Arts·Off the Grid

Moving out of the city helped this glassblowing couple figure out who they really are

Terry Craig and Jennifer Wanless-Craig thought they'd leave for a couple of years. 15 years later, they're still there.

Terry Craig and Jennifer Wanless-Craig thought they'd leave for a moment. 15 years later, they're still there

(Jorden Lee/CBC Arts)

We often tell the stories of artists and scenes in cities and towns, but with our new series Off the Grid, we're featuring the stories of artists who live a little further out.

Three months after meeting each other while taking the same glassblowing class, Terry Craig and Jennifer Wanless-Craig decided to get married. That was 19 years ago.

"Everybody thought we were crazy," Jennifer, co-founder of Artech Studios, tells filmmaker Jorden Lee.

Since then, their lives have changed in both expected and unexpected ways.

Watch the video:

Off the Grid: Artech Studios

3 years ago
Duration 5:19
Jennifer Wanless-Craig: "What I really like about being an artist is that people don't expect a lot from you. You can kind of just be who you are. And sometimes who you are is ridiculous." Filmmaker: Jorden Lee

Jennifer, for example, always knew she wanted to be an artist. Terry, on the other hand, had stumbled into glassblowing in college over two decades ago. "Now I own my own studio with my wife and blow glass pretty much every day," he laughingly admits.

That studio is nestled in Tory Hill, Ont., where the couple moved 15 years ago after succumbing to the itch to leave city life behind.

Initially, the move was only meant to be a break for a couple of years — "and then we decided we didn't want to go back," Jennifer says.

"A lot of people move up here to be quiet and escape and work and not be interrupted. You have a chance to be with yourself more often, and figure out who you are."

"It's just peaceful," adds Terry. "We're always being inspired. I don't know that I could live anywhere else."

(CBC Arts)
(Jorden Lee/CBC Arts)
(Jorden Lee/CBC Arts)