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Community Leaders, Ideas and Innovation changing our Rural Landscape


A community is built and shaped by the people that live, work and share common interests and goals. On the Great Northern Peninsula we have strong communities and leaders that have big ideas and use innovation to create new jobs, opportunities and experiences.

Glacier Glass, Englee, NL is shining example of a newly founded social enterprise that meets those interests and goals for local residents, the greater region and those visiting to experience and take away a little piece of the rock at the end of the winding Route 433. This initiative is placing Englee on the map as a destination, if you want a unique and authentic rural experience.

Last night, I had the opportunity to participate in a Glass Art Class (3 Hours) hosted by instructor Doris Randell at the Glacier Glass studio. I am a complete novice when it comes to glass art, but I have always been interested in making things by hand, learning the traditional way of doing things but also willing to try a new approach. We opted to make a poinsettia designed dish for the holidays and a set of coasters with our supplied materials. It brought back school year memories of arts and crafts as we took the scissors to cut the pattern to trace on the glass. Next came the fun, but intimidating part of cutting the glass. Like riding a bike, one starts with the training wheels attached and Doris had us scoring the glass with scrap at first as practice to breaking our pieces for the dish. Each piece got easier as we felt more comfortable working with the material and it was quite fun learning how it was made and doing it for yourself. There are many steps beyond the cutting and breaking of glass, there is some shaping with the grinder and some colouring to add detail. Doris is an incredibly talented community developer, crafty and certainly puts off a phenomenal class! Click on the photo gallery below to see a bit more of the process:

I look forward to seeing the end result after the product has been fired up in the kiln!

Local area residents participated in a several week long program and learned this particular craft making incredible product. The concept of training local people to make unique glass art products, has proven its worth that we are open to trying new initiatives in our small communities and that we have hidden talents we may never have had the opportunity to exhibit. Glacier Glass now gives anyone the opportunity to participate in a class, make their own product at a rate of $75.00 a session. If anyone would like to book a session, please contact 1-709-866-2711 for more details or visit Glacier Glass on Facebook.

Also their shop has a number of exquisite pieces for retail if anyone is interested in a special gift. Lots of unique Newfoundland & Labrador items available, holiday and special occasions too!

There are many opportunities to expand to wholesale, expand into various retail outlets, continue training sessions and offer learning vacations to those wishing to come, stay and experience all the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer!

The Great Northern Peninsula is poised for growth because we have exceptional community leaders, ideas and innovation that continue to make big things happen in small communities. Our rural landscape is changing and we are the catalysts changing that landscape!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Rug Hooking – Learning the Process




Getting started...


Getting started…I started on February 24th, 2011 hooking a rug, which is a week later than the other participants. They started on February 17; however, the third Thursday of the Month is very busy for me as I am attending a Board meeting for the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (cCEDnet), Nordic Economic Development Corporation (RED Board) and co-chaired an Emerging Leaders (EL) conference call. EL is a standing committee of cCEDnet. To find out how you can be involved on an individual or organization basis, you can become a member of this National CED network by visiting

Impressed by the progression of my classmates work, I was a little nervous about getting started. I was given a kit, frame and some printed instructions. The design we are completing is one of Ms. Hilda Pilgrim of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Ms. Gaulton, our instructor got everyone started for the evening and spent a few minutes helping me get started. This included ensuring that the Scottish (loose-weave) burlap was placed snuggly on my frame, secured with tacks. Some of the material was pre-cut. This really eased the getting started process.

Flower complete

My first task was to transfer the flower design using transparent paper and a Sharpie marker. Next I completed the border with the brown pre-cut fabric. Getting started is always fun. I filled the border using green homespun wool. The flower was to be completed next. That material wasa pink hosary or stocking. It was quite difficult to work with, maybe just because it was more challenging than the wool. I had immediately felt the wool was the superior hooking material. I continued to progress.

The four coloured triangles were completed with 1/4 inch t-shirt material. I sarted with the orange and attempted to fill every hole, however the material was a bit larger and created pulled surface. Ms. Gaulton instructed me to skip lines, not filling every hole and to think about cutting my material a little bit smaller. She re-enforced the importance of cutting a tester piece to ensure a smoother hooking process.I completed the border and realized that I needed to cut many strips to fill the outside triangles. Using the cutting tool and mat, I sat cutting all sorts of colours and styles of material to complete the “hit or miss” part of the process.

On Wednesday night, prior to my last  class the power (electricity) went out. I was working diligently on

Completing the outside border

my rug prior and waiting for Jeopardy to start. I did not let the lack of light stop me, nor would it  have in the past. I found my trusted camping lantern that goes by battery light, emitting quite the ray. I should have opted for the old oil lanterns that would have used seal oil, which sit on a table in the basement. It definitely would have taken me back to a different place in time.

This past weekend I dedicated to working on my rug. I have filled the outside triangles and have a completed hooked rug. I need to complete the edging, iron on my handmade signature tag and prepare it for wall art.


This has been quite the learning process that has taken me back to actively learning an art form that has been practised on the great Northern Peninsula for more than 100 years. I will post photos to show

I'm hooking

you my completed rug and look forward to making more traditional hooked rugs in the future. Maybe some of you will take it upon yourself to learn a past art form as well…

Live Rural Newfoundland –
Christopher Mitchelmore
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