists on the international scene.
The sisters took part in many residencies around the U.S, allowing them to experiment and deepen their artistic research with this medium. They have been developing and refining innovative techniques which involve: sand-casting in kilns, molding, glass slicing, blowing, and flameworking.
Their artistic voice takes shape into delicate sculptures, bold and colourful landscape panels and pinnacles, and a broad range of intricate open face vessels and plates. These pieces are constructed through a complex process involving precise glass cutting, multiple kiln firings, and flameworking.
Interested in reflecting the natural world, Leslie has developed over the years specific techniques that allow her to hatch her ideas into glass. She has mastered the creation of large fused panels as well as massive colour bar bowls made in homage to streams flowing through the mountains.
Leslie and Melanie established the Twin Vision Glass Studio and retail outlets in both Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise. Recently, they just finished being presenters at the Glass Art Society and the International Society of Glass Beads. The twins also collaborate with their very talented older sister, Megan Parks, who is a beader.
Megan has been beading glass beads for about 20 years and the three sisters love to share and incorporate each other’s work into their creations. Together, the sisters wish to create work that is meaningful, moves the viewer, creates inspiration, triggers emotion, or serves as a touchstone for special personal memories; work that captures your heart and nurtures your soul.
The three sisters’ work is currently shown at the Hearth until Sept. 26. A glass work exhibition unique on Bowen, not to be missed!