Colour de Verre principals are two people with very different skill sets. Craig Smith is a ceramic designer and master mold maker. Early in his career, Craig designed and created wares for the craft gallery marketplace, work that has been featured in presentations of The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. Later in his career, he developed complex ceramic and porcelain mold systems for other artists and industries throughout North America and Europe.
His business partner, Larry Jacobsen, started his career in high-tech marketing specializing in children’s gaming and entertainment software. Craig serves as the company’s creative director and is responsible for all the company’s designs. Larry leads operations and marketing.
Prior to starting Colour de Verre, Craig had been experimenting with glass. He met with glass artists to learn about their processes and how they worked with glass. He quickly realized that most glass workers were intimidated by the idea of creating their own molds. However, these same people were eager to expand beyond the plates, platters, and bowls that are staples of glass fusing. Craig saw an opportunity to combine his knowledge of ceramics, glass, and mold systems to create the technology and systems that form the basis of Colour de Verre.
- Good design—The founders wanted to create sophisticated designs that served as a springboard for the artist’s own creativity. They didn’t want to “hem in” the artist, but, on the other hand, wanted designs that inspired users.
- Informative content—Craig and Larry realized people need good instructions, firing schedules, and inspiration. The company shouldn’t be about selling molds, but, instead, about enabling a successful, creative experience. This also meant sourcing and testing reliable separation agents. Craig found a separation agent used in metal casting called ZYP. It was the perfect primer for Colour de Verre’s molds and has since become an ubiquitous tool in the casting community.
- Quality—Larry and Craig partnered with domestic art potteries to produce Colour de Verre products. This made it easier to monitor quality and to bring new designs to the market quickly. Further, it was important to the founders that the people producing Colour de Verre products were making living wages, and were working in a healthy environment. All of Colour de Verre products are made in the Pacific Northwest.
Fast forward 15 years: Colour de Verre sells its product through every major art glass distributor in North America and Western Europe. In the Pacific Northwest people can purchase Colour de Verre products through Bullseye Glass or online through Colour de Verre’s website. However, Colour de Verre’s website serves a more important role than just a sales portal. It hosts a plethora of project sheets, firing schedules, and educational videos. While there have been imitators, Colour de Verre is still known as the originator of this format and the premier product line.
If you have questions about Colour de Verre or its products, don’t hesitate to call or email them. Contact information can be found at www.colourdeverre.com/go/contactus.