Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wathaurong Art & Glass

On the day of the 2012 Festival of Glass, the Festival committee will say 'Welcome back!' to the Wathaurong Glass and Art company*.

Wathaurong Glass and Art was an early and keen supporter of the inaugural Festival of Glass in 2011 and had a very successful day! The company was formed to express aboriginal art in glass and the staff create their unique products using a wide variety of techniques, including kiln forming and sandblasting.

The company is owned by Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative and all the staff are aboriginal. All profits go to the Wathaurong community and to the broader community.

Wathaurong Glass and Art has a rolling catalogue of products, with new designs displacing older ones. Current products expressing aboriginal art include platters, bowls, awards and trophies; slumped glass windows and doors; and kitchen & bathroom splashbacks. Standard designs with cultural connotations can be modified to meet particular requirements; and the company is happy to make products to order. The company also creates commercial glass products with no cultural connotations such as lenses, corporate logos & kiln formed textured glass.

Wathaurong Glass and Art is at 16 Rodney Road, North Geelong 3215 (03-5272-2881). It delivers to Melbourne and most of Victoria and can arrange delivery for the rest of Australia. You can see their stock and shop online at their web site: (from where the images in this posting were taken). Some of the products are featured in small videos on YouTube - accessible via the web site.

* 'Wathaurong' (aka 'wathawurrung' or 'wada warrung') is the name of a recognised aboriginal tribe consisting of 25 groups (clans). The boundaries of Wathaurong are from Geelong (Victoria), North to Werribee River, North West to Bacchus Marsh, South West to Cressy, South East to Colac, East to Lorne & North back to Geelong encompassing the Bellarine Peninsula.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Glance Twice

Margaret Glance, owner of Glance Twice jewellery studio/gallery in Apollo Bay, will be one of the fifty exhibitors at the 2012 Festival of Glass.

Margaret was an exhibitor at the inaugural Festival of Glass in 2011 and her success then has led her to return. 'I had a very successful day in terms of sales and afterwards I had lots of follow-up calls and e-mails from people who'd seen me at the Festival' said Margaret.

Margaret's success at the 2011 Festival encouraged her to open her jewellery studio/gallery Glance Twice in Apollo Bay in June 2011. 'I had started fusing and slumping glass to make bowls, platters and vases, then started making glass jewellery for myself and my friends,' said Margaret. 'I had been thinking about opening the business for a while and my success at the Festival of Glass convinced me that I could make a go of it.'

Glance Twice is right on the main street of Apollo Bay above a coffee shop. Visitors can watch Margaret at work and buy her unique, hand-made jewellery as they take in the wonderful ocean views.

Residents and visitors in Apollo Bay can find Glance Twice at Level 1, 57-59 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay 3233 (E-mail:

Promoting local glass-related businesses
Margaret Glance's success is good news to Festival organisers the Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association (DCSCA), because it shows that the Festival can promote local glass-related business and employment. To this end, DCSCA is exploring the idea of holding a meeting soon after the 2012 Festival, to outline various ways in which of local glass artists, craftspeople and businesses could take their present work a step forward. For example, participants with a glass-related hobby could learn how to turn it into a business; participants who are small businesses already could explore different ways to expand; and larger businesses could explore ways to capitalise their resources and experiences through partnerships with other related businesses in the area.

In a related move, DCSCA is asking the City of Greater Geelong to offer small art and craft business on the Bellarine a tailored business support programme including, for example, advice and mentoring, short-term rates relief and assistance to explore new markets. Such a support program could link with the 'Made in Geelong' initiative (which offers small businesses short-term leases on empty shops in central Geelong), enabling small art and craft businesses on the Bellarine - individually or in partnerships - to test their economic viability in a town centre.

Both the post-Festival meeting and the business support program are still discussion points at present, but progress will be reported on this blog.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Building on success!

The 2012 Festival of Glass has attracted well over fifty exhibitors from across the range of glass art, craft and manufacturing, with a month still to go.

The 2012 Festival of Glass happens on Sunday 19 February 2012 between 10.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. at the Bellarine Basketball Stadium, Peninsula Drive, off Anderson's Road, Drysdale (Melway 470 F3). Admission is free. The Festival will feature mosaics, jewellery, glass beads and bead-making, stained glass, sculptures, glazing, slumped glass, ceramics, solar panels, glass etching and sandblasting, leadlighting and displays of historical and collectible glass.

Festival visitors can participate in:
• demonstrations of glass working techniques
• short courses in glass arts and crafts
• a Festival raffle (prizes worth more than $1,500, donated by exhibitors)
• glass-related competitions
• an 'Old Glass Roadshow', where experts assess the value of glass heirlooms.

Certainly bigger - hopefully better
The Festival of Glass is unique in Australia and joins a handful of equivalent events worldwide (e.g. Wanganui, NZ; Houston, USA; Stourbridge, UK). The 2012 Festival builds on the success of last year's inaugural Festival of Glass, which attracted 30 exhibitors and around 6,000 visitors to Drysdale's Potato Shed. That overwhelming response led the Festival committee to move the Festival to a much bigger venure - a good decision, in light of the enormously increased support by exhibitors so far!

The City of Greater Geelong has invested $6,000 in the 2012 Festival of Glass and the Bendigo Bank has invested $2,500. Both organisations supported the inaugural Festival last year.

Visitors to the 2012 Festival of Glass can enjoy a full day out in Drysdale. Be entertained by local musicians as you taste local wines and foods; visit the monthly Drysdale Craft Market, which happens on the same day; and ride the historic Bellarine Peninsula Railway, which runs all day between Drysdale & Queenscliff.

Doug Carson: 0418 371 308 E-mail:

Web site:

Illustration: Vickey Crowley-Clough