Add Colour and Whimsy with Art on Glass from Be-A-Bella
Rarely do you find works of art on glass, but Kathy Prosser of Be-A-Bella has found a way to make art not only whimsical and beautiful, but also accessible and functional. She makes otherwise ordinary dispensers, vases and decanters into pieces of art to corodinate with your mood, your decor and your budget. We asked Kathy how she does it.
What kinds of products do you make?
I produce functional art. What is functional art? I like to think of it as something that is beautiful, makes you smile and still has an actual use around your house. I carry a line of hand painted soap pump dispensers and pour dispensers, which are wonderful for dish liquid, oils, vinegars and dressings. I paint on beautiful vases and other glass items. I also have a line of greeting cards.
Do you have a favourite?
I can’t say that I have a favourite because I put my heart into each and every piece I paint. Sometimes, I even have a hard time letting the paintings go as I really have a connection to them.
When did you start painting glass? Is it tricky?
I have been painting for a good part of my life and painting on glass for over 20 years. I want all the paintings to have a life and freedom, but the paint doesn’t really lend it self to painting this way. It is a special glass enamel which is transparent making it difficult to work with and the colours are tough to mix.
Tell us about your studio and your inspiration?
I live in an old house and my studio is in the basement. It is cozy, comfortable and colourful. I get my inspiration from everywhere! I love the complexities and simplicity of nature and try to capture that beauty in my painting.
Do you do custom pieces?
Yes, I do commissions for larger pieces. My line of dispensers is designed with my favorite flowers and images, but I also wanted to make sure the color palates would be able to fit into any home. I think I have something for almost everyone. I am working on more designs for the rest.
What is the one thing people typically don’t know about your products?
It’s a toss up, there are two questions people always ask. Is the glass hand painted? Sometimes people think I am using a sticker or some computer program. My customers are so happy when they find out that each piece is a small hand painted work of art and has its own unique personality. And the other question is what do you do with it? People get the soap pump dispenser right away, but when they see the pour dispenser they are curious. When they find out they can use this for a refillable dish soap bottle or for oil and vinegar etc, they have that “WOW, what a great idea” moment.
Why do you like selling at the City Market Downtown?
I like selling at the City Market Downtown because it is so vibrant and full of life. I have to say it is also a rush to have customers get a warm smile when they see my artwork. As an artist, it is an overwhelming feeling to know your artwork has made someone happy.
Do you have a memorable, unique or funny story about selling at the City Market Downtown?
I am new to the outside City Market Downtown on 104. My first market was the May 19 long weekend and it was very windy. Everyone was rushing to get ready for the opening, when suddenly one of the vendors tents was caught by the wind and was lifted up over the flower vendor behind him landing on the other side of the road. Thankfully, no one was hurt! What was really heartwarming was the way people came out of nowhere to help the vendor get the tent back in place. All the vendors tents were then tethered together and I have to say, I felt like I was part of a small town which is so awesome in a big city!
Which days will you be at the market on 104?
June 2, 9,16,23,30
August 4, 25
September 1, 8,15,22,29
October 6 is my final date at the market.