I became a glass sculptor through a trip to Italy in 2000. I had been carving N.Z. limestones for ten years and wanted to carve marble in Pietra Santa, historically a mecca for sculptors, carvers and bronze casters. Botero was exhibiting enormous bronzes in the Piazza. I was inspired to experiment with a different medium.
When I returned to New Zealand I worked at Artworks for six months gaining skills in bronze casting. I did a course with David Reid at the Studio gallery workshop in lost wax glass casting. This led to me sharing a glass casting studio with Sam Ireland and Greg Smith for 3 years, in Kingsland and exhibiting in the Studio Gallery. In 2005 I set up my studio in Grey Lynn with a kiln and a flamework torch and have been glass casting using mainly local Gaffer Glass since then.
I love the slow moving liquid alchemy of glass. I am fully conversant with the techniques and processes of sculpting with glass billets, frits and rods; working with warm wax: pouring hot wax into silicon moulds, fettling, spruing, refractory mould making, steaming out, filling, firing, annealing. Then chipping plaster from the glass form , sandblasting , grinding and polishing . Each successful piece of glass has eleven processes in its creation and there is risk at every stage. It is very exciting to release the form from the refractory material and then polish its secrets into colour and light.
"If you can make it in wax you can cast it in glass"