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'Bigger and hotter than ever': Calgary glassblower set to compete on Netflix show

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A Calgary artist hopes to blow away the competition in a Netflix reality show airing next month.

Hayden MacRae is a glassblower and he's one of 10 people vying for a $100,000 prize package on season four of Netflix's Blown Away, streaming in March.

"The tagline is bigger and hotter than ever. So the goal was to go big – and going big is a much different deal than going small," said MacRae, who is the co-owner and lead artist at Fascapple Glass in Calgary

He won't spill anything about the season ahead of its streaming debut, but MacRae said the competition was fierce and unfamiliar.

Shooting for Blown Away happened at a massive studio in Ontario last spring.

"You're literally throwing yourself in a frying pan that you're not used to that you don't really know (and) the equipment's not yours," explained MacRae.

"So it was an interesting experience."

Fascapple Glass offers handmade glass pieces and glass workshops for those wanting to learn more and create their own art.

"The fact that Blown Away has come out with so much interest and so many people are watching, it's amazing advertising for the craft," said Nicholas Baldock, an educator and gaffer at the studio.

On the show, the artists blow, mould, form and flare molten hot glass into vases, goblets and more. The upcoming season will see Hunter March host and Katherine Gray serve as evaluator and glass master.

Fascapple is a family-run business that opened in Calgary in 2020, right at the onset of the pandemic. MacRae says he applied to the show to promote the craft of glassblowing and his studio.

"Every time a season (of Blown Away) drops, our business goes boom," he said. "I knew when I applied, even if I didn't get on, I would benefit from the show dropping and another season coming out."

Season four of Blown Away will stream on Netflix on March 8.

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