Chester Basin, Nova Scotia
Sharon McNamara and Paul Palango are the artists behind Kiln Art "World class fused glass". A glass artist for more than 25 years, Sharon, a self-taught glass artist, has developed the business from its beginning in Ontario in 1989. Sharon expanded her business years ago when she moved to Nova Scotia from Guelph, Ontario. She met Paul in 1997 and through their work together they have experimented with new techniques and have developed hundreds of new products.
Unlike most glass artists who fuse pieces of coloured glass together, McNamara and Palango start off with a clear piece of glass for each project. "Everything that we do is self-made into glass," says McNamara. "People look at it and they think what we're doing is taking some kind of paint and painting on the glass but that's not what we do. What we do is paint with crushed glass." Her process creates colourful, bold and attractive pieces. She is best known for her sea-inspired dinnerware, while Paul is known for his mosaic and cat pieces. They custom-design each piece and finish with their signature on the back.
Since 2001, she and her company have won several awards including best new products at the Atlantic Craft Trade Show and the New York Restaurant and Foodservice Show. In 2005, she was the first Nova Scotia woman to win the Deloitte Touche award for woman entrepreneur of the year, a competition sponsored by the Royal Bank. In 2006, she was a finalist in the national entrepreneurial awards sponsored by Ernst & Young.