Adelaide, SA

Adelaide, SA

Sunday, 08. December 2013

Jam Factory Adelaide<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

Before starting work on Wednesday, we wandered through the botanical garden where we came across a very old museum that had an exhibition on Coco de Mer. This palm tree is local to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The fruit contains the biggest seed known to the botanical world and can reach a weight of up to 45kg, while the seed inside can be up to 25kg. A chat with the museum’s director revealed the story behind the name, Coco de Mer. Sailors often spotted these fruit floating on the waves and enjoyed the delicious treat. Because the fruit takes seven years to mature, the seeds were kept and highly polished.

The Jam Factory is a wonderful thing, because as a non-profit organisation it provides a studio for training as well as rentable work space. Thanks to this, the glass scene in Adelaide is flourishing as many artists want to stay in the area. The organisation was set up in a former jam factory and aside from glass, there is also metal, ceramics and wood being worked. Every five years there is a new Creative Director, which helps to keep the creative process alive. Also of great help are the seven apprentices, who get two years free training, during which they learn all about the studio and the craft. They have their own work schedule and twice a week they produce pieces for the Jam Factory. Another source of inspiration comes from the twice yearly ‘special classes’ run by established artists.

Last Wednesday at 8am we started production together with Kathi, Diego and Marcel, three of the apprentices. Franca picked up the colour and blew air in, then passed it on to Kathi and Louise, who blew a bottle shape which they finished down to the base. Diego and Marcel attached a new pipe to this base and worked on the opening. For four hours we produced bottles from lime green crystal glass and so stood in for the missing apprentices who were away at a fair in Melbourne.

After assisting several artists on a number of other pieces of work, we had the weekend off. On Saturday this enabled us to sit and watch Nick Mount and Tom Moore forming glass, while sipping our morning coffee. Nick Mount’s pieces were almost entirely made from coloured rods which he turns into vases and wine glasses. Tom Moore had hung up a sketch on a big piece of paper. His idea was to assemble a multitude of rods with different lengths into one playful piece.