Artist and craftsman Lee Brady works primarily in glass from his studio west of Saskatoon. After earning a BFA degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1977, Lee began his adventures into the world of glass and opened his business Glass Eye Studio in 1980. He has sought out many opportunities for continuing his glass education, including a session at the famed Pilchuck Glass School in 1989.
Lee was a founding member and president of the Saskatoon Glassworkers Guild. Their primary focus is education within the realm of glasswork and though the sharing of ideas and support. He was also a founding member, supporter and volunteer of the Saskatchewan Craft Council, founded in 1975. While exhibiting annually in the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s Juried Show, Lee has been awarded the ‘Elizabeth Swift’ Award for Excellence in Glass eleven times. He has also received numerous SCC Merit of Excellence Awards and won the ‘Premier’s Prize’ for outstanding entry in 1993.
During the twenty-one years that Lee has been working in glass, he has taught many Stained Glass, Fused Glass and Glass Design classes. Brady shares the Saskatchewan Craft Council’s philosophy of developing excellence in crafts though education and by creating a greater awareness of crafts locally, nationally and internationally. His architectural stained glass installations can be found in many homes, churches and public sites throughout western Canada. His flat (stained) glass and fused sculptural glass has been exhibited in many galleries across Canada and the US.
Color and construction have dominated my life. Growing up in an urban industrial setting, I had as my playground an auto painting shop on one side of our house and a lumberyard on the other. I was trapped - and inspired. I mixed chrome, wood and paint to form my childhood fantasies. In some respects little has changed, I now work in glass, metal and paint, but I am still ever alert to the fantasy and the phenomenon of creation. Discovering that colors come alive in glass was a revelation - colors that can institute, saturate and glow - colors that can shift throughout the day and change intensities throughout the seasons.
My design work evolves like a conversation with a friend. I initiate the idea. The form, color and texture suggest a mood or application, or they challenge their role within the design. I listen, learn and reply with care. Thus, the dialogue proceeds. Perhaps this is why I am never lonely in the solitude of my studio. As the works develop character and presence, they need less and less of me, until finally they separate, exist on their own and leave me free to begin new adventures.
The art of fine craftwork deals with more than just the mastery of the visual and tactile. It speaks of the ideologies of the makers and of a community who value the quality of the human touch. It revels in the metamorphosis of ideas and of materials into objects that are gloriously more than the sum of their parts. Playing a part in the phenomenon of craft production increasingly fulfills me.