Since then, Millar has turned his stained-glass into a business. In 1992, the artisan quit his job of 20 years with Bell, after being offered a buyout as the company was downgrading, to follow his passion for glasswork.
“I took the buyout, paid my house off, and decided to do what I wanted to do,” said Millar.
Millar had no previous experience with glasswork before leaving the corporate world.
“I had a great-uncle that did stained glass and I always admired it as a kid,” said Millar.
Millar lived near a glass shop where he decided to take an eight-week course. Six months later, he started selling at craft shows.
“It was scary, » said Millar. « I had a comfortable job for 20 years with a paycheque every two weeks. I had a partner and he is the one that told me I don’t need to be working because he had enough salary and that was fine. Ten years into the business I got him to retire and we both did it.”
Millar and his partner worked together from the early 2000’s until his partner’s passing in 2008.
The artisan works with both stained glass and fused glass. He is entirely self-taught in fused glass, learning from videos online and from practice. For much of his new career life, he did a lot of commission work for individuals redecorating their houses or business.
“When I started doing craft shows at the beginning of it all, I got a contract with somebody who wanted stained glass for a house,” said Millar “Once I redid one house, it snowballed from there.”
Many of his stained-glass pieces can now be found in the Glebe district in Ottawa, where he worked on commissioned stained-glass windows.
Millar moved from Ottawa to Vankleek Hill in 2016. He now works part-time on his craft, and volunteers at the Arbor Gallery in Vankleek Hill. His work can be found on permanent display at the Arbor Gallery. It is also found at Le Chenail cultural center until the end of December, or online at garnetsglass.ca.