Gauge/Glass Artists GalleryGauge/Glass Artists Gallery

Just opened last weekend: an exhibition of 5x of my works alongside a collection of pastel drawings and prints by Bek Rice featuring the local Glebe and Leichhardt areas. The link is the vibrancy and colour of the works, echoing the vibe of the area.

The Director of Glass Artists Gallery, Maureen Cahill recently moved the glass exhibition area up one level while maintaining the street level as an exhibition space available for hire. She will also curate occasional shows there herself (such as this one).

Two large free-standing worksTwo large free-standing works

Diamond on the Wall No2Diamond on the Wall No2

Derived PieceDerived Piece

Gallery viewGallery view

Sunday 6th July saw a good number of people arrive at the gallery to join in conversation with myself and Bek Rice. The Director Maureen Cahill firstly introduced us both and explained some historical associations and the rationale for the show. This was Bek's first time speaking to a group about her work but she handled it with aplomb, clearly demonstrating the passion that she has for her practice.

After some questions I took the floor with a brief background to my life as an artist, followed by some detailed analysis of the works on display and the making processes involved. There was some lively discusion, with some interesting questions and comments form the audience- many of whom were of course themselves arts practitioners.

Bek Rice discussing her workBek Rice discussing her work

Audience at the Artists TalksAudience at the Artists Talks

Vale Mark Galton

25 May 2014

I learned this week from my friend and colleague Maureen Cahill, Director of the Glass Artists Gallery in Glebe, of Mark Galton's tragic death on Wednesday 25th May at a coal mining site in Boggabri (near Narrabri) NSW.

He was crushed by the collapse of an overhead metal structure while working from a cherry picker 15 metres above ground, about 8.50am. He was kept alive by work mates until paramedics arrived, but went into cardiac arrest.

Mark Galton was a very active member of his local Surf Life Saving Club at Ulladulla, becoming president from 2004. Ulladulla Boardriders Club president Kurt Nyholm speaks glowingly of Mark in a news item in the local press

A highly skilled glassblower, Mark was instrumental in developing the career of his partner Tina Cooper many years ago.

Mark recently closed down his glass studio in Burrill Lake that he ran with his wife Dominica on the South Coast of NSW. Claudine Thornton, a local photographer has produced a photo essay on the studio/gallery

I remember Mark as real character, always in good humour, full of energy and enthusiasm and passionate about glass-making. He was one of those laconic Australians they call "the salt of the earth".

I've been teaching stained glass and leadlight at Sydney Community College's Rozelle Campus for a year now; some very happy students have just completed the first term of 2014. It was a large class of 16x students but each one of them very enthusiastic and keen to learn the ins and outs of the craft.






















The class (wk 7)The class (wk 7)

The class (wk 7)The class (wk 7)

Taking a break now for a short while; next Term starts at Rozelle campus 15th July, each Tuesday night from 6.30pm till 9pm. Cost is $349incl. GST For enrolments go to the SCC website

Over the weekend of 28th, 29th, 30th March I took part in the Designers On Show exhibition held each year in the Turramurra Masonic Centre on the Pacific Highway at Turramurra. The centre has two exhibition halls accessed via a common entry foyer. It was my task to design and hang the entry foyer exhibition and then play host over the weekend, meeting and greeting visitors as they arrived.



Craft Arts MagazineCraft Arts Magazine

View from the elevatorView from the elevator

The entry foyer was my exhibition space; I didn't have a display stall in the show as did the other exhibitors. In this way I was able to integrate my work into the building and take advantage of discreet spaces not otherwise utilized. It made for a strong impression when entering and also when leaving the Show.

Last (and hopefully lasting) impression exiting the ShowLast (and hopefully lasting) impression exiting the Show

Other exhibitors in the Show included Mark Jones [leather], Carol Page [bespoke shoes], Alice Leda Pettirosso [merino woollen garments], Denise Smith [lampworked glass beads], Jane Stapleford [watercolours], Bob Taber [jewellery], John Hablitschek [jewellery], Jane Slicer-Smith [hand-knits], Lyn Hart [ceramics] and many other former exhibitors from the former Australian Craft Show run by Bibby and Shields from 1984 thru to 1999 at variou svenues but primarily the old Sydney Showgrounds at Moore Park. We were also supported by Craft Arts International who had a stand displaying their magazines in the foyer.

Frozen KimonosFrozen Kimonos

Jones leather and Ken and Susan FlowerJones leather and Ken and Susan Flower

Lyn Hart ceramicsLyn Hart ceramics

Alice Leda PetrossinoAlice Leda Petrossino

Marion Matthews quiltsMarion Matthews quilts

Signature HandknitsSignature Handknits

Adelaide Fringe

12 Mar 2014

As Treasurer of Ausglass, the Australian Association of Glass Artists, I was obliged to travel to Adelaide several weeks back to attend the AGM and annual Face-to-Face Board Meeting. Ausglass is a Not-for-Profit organisation and as such must be publicly accountable and follow all the rules set out by ASIC. Finance is not really my forte but I've managed to have been of some use over the past 18 months, helping to keep the organisation on track (with much assistance from Fiona Holmes our bookkeeper).

So Feb 15/16 was a heavy weekend of meetings but we did have the Saturday evening off and it was FRINGE! I made my way down to the Garden of Unearthly Delights just to see what sort of mischief I might get up to.. and managed to score tickets to 2x shows, Cabaret Coathanger and The Hot Dub Time Machine, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was my first Fringe Festival and I found the event truly delightful.


a mini-Spiegeltenta mini-Spiegeltent

Hot DubHot Dub

John BennettJohn Bennett

the Campanilethe Campanile

Lizard manLizard man

Space CowboySpace Cowboy

Sideshow WonderlandSideshow Wonderland

Roving troupeRoving troupe

More decorationMore decoration

the Veggie Galleythe Veggie Galley

I never did discover what the roving troupe of psuedo-Scouts were actually doing, but like everyone else they seemed to be having fun. At The Imaginarium I took in 2x different stand-up comics, just $5 for 15 minutes and very hilarious. John Bennett was late in the evening and quite baudy but very funny in that self-deprecating, deadpan kind of way.

My Ausglass meetings were successful but I certainly enjoyed the comic relief of Fringe.

Hot off the Bench

05 Feb 2014

Snoek Family CrestSnoek Family Crest

Measuring roughly 50cm square overall this Coat of Arms or Family Crest was achieved by two firings of Reusch Tracing Black Best with a stippled wash of Hancock's Grey Green on the back followed by seven different enamels laid down in four firings. The piece was then leaded together andd will have copper wire hooks soldered onto the sides for hanging.

The shieldThe shield

Helmet and crownHelmet and crown

Helmet and crown detailHelmet and crown detail

One of the griffinsOne of the griffins

Day 1: soldering the test panelDay 1: soldering the test panel

Tracing the cartoonTracing the cartoon

Soldering the test panel Soldering the test panel

Learning to cut glassLearning to cut glass

Design cut, ready to leadDesign cut, ready to lead

Day2: advanced studentDay2: advanced student

Learning to lead-upLearning to lead-up

Day 3: two finished worksDay 3: two finished works

Day 4: a leaded 3D object Day 4: a leaded 3D object

Ambitious project underwayAmbitious project underway

Correct handling procedureCorrect handling procedure

Chapel windows, LHSChapel windows, LHS

Chapel windows RHSChapel windows RHS

Earlier last year I had the opportunity to visit the Scallabrini Village @ Austral in Sydney's south west. The village is a retirement centre catering in particular to the Italian community. The chapel appears to have been built in the 1960s or '70s and has some very fine stained glass by Anzolo Fuga, who it seems was a glass designer for Arte Vetraria Muranese, Italy. The windows are very distinctive and unlike anything I have seen in Australia- perhaps the closest would be the work of Jean Orval in Victoria. Like much of Orval's work, Anzolo's windows still have a freshness today

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the LHSDetail from the LHS

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

Artist's signatureArtist's signature

Detail from the RHSDetail from the RHS

With Light in Mind

14 Dec 2013

Glass and Paintings at Maitland RegionalGlass and Paintings at Maitland Regional

From the balconyFrom the balcony

View from the first floorView from the first floor

The stairwellThe stairwell

Greville Wilton, of Golden Wattle Studios in Glen Innes, NSW, would be the first to declare he is no artist. He is an excellent leadlighter. But making that statement denies the brilliant design skills on display in this exhibition. Together with Tanja Robertson-Cunninghame they make an awesome team. This whole exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery is predicated on close collaboration. Tanja has produced an enormous body of exciting new canvases referencing the Australian modernist abstract canon and it is these which form the basis of the 16x stained glass panels on display.

Installed in the back doorInstalled in the back door

A horizontal piece with rondelsA horizontal piece with rondels

A vertical pieceA vertical piece

Greville's design and engineering skills also came to the fore in setting up the show and making full use of the space available in the atrium of the gallery's main entrance. A welded steel frame is attached to the ceiling and from this the stained glass works are suspended on steel cable. Each panel is cleverly framed in a welded steel frame comprising a fin of metal into which the lead came is inserted: this provides an essential foil of darkness to separate the glass from its background and allow it to live in the ambient space.

Abstract canvas incorporating butterfliesAbstract canvas incorporating butterflies

Turkish by Robertson-CunninghameTurkish by Robertson-Cunninghame

Set of paintingsSet of paintings

I particularly enjoyed the placement of stained glass panels in the stairwell and installed over the glass of the back exit. And the surprise pieces in the balconies also delight the senses. All in all a great exhibition, one which should raise the profile of Golden Wattle immensely but also go a long way to furthering the somewhat marginalised artform of contemporary stained glass.

The Centaur Window

06 Dec 2013

The Centaur was an Australian hospital ship sunk by the Japanese off the coast of Queensland during WW2. A tragic event. But the window commemorating the lives lost is beautiful. It is located in the front entry foyer of Concord Hospital in Sydney NSW.

The Centaur WindowThe Centaur Window

Gum blossomGum blossom

Sturt's desert peaSturt's desert pea

I'v been writing up an Assessment Report for the stained glass of St Mary's Catholic Church Concord and needed to visit the Church once more. It happened that my good friend Bronwyn Hughes, a stained glass historian from Melbourne, was visiting Sydney and expressed a desire to see the St Mary's windows on her way to visit the Centaur window. And so it came to pass... I became tour guide for Bronwyn and was able to shoe her not only the Centaur window but also the Armed Forces Memorial windows in the Concord Hospital Chapel: a bonus, since Bronwyn's current research subject is War Memorial stained glass windows.

CMS added image

CMS added image

Native hibiscusNative hibiscus

Close-up of the shipClose-up of the ship

The ship goes downThe ship goes down

This window is not only beautifully designed but exceptionally well painted. Its certainly a very traditional window for Martin van der Toorn, who sometimes works quite loosely, but its a fine piece of work and a fitting tribute to a horrific event.

Later I showed Bronwyn around Hibernian House, as she is also quite interested in public art and 'street art', of which there are some excellent examples on the roof of my building. All in all a great day


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This blog is where you will find my latest news. It can range from posting images of progress of the current commission to art crit to political or social commentry, both national and international. Anything, basically, that's commanding my attention and I feel is worth sharing with you, my reader. Enjoy. My previous blog can be found at