Glass sculpture can be a look-don’t-touch artform, but Michelle Atkinson has taken the opposite approach with her Impression Series glass bowls. Working out of her garage studio in the Calgary community of Bowness, Atkinson creates her pieces by melting sheet glass in a kiln and then molding it into striking forms using, as she puts it, “time and gravity.” She embellishes the bowls with impressions of organic materials such as wood grain, tree bark, fir-tree needles and prairie grasses, before sandblasting and oiling the glassworks to produce a texture akin to leather. “You’re not quite sure if it’s glass, so you want to touch it and it creates that whole community around the piece,” Atkinson says.

Atkinson finds her artistic inspiration in the Alberta landscape, both in the form and colour palette of her work, which references the rich turquoise blues of the prairie sky and rusty reds of weathered barns. The idea for the Impression Series came to her during a stay on a working ranch — in 2015, Atkinson was one of a small group of contemporary artists selected to take part in the Calgary Stampede’s Artist Ranch Project. The annual residency, held at a ranch in Longview, facilitates the interpretation of Western heritage through art. “As a city girl out on the prairie, surrounded by stunning vistas and the rough, yet grounded way of ranch life, I am inspired by the commonalities between rural and urban living,” Atkinson says. “This work brings together textures and shapes from the Alberta landscape like the patches of a quilt.”

Photograph: Jared Sych   |   Writer: Shelley Arnusch

Original from:

Where to purchase

Alberta Craft Council | Edmonton, AB
10186 - 106 Street, Edmonton, Alberta. T5J 1H4
The Alberta Craft Council is the Provincial Arts Service Organization that develops, promotes, and advocates for fine craft in Alberta.
They stock some of our larger sculptural decor pieces.
BOHA | North Somerset, England
Sunnyside’, Blackmoor Road, Abbots Leigh, North Somerset, BS8 3RH, England, UK

Boha, also known as Boha Glass, is the brainchild of husband and wife team Anna and Barnaby Kirsen. As a couple, they have always loved colourful, unique bohemian glass art. The desire to share that passion was the springboard for turning their hobby into the thriving gallery it is today. 

Over the years, Anna and Barney, have expanded the  Boha Glass gallery to include ceramics, paintings and artistic home furnishings, and we shortened our name to ‘Boha’. This means you can explore a wider range of original artwork than it is possible in a ‘bricks & mortar’ gallery.