Queanbeyan, NSW

Queanbeyan, NSW

Sunday, 17. November 2013

In and around Australia’s capital, there is a lot of glass to be found. Canberra is well laid out and a cultural hub with lots of glass people.

Over the last week, we have worked with Harriet and Matthew. Helping making their pieces as well as components for their works was lots of fun and a welcome change. Their many varied pieces go through different production stages and typically for Australian glass, are most often finished off in the cold shop. They melt a number of different colour tones, and so last week we were working with blue glass. Their giant studio complex consists of workshop, showroom, guest bedroom, hot and cold shops, as well as their living area. It’s all very compact and practical.

In between times, we went on a number of trips in and around Canberra. One such trip was to another glassworks in Canberra, situated in a former power station, where any glass maker can rent a space and produce whatever they like. There is also a nice café and a showroom. As the glass world is such a small one, we ran into a familiar face, Mel Willis. She was the Artist in Residence in the museum in Corning (USA) while we were there. Coincidently, she was manning the reception at the glassworks the day we visited and so she gave us a full tour of the building, after we had been to see Emma Varga’s exhibition.

On another day we were reunited with Scott Chaseling, who we’d met in Frauenau before we started our journey. He showed us around Elizabeth Kelly’s workshop, who makes mostly pressed glass sculptures. After a relaxed lunch he also took us to the installation from James Turrell.  This installation is right in front of the National Gallery and the 45 minute light show every evening is simply amazing. And so the day came to an end with an overwhelming display of bright lights.