Douglas Damude

Born in 1954 and spending my childhood years in southern Ontario, Canada, I was surrounded by the nature of the Great Lakes, forests and floral parks of the Niagara Falls Region. This was an important influence and inspiration for my continuous love and appreciation for the artistry of Mother Nature.

After graduating from a 5 year Arts, Music and Science course in 1972, I immigrated to Europe. During my travels through Europe I settled briefly in Switzerland and then eventually Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I started the first waterbed store in Europe, on the corner of the Kerkstraat and the Amstel, by the Magere Brug (Skinny bridge).

At that point, a waterbed was just a bag of water on the floor but being the leading pioneer, I designed and produced the bed furniture, directed the sales promotion and developed it into a complete, comfortable and healthy bed system creating a successful market for a former unknown product in Europe.

During the 1980s, the business grew internationally at a rapid pace. The product development and marketing continued to be very essential due to the increased competition that was aroused by this new type of bed. The complete bedding industry was awakened and in a phase of significant product evolution, based on the development and promotion of healthy sleep by the waterbed companies. It required creative, entrepreneurial talents to develop our business and remain the market leaders with the most appealing designs and the most successful marketing campaigns. At both retailer and consumer shows, we held the top position with spectacular presentations and products.

At the height of the boom in the market in 1996, our companies had twelve brands covering all consumer levels in a market of more than a million waterbeds being sold annually in the northern European countries. With forty employees and a record amount of sales, an investment group bought my companies, merged them together, and continued as the largest waterbed company in Europe.

In the following years, I stayed involved at a distance, advising and assisting new owners and eventually other companies also, while pursuing interests outside of the waterbed business. After the purchase of an old 1901 villa on the coast of Holland, I spent a few years managing a complete restoration of it.

During a vacation in Venice, Italy I was attracted by the glass art being produced in the furnaces on the island of Murano. Fascinated by glass art, I returned frequently to Murano and bought hand made glass sculptures designed by famous artists including Pino Castagna, Maria Gazia Rosin, Kiki Kogelnik, Irene Rezzonico and Ida Olai.

One sunny morning on a beach on the island of Sardinia while practicing yoga, breathing exercises and meditation, I had a vision of seven chakra colours shining down in rays from the sun into each individual chakra in my body. Throughout my spiritual journey with Kundalini energy and body chakras I continued to express my visions in oil paintings but when this particular painting was finished, I was inspired to have a glass sculpture made of it.

So my wife Astrid and I went to Murano and were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to work with the famous glass maestro Silvano Signoretto. After developing a collection of drawings and paintings that could be transformed into glass sculptures, we worked together in the factory with Silvano and his colleagues in the furnace and polishing areas. We have created an incredible and impressive collection expressing Kundalini and the chakras in glass. Each piece is handmade without using any die-casting, making it an exclusive glass art collection. Each reproduced piece is different from the former one making each new piece absolutely exclusive.