Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gals of Glazz - MAdeline Prowd

So I reckon today will be the last Gals of Glazz for the year (but I may change my mind who knows...). I figure I'm taking a couple of weeks holiday so why not? Not that I view this as work, this is my favourite thing at the moment! So let's go out with a bang! Today I want to introduce you to Madeline Prowd.

Maddy is an absolute killer artist. I have been lucky enough for her to even work for me on occasion! What a piece of luck! MAddy is kind of the gun for hire at the jam so to speak. She assists some big names like Nick Mount, Clare Belfrage and now adds international superstars to her resume like Nancy Callan, woah! (You can see how I can't believe how she still works for me) Alongside her impressive assisting career, Maddy also techs at the JAm AND still manages to make her own work.  Her work is gorgeous. She uses beautiful, subdued tones to create well considered forms.

Gals of Glazz
Tune in for 10

1.             Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Madeline Prowd, glass artist and designer working out of JamFactory in Adelaide. I’m lucky to be in the hot shop most days of the week assisting many of the amazing artists who use the studio and make our community so sweet. I am also the assistant tech in our studio, so I get to build equipment and keep the place running smoothly, which is both super challenging and totally rewarding.

2.             What do you make?
I mostly make functional production work, utilising different patterning techniques and colour applications to pay homage to the origins of the material while bringing a modern aesthetic.

3.             Why do you make?
Because I enjoy it! I’m in a position where I get to go to work everyday and whether it’s making for myself or assisting others, I get to create things with a pretty crazy medium, surrounded by a community of amazing people. It’s hot, sweaty and dirty, but we create beautiful things that (hopefully) serve a purpose.  

4.             What’s you colour palette?

White, grey and blue…and occasionally I branch out with something crazy like gold. I’m trying hard to use more colour, but I really am a fan of muted tones and those dirty, off blues and greens. 

5.             What’s your proudest achievement?
That’s a tough one…
I think I’m pretty proud of where glass has taken me – I’ve had the opportunity to go to the States a bunch of times and TA for amazing artists that I have looked up to since I started at uni. Last year I got to go to Berlin for two months and do a residency, and then headed up to Ebeltoft where I met and worked for Tobias Mohl for few days, which led to TA’ing for him when he came to Adelaide this year for the Ausglass conference. Definitely didn’t expect to be travelling the world and blowing glass in my 20’s, it’s pretty sweet. 

6.             Hot or Cold?
Hot for sure!

7.             What’s your dream project?
To keep making for myself and for others, and to continue to be able to support myself from making glass.
I’d like to teach as well - I wouldn’t be where I am without the generosity of others, I really believe in the value of shared knowledge, so getting to a point where I can pass on what I have learned would be awesome.   

8.             What’s your influences?
The people and places around me. The material itself drives a lot of the work I create – focusing on a specific technique, colour application or the objects proposed function. 

9.             What’s coming up for you? Or what are you looking forward to?
No big trips planned for 2016…had a few good ones the past few years. So I’ll be in Adelaide, knuckling down and getting shit done. At the moment though, I’m looking forward to a little break over xmas/new years before rebuilding one of our furnaces in Jan.  

10.         If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life what would they be?


You can also check out more of Maddy here

Thank you MAddy! And thank you for reading. Gals of Glazz will be back next year with a fresh crop of talented ladies for you to meet. You may be thinking, really? there's more? Of course theres fucking more! We glass ladies, we everywhere!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Gals of Glazz - Bethany Wheeler

Halo! This weeks gal of glazz is the lovely Bethany Wheeler who runs 1000 degrees glass studio. Beth worked at Monash when I was there and now runs her own studio. I am in awe of the studio she has built. It is so fantastic, well considered and a lovely, light working space. (She has also saved my bacon, letting me come down and use her drill press to drill holes for my lights, thanks beth!) Her cold working space is the bizz! (i hate cold working and even I want to be in there).

I really admire Beth and what she has done. She built up that little studio from scratch. She is my inspiration for my future studio, everything is just so nice in there (not like my leaky, dusty little shed...). So here you go, meet Beth;

Gals of Glazz
Tune in for 10

1.             Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Bethany Wheeler an artist based in Melbourne, I predominantly work in kiln formed glass whilst dabbling in paper, porcelain, found object assemblage and installation.

2.             What do you make?
I usually have few different bodies of work on the go at any one time.  At the moment I’m working of a new series of fused wall panels based on abstract aerial landscapes.
I always have a wax on the go, to be cast and combined with other elements and found objects for a body of ongoing works based on memory and recording the actions makers and their tools. 
I’m also constantly adding to a body of work based on the historical practice of making friggers - ‘glass with no utilitarian purpose, executed to satisfy the whim of the glassmaker.’ They were most often made in glass factories at the end of the working day on a whim – it’s where the term ‘friggin around’ comes from.  They document a calendar of making; I usually make 3 or 4 each month.
Plus a bit of production and corporate awards etc.

3.             Why do you make?
Making is inherent to who I am and I love challenge and beauty of working with a material that teaches you something new every time it comes out of the kiln.  I’m drawn to the fascinating material paradoxes of glass; fragility - solidity, liquid - solid, transparent - translucent - opaque – it is a hybrid that illustrates notions of the human condition and ways of seeing
4.             What’s you colour palette?

Clear or black teamed with anything bright - transparent or opaque.

5.             What’s your proudest achievement?

Setting up my workshop 1000 Degrees Glass Studios two and a half years ago was a big achievement for me.  Starting with a 230sqm empty shell, I built five artist’s spaces, a kiln forming area, a project/gallery space and later a purpose built cold working and wax/mould making workshop was added.  There are up to five resident artists based at 1000 Degrees at any one time creating a vibrant and supportive creative collective.

6.             Hot or Cold?

Hot, warm and cold its all integral to the process.

7.             What’s your dream project?

I’d love to play around with some large-scale furnace casting.

8.             What’s your influences?

The natural world. 
The history of glass making and the communities and cultures that form around the medium. 
Plus………Livio Seguso, Clarice Beckett, Silvia Levenson, Antoine Pevsner, Issey Miyake, Clare Morgan, Tapio Wirkkala, Rosslynd Piggott, Donald Judd, Peter Cooley, Walead Beshty, Janet Lawrence, Michael Rogers and the list goes on and on.

9.             What’s coming up for you? Or what are you looking forward to?
My last exhibition for the year is a group show at Kirra Galleries called Virtuoso, its opens on the 3rd of December.  After that I’m really looking forward to working towards a group show called Aesthetics In a Time of Emergency at Craft ACT next year with a group of friends.

10.         If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life what would they be?

Avocado, hummus & raspberries.

Check out Beths studio here

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Bloody hell. Fucking ballz. Turns out your body will tell you when you've had enough. Being sick is NOT how I wanted to end my last week of blowing production. This week I had two sessions booked and at the end of those sessions I would be sitting pretty. Would have given me x2 completed homewares orders and a refill of stock. Now I am lucky if I can scrape through with one order. Fuck.

I just can't get over how different this time of year is for me as opposed to this time last year. Last year I was sitting pretty, no blowing in December, had all my summer ducks in a row and got to totally get into the christmas spirit (i baked and made candies for fucks sake). This year? This year is a mad frantic scramble to the end. And over worked, stressed out, burnt out muffin, who now it turns out can add a sinus infection sore throat to the mix. There is no lolling around, baking or wrapping elaborate presents for me this year. This year I am scrambling to make it and bowing glass till the 23rd of December, till the bitter end! HA! What a difference a year makes.

Don't get me wrong, sans sinus infection, it's an excellent position to be in. I am grateful to be a full time glass blower. I just need a little break that all. I have all this on top of the mounting ticking time bomb of stress that is my solo exhibition, and let me tell you, the well is dry. There's no ideas kicking around, there's no glimmer of excitement at the thought of new works, theres only pure terror at the thought of exhibiting. I go into my heaving studio, boxes and packing material strewn everywhere mingled in with large pieces of equipment and glass getting a nice coat of dust on the shelves. I sit at my desk littered with empty cups of tea (some mouldy some not), half finished (glass) pretzels, a sea of scribbled dates and times highlighted on my calendar, and I just stare blankly. Behind that blank stare is the pure terror, the terror of questioning everything I am doing. I got nothing. I feel like a fraud. It's time to fess up.

 I. Am. Burnt. Out.

There I said it. It must be true. I feel like now my body is catching up with my mind frame and has decided to pack it in too. Good one. The thing I learnt this year was it is actually quite difficult when your pay the rent job is your creative job. There is no time to switch off and reload. No real down time. On top of the creative side, glass blowing is also a physical strain. ("The heat Jerry!, By god the heat!") Tuesday was the first time in I don't know how many years, I had to pull the pin early. It was so fucking hot, I couldn't cope. I was starting to see spots in my vision and I was totally fucking up the most simplest of forms that are usually a joy to make. Oh man, woe is me, we're deep in the pity party now aren't we? Maybe today is a good time to do the recap of the year? Grab that shovel, I'm diggin us out of this hole, hold tight here we go....

We started our year off with a wedding in Thailand! Even though I was the only person that managed to get food poisoning, it was still a ranch relaxo holiday.
(I also got to pat this elephant. BIG tick off my list.)

Was super stoked that my buddy Jeff came all the way from the states to demo with Berlin glass at the Aus Glass conference in Adelaide. Somehow I even got to help out with the demo! I had THE best day. Blew glass with my buddy, got free tix to a fringe show, drank espresso martinis with my friend. Tick.

Made a shit load of product.

We painted our house.
Made more product.

Had to say goodbye to one of my best buds, Jaansie. Team rock had its last session on the glass, and turns out there are tears in glass blowing.

Had a birthday weekend away with these goons.

Made more product..

Got awarded a full scholarship to go all the way to North Carolina and take a flameworking class with Amber Cowan at Penland.

Made more product...

Did the Finders Keepers market with my sister.


Made a few break throughs with work for my show.

Bought a shit load of equipment.....

(some how this sign seemed fitting...)

Exhibited an installation as a part of craft cubed with The HAndsome Bloom

Finally set my torch up...

Was apart of a cute little group show...

Made more product...

Made about a billion lights...

MAde a bunch more stock...

Had a weekend away with this puff...

Which brings us to December.

Ran around like a headless chicken trying to finish everything, got sick, fought social media battles, raced towards the end.

When I look back at all that stuff I really notice just how much work I produced. It is a little slice of madness if you think too long about it. But it also reminds me that I worked real hard and I managed to support myself as a full time glass blower for the whole year. PHENOMENAL.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gals of Glazz - Laurel Kohut

This weeks Gal of Glazz is a little more close to home. I've known this lady for quite a while but I'd say this is the year I really got to know her properly. She's a bloody champ. She's the kind of person who would give you her right arm if you asked her nicely. Her name is Laurel Kohut!

Laurel has really just been my saviour this last six months. One of the toughest thing about moving back to Melbs from Adelaide, was who was I going to work with? Laurel and I started to share some sessions and work for each other, now we work together on a regular basis at least one day a week, more if one of us has jobs on or deadlines to meet. Like me, Laurel did her training at the Jam (we just missed each other in Adelaide!) for me this always speaks volumes on someones skills and work ethic. When it boils down to it, we have both been trained as glass blowers in the same way and it makes it so easy to work together. She knows how to bring a good jack heat, has that production hustle and pretty much is just an excellent person! She is a super skilled up glass blower, has been assisting Nick Wirdham for years, is the Ausglass president, a studio tenant at Blue Dog,  I could go on! For someone with such a long list of achievements behind her, she is what I would call a beautiful, humble lady. (she also has a rad dog that she brings to work everytime with her and now I think we are pals because I share my crackers with her...)

I feel really lucky for our paths to have crossed (the number of times this girl has saved my arse, "Laurel do you have any bronze I could borrow?") and there is no way I could have made it through these last months without her. So go make yourself a cup of tea and get to know this rad gal of glazz a little better...

Gals of Glazz
Tune in for 10

1.          Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Laurel Kohut, and I'm a glass artist from Melbourne, Victoria.

2.          What do you make?
My artwork is focussed around the idea of sentimental objects - things that people get attached to and have some sort of emotional investment. Recently I have been using the aesthetic forms of jewellery but increasing the scale to the point where they are non-functional. I like the viewer to be able to recognise and relate to the sculptural forms and hopefully engage in a dialogue regarding these sentimental things.

3.          Why do you make?

It's a curiosity I've had since I was a child. I always loved to paint, draw, stick things together, take things apart and rebuild things. I have always had an interest in objects too. I love antiques and the stories and history they have. I actually feel very privileged to be able to make objects for a living. I often wonder what kind of lives my objects have had once they venture out into the world..

4.          Whats you colour palette?
I like fresh, candy colours. Not too bright though! And I tend to mix different tones of the same colour.

5.          Whats your proudest achievement?

I think anytime you can look at a piece you have made and think 'I'm completely happy with that, there's nothing I would change if I could' - is a proud moment. (It doesn't happen to me very often as I'm very self critical!) Also, I just recently became a full time artist which has been a big scary step for me but also fulfilling.

6.          Hot or Cold?
I like it both ways!
I'm trained as a hot glass artist, but my work seems to come to life in the cold shop. I just love how you can completely change a blown glass object through cold working. 

7.          Whats your dream project?
I have so many!
Building my own hot shop, having more solo exhibitions, creating large scale installations and to be able to keep supporting myself through making glass.

8.          Whats your influences?
I am influenced by the material itself. I've never grown bored of glass.
I am also influenced by other objects and sculptures - not necessarily glass, but things that have a personal history or a story to tell.
Other artists who have influenced me are:
 Nick Wirdnam - who has a similar interest in objects but also creates and arranges his work with the most extraordinary sensibility.
 Nick Mount - who's methods of working glass have directly influenced my own.
Kristin McFarlene - her work really speaks to me on an emotional level.

9.          Whats coming up for you? Or what are you looking forward to?

I'm looking forward to blowing more glass with Amanda Dziedzic as my blowing buddy!

Currently I have lots of Christmas production work to make, but when I get through that I am hoping to continue working on a new body of exhibition work which revolves around the theme of time and the pocket watch. Stay tuned..!

10.      If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life what would they be?

Pad Thai

My dad's apple pie. 😀

(Laurel in her other natural habitat; the cold shop! One day when I'm rich and famous I am going to outsource all my cold working to Kristel Britcher in Adelaide and Laurel in Melbs, thats the dream!)

you can also check out her website here

thanks lozzle! xx