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Doing its own thing


Pieces from In My Element’s latest collection of damask glassware. Find Janet at the Handmade Market in September.

Glass is an amazing substance. Applying heat to sand and is an alchemy that results in so many different forms. It is “liquid light”, says Janet Kininmonth of In My Element Glass Design, “but it needs to do its own thing.”

Janet goes to her self-built studio without a plan and plays with glass until she gets a result. While she may have an idea about what the end product will be, the glass will decide the final outcome.

As far as Janet is concerned, she is “living the dream” Marrying a career in recruitment with a desire to be in a space with creativity, colour and design is not conventional, but her career coaching business balances paying the bills and fuelling the need to create in a “portfolio” career, the like of which many of us multi-taskers have now.

Her passion for glass was born when Janet came across a stall in City Walk as part of a craft show in Canberra run by her soon-to-be teacher, Judy Witherdin. She spent much of the 1990s learning about glass and moved towards fused or kiln-formed glass in the late 90s and finally building her own kiln after an inspiring workshop in 2012

Janet simply loves making things that people like, particularly when they come back for second pieces. Building relationships adds to her lifelong enjoyment of creating, an enjoyment inspired by her father who was a potter.

A Canberran since the 80s (originally from country NSW), Janet is a big fan of the clear skies and seasons. She regularly visits the lake, especially on days when it reflects the sky like a mirror and usually with a stop for coffee at the National Library, where the stained glass windows are spectacular. A climb up Mount Ainslie followed by coffee at the War Memorial is also a favourite.

But Janet mainly loves Canberra because it is full of small businesses with a dream of making it happen and “ordinary people doing amazing things, with generosity.”


Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.


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