Lisa Martin, a self taught glass artist from northern Manitoba, started her glass journey more than 12 years ago as a hobby, making fused glass ornaments for friends and family.
Like most glass artists, she hated enduring long hours spent hand cutting shapes, and how it stifled her creativity. She found herself dreaming of owning a waterjet so she could make those “perfect cuts”.
Lisa used a $5,000 gift from her grandmother Rosnah that came with the stipulation to “buy something you want not that you need”, to purchase her WAZER small-format waterjet, becoming just the second person in Canada at the time with a WAZER machine.
With the addition of the WAZER, Lisa started cutting unique shapes, fusing them in her kiln, and selling the result in her Etsy store. Then something happened. A glassmaking friend asked her to cut some pieces for her to use in a project. Then another friend asked for some pre-cut pieces. Then they told some friends where to get their own precuts, and so on, and so on. Lisa then transitioned her hobby into a full time business, Fuse Muse Fused Glass, dealing almost entirely in selling pre-cut glass pieces online.
“If I didn’t have a WAZER, I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to have a successful small business or to put out the amount of product that I do”
Most of her customers are glass fusing hobbyists or other small businesses, so the pre-cut pieces that she sells are especially helpful to other newcomers in the glass hobby, as it helps them grow and enjoy the craft.
Lisa goes through over 6 metric tons of garnet abrasive each year, a testament to the sheer volume of work she does cutting stained glass and mosaic pieces with her WAZER. Lisa offered, “It seems like the WAZER runs day and night”, and “If I didn’t have a WAZER, I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to have a successful small business or to put out the amount of product that I do”. The WAZER allows her to perfectly reproduce designs over and over, and create custom designs that couldn’t be cut before. Things are so busy around the holidays, that Lisa had to hire an extra person to help handle the workload, and they might stay on even after the holidays are over!
The WAZER enabled Lisa to start a small business that she loves, and “allows me to do things I couldn’t do before.”