Monday, December 11, 2017

Business meets glass art at Treasure Hunt Preview

At an exclusive Preview on December 13 (6.00 - 7.30pm), businesses on the Bellarine will meet local glass artists from whom they have commissioned pieces of glass art as prizes in the 2018 Treasure Hunt.

Water Garden Kelly Veenstra
The Treasure Hunt will run from 8 January to 18 February, as part of the 2018 Festival of Glass. At the Preview, the business people can learn how their glass art is created, while the artists can learn how their creativity is supporting the local economy.

Diane Schofield’s Treasure Hunt team has signed up thirty two businesses from Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Curlewis and Portarlington – up from the twenty eight businesses in last year’s event.

“Businesses in the 2017 Treasure Hunt spoke very positively about their experience”, said Diane Schofield, “and their comments convinced others to join this year’s event.”

During the Treasure Hunt, each participating business will display its commissioned piece; then all the pieces become prizes in the Treasure Hunt draw at the Festival of Glass Expo on Sunday 18 February at Drysdale’s Christian College.

“We’re very grateful to our major sponsors The Bungalow, Leura Park Estate and Parkers Steakhouse”, said Diane Schofield, “We also thank the remaining 29 businesses, especially Chris Walsh’s Pharmacy, Pier View Lolly Shop, Joshae Hair and Beauty, Miss Lillypilly and Surf Junction.”

Monday, October 30, 2017

Expanded Treasure Hunt just weeks away

What CAN this person be talking about? “I have my pirate’s three-corner hat, my coat with the parrot on the shoulder and my eye patch. What else do I need? Ah yes! My trusty spade!”

They’re preparing for the third annual Treasure Hunt, which will run between Monday 8th January and Saturday 17 February 2018 as part of the Festival of Glass.

The 2018 Treasure Hunt will be launched officially on Monday 8 January at Drysdale’s Bungalow restaurant. The launch will feature a High Tea and the opening of an exhibition of glass art, which will run at the Bungalow throughout the Treasure Hunt.

Diane Schofield’s Treasure Hunt team has signed up thirty two businesses from Curlewis, Drysdale, Clifton Springs and Portarlington as participants in the 2018 Treasure Hunt.

“This is the third Treasure Hunt and the number of participating businesses has increased each year”, said Diane Schofield. “Businesses have found it worthwhile – and enjoyable – to be involved in the Treasure Hunt and they’ve encouraged others to join in.”

Businesses in the Treasure Hunt will commission pieces of glass art from local artists and display them throughout the Treasure Hunt; and the thirty two pieces will be prizes in the Treasure Hunt draw at the Festival of Glass Expo on Sunday 18 February at Drysdale’s Christian College.

Each business will also display a glass “Tiny Treasure” by a local artist and when a treasure hunter finds a “Tiny Treasure”, the business will stamp their Treasure Hunt entry form. Every entry form stamped by ten businesses goes into the Treasure Hunt draw. 

Business meets glass art at Treasure Hunt Preview
At an exclusive Preview on Wednesday 13 December 2017, business people on the Bellarine will meet local glass artists from whom they have commissioned pieces of glass art as prizes in the Treasure Hunt. The business people can learn how their glass art was created, while the artists can learn how their creativity is supporting the local economy.

2017's Treasure Hunt Preview
 “Everyone’s a winner in our Treasure Hunt”, said Diane Schofield. “Businesses can increase their custom, glass artists can increase their public profile and, of course, Treasure Hunters can win beautiful glass art.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bellarine College of Glass a step closer

The Festival’s dream of a Bellarine College of Glass has come a step closer with the launch of a glass art Mentorship programme at the 2018 Festival of Glass.

The programme will focus on young aspiring glass artists and each year, the Festival of Glass committee will collaborate with local secondary schools to select three recipients of a Mentorship. Each recipient will receive 5 two-hour sessions of personal tuition by their Mentor over six months. Mentors will be established, professional glass artists, who will receive $500 each for their participation.

Mercedes Drummond is the Festival committee member running the programme. “The Mentorship programme will help the Festival to promote a sense of community and cultural identity on the Bellarine Peninsula.” she said. “It will encourage local aspiring glass artists to embed their work in their community and encourage the community to celebrate its young people’s talents.”

Building careers
Mentors will assist recipients to build careers as glass artists by introducing them to a range of glass working techniques, assisting them to sell their work and to compete for Awards – starting with the Glass Art Awards at the 2018 Festival of Glass. Mentors will help recipients to build a professional resume by participating in the 2018 Festival of Glass and they will encourage recipients to build a network of shared interests and mutual respect with other artists and students in the Mentorship programme.

“The establishment of the glass art Mentorship programme means that young people can receive personal tuition and guidance to explore whether they’d like to become a glass artist”, said Mercedes Drummond. “The programme may seem a long way from a Bellarine College of Glass, but as someone said once, ‘From little things, big things grow!’”

Venetian glass master at the 2018 Festival of Glass

The Festival of Glass committee is delighted to announce that Venetian glass master Mauro Vianello will be our Visiting Artist at the 2018 Festival.
Mauro Vianello

Mauro is a world renowned glass master who creates highly naturalistic representations in glass of animals and plants, many of them associated with the sea. His visit offers intermediate and experienced bead-makers & sculptors across Australia a unique opportunity to learn traditional and contemporary Venetian glass processes and techniques and to use them to enhance their beaded & sculptured creations. Places in his classes at the 2018 Festival are open ... and are filling up!

Glenda MacNaughton is the Festival committee member running the Visiting Artist programme. “Bringing Mauro to the Bellarine Peninsula is quite a coup for the Festival!”, she said. “This will be his first visit to Australia, but his enormous skill as an artist and a teacher brings him invitations from around the world to teach and to create blown glass, glass beads and glass sculptures.”

In June this year, Mauro was in Pittsburgh, USA and in August he will be a featured artist at the 2017 “Flame Off France” in Remiremont. In 2016, Murano’s Museo Vetro (Museum of Glass) held an exhibition highlighting the continuity between Mauro's work and that of father and son Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka - two nineteenth century glass artists from Dresden, Germany who achieved international fame for their highly detailed, accurate glass models of plants and sea creatures.

Generosity and patience from a glass master
Mauro has been a glass worker for twenty three years. He creates anything in glass - from traditional Venetian beads to small and large sculptures, often combining lampworking and glass fusing with cold-worked glass. As a teacher, Mauro’s aim is for each student to leave his classes happy, having increased their skill and knowledge. His students praise his generosity and patience as a teacher and his ability to tailor his teaching to suit their differing interests and skill levels. They also delight in his sense of humour!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Murano glass master attracts artists from across Australia

Glass artists from across Australia have come to the Bellarine Peninsula for two weeks to learn glass blowing and sculpting with master glass artist Davide Penso.

Glass master Davide Penso (R) demonstrates a technique
Davide is from Murano, Venice and he is Artist in Residence at the 2017 Festival of Glass. He is running three three-day classes: one for newcomers to glass art and two for experienced glass artists. The classes have attracted glass artists from all six states - Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania, as well as Victoria.

“Glass art classes have always been an integral part of the Festival of Glass”, said Festival convenor Doug Carson. “At the Festival Expo, people see a wide variety of glass art together with demonstrations of how to make it. Then, after the Expo, they can attend a class to make their own glass art. We were delighted that Davide accepted our invitation to the 2017 Festival of Glass, because Murano has been famous for centuries for its glass art.” 

Peter Minson at the 2016 Festival
“The Festival aims to increase local glass artists’ skills and to encourage newcomers to try glass art”, said Festival committee member Patrick Hughes. “We do that by bringing in renowned glass artists whom local artists may not otherwise see. Last year we brought in Mark Eliott from Sydney and Peter Minson from Canberra; this year we’ve brought Davide over from Murano. We also run classes by local glass artists, whose skills complement our visitors’.”
Mark Eliott at the 2016 Festival

Davide Penso’s classes run until 1 March and he returns to Murano on 2 March.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Glass Expo crowds defy storms

Crowds defied unexpected thunderstorms to enjoy the 2017 Festival of Glass Expo on Sunday 19 February at Drysdale’s Christian College.

The Expo showcased the glass art of fifty artists and businesses and encouraged visitors to become glass artists for a day. They could learn about mosaics with Montage Mosaics, create mosaic pavers with experts from Bunnings, or create leadlighting with RuMa Leadlighting. They could string beads with the Bead Society of Victoria, weave glass beads into patterns with Dax Bead Art and create glass jewellery and sculptures with Klassay Glass Art and bead maker Pauline Delaney.

“The weather doesn’t seem to bother glass lovers”, said Festival convenor Doug Carson. “Thousands of people attended each of the first six Festival Expos despite very hot weather. Nonetheless, we were delighted at the forecast twenty degrees for today, but even the forecasters didn’t foresee thunderstorms! Still, around five thousand people defied the weather, came to the Expo and enjoyed themselves.”

Two especially popular features of the Expo were the annual Glass Art Awards, which attracted over thirty entries and the draw for the 2017 Treasure Hunt. “Well over a hundred hopeful hunters entered the draw”, said Treasure Hunt organiser Diane Schofield. “It was a happy event, because almost all of them went away with a prize.” The 2017 Treasure Hunt was launched in early January, supported by twenty eight local businesses.

Murano comes to Drysdale
A special Expo attraction was the glass blowing demonstrations by glass master Davide Penso, from Murano, Venice, renowned for centuries for its glass art.
Davide Penso creating glass art

Davide is Artist in Residence at the 2017 Festival and he starred in the sell-out “Twilight Flames” at Leura Park Estate winery on February 18, where he blew and sculpted glass and talked about life on Murano.

The face behind the flame!

In the ten days after the Expo, Davide will run classes for beginning and experienced glass artists; and these will be followed by classes by local glass artists.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Old glass a potent draw

The second Historic Bottle Evaluation in Drysdale was so popular that it looks set to become an annual event.

The Bellarine Historical Society ran the event on Sunday 12 February at Drysdale’s Courthouse Museum, as part of the 2017 Festival of Glass. People were invited to bring their old bottles to be assessed by glass valuers Paul and David Bruce, of online glass auction firm ABCR.

Hopeful faces at the Historic Bottle Evaluation
Attendance was much higher than expected. “Around seventy people came just in the first hour, which is more than came to the whole of last year’s five-hour event”, said Paul Bruce.

“One visitor in particular enjoyed the event” said Paul, “when he learnt that he owned a bottle that was likely to fetch between $2,000 and $3,000 at auction!”

Festival of Glass Convenor Doug Carson said that he was especially pleased that the Bottle Evaluation was so popular. “The success of this event – like this year’s Treasure Hunt - shows that collaborating with the Festival of Glass brings direct benefits. We’d love to talk with other local groups and organisations about running joint events.”