Glenbow Museum Artifacts Inspire New Products by Alberta Etsy Artists

Using artifacts from the museum as inspiration, 14 Etsy artists have created medieval pendants, glassware and wooden bowls that are being sold in the museum's gift shop.

All photographs by Kimon Kaketsis


For many people, Calgary's Glenbow Museum is already an inspiring place on a regular visit. But when you let some of Alberta's best Etsy artists go behind the scenes to draw inspiration for their new products, it becomes the ultimate hub for a creative collaboration.

Earlier this year, 23 Etsy artists were selected from an open call to go on a private tour of the artifacts at the Glenbow Museum. Challenged to create a product inspired by the historical artifacts they saw on the tour, 14 artists were ultimately chosen to see their product ideas through to completion as part of a special Etsy At Glenbow collection. The selected artists, who are all Alberta-based, specialize in leather goods, jewellery, hand blown glass, illustrations and more. Their new products are now available in the Glenbow Museum gift shop and on many of the artisans' own Etsy pages.

Inspired by everything from 18th century shields to beautiful paintings, the products mesh the past and the present in the form of useable items like earrings, wooden bowls and wall hangings. 

Here are six of the Etsy At Glenbow products you'll find in the Glenbow Museum gift shop.


These wooden bowls ($15 to $35 depending on size) come in three sizes and were made by Jaejin Choi of March 8 Studio.


This hand-blown glassware ($60 for glasses or bowls) by Leah Kudel of Suspended Studio draws inspiration from a dress from the 1800s that was worn to meet Queen Victoria.


Bill Guse of Master Ark drew from different Scottish, Sisika First Nations and Persian shields in the museum to create these medieval pendants ($65 for bronze, $150 for silver). 


These sterling silver and bronze earrings ($80 per pair) from Ashleigh Amber Moore of Ashleigh Amber Moore Jewellery were inspired by the layered painting technique used by Jeffrey Spalding to create his "Secret Colours" painting.


Matthew Bagshaw of RPS Creations's paper animal sculptures ($17 each) pay homage to the animals of Alberta. The sculptures are available in the form of moose, bison and elk in different bright colours.


These colourful printed rope necklaces ($34 each) were created by Pheli Dlamini of Kho Kho Designs. The fabric colours are reminiscent of indigenous Haida paintings she saw in the Glenbow.


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