Monday, December 10, 2018

The roadside signs are up!

The first wave of roadside signs for the Festival of Glass has hit!

Cnr. of Wyndham St. & Jetty Rd
There are large (6' x 4') signs for the Treasure Hunt and for the Festival as a whole throughout Drysdale (sponsored by Hayeswinckle Real Estate). They include a Festival sign at the front of the service station at the Jetty Road roundabout, which motorists will see as they enter the town.

The 2019 Festival will be launched officially at a "High Tea" on Monday 7 January between 3.00pm and 5.00pm at Café Zoo, 23 High St, Drysdale. the event will also launch the Festival's 2019 Treasure Hunt. Booking for the High Tea is essential; phone Café Zoo: 5251 5333.

In the meantime, Café Zoo is hosting Glass Inspirations - an exhibition of glass art around the theme “Birds of the Bellarine Peninsula”. The exhibition features large and small pieces of glass art jewellery and sculptures created by local glass artists. Each piece will be unique and hand-crafted on the Peninsula, making them ideal gifts.

Glass Inspirations will run to Monday February 11th 2019, between 9.00am and 5.00pm.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"Glass Inspirations" in Drysdale


Monday 3rd December 2018 saw the opening of Glass Inspirations – an exhibition of glass art at Drysdale’s Café Zoo.

Glenda Macnaughton "Cockatoo Woman"
Local glass artists have created large and small pieces of glass art jewellery and sculptures for Glass Inspirations, around the theme “Birds of the Bellarine Peninsula”. Each piece will be unique and hand-crafted on the Peninsula, making them ideal gifts.

Visitors to Glass Inspirations can admire the glass art, identify the birds and, perhaps, buy one of these delightful pieces. If the pressure of having to choose gets too much, Café Zoo can always supply a restorative snack!

 Glass Inspirations gives people just a hint of what they’ll see
Marina Villani "Pelican in flight"
during the three months of the 2019 Festival”, said Festival convenor Doug Carson. “Then in January, the start of our annual Treasure Hunt will see treasure hunters young and old searching businesses across the North Bellarine for glass ‘tiny treasures’.”

Glass Inspirations will run from Monday Dec 3rd to Monday February 11th 2019, between 9.00am and 5.00pm at Café Zoo23 High St, Drysdale.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Cristallo versus crystal


In the late 17th century, the invention of crystal challenged Murano’s centuries-long dominance of the European glass goblet industry.

In the mid-1600s, the glass makers of Murano created extraordinarily ornate and complex glass goblets, exploiting the great clarity of cristallo glass, which had been invented in the mid-15th century by glass master Angelo Barovier. The style of these goblets - Façon de Venise - has been admired and emulated ever since. (See “Competing tastes in glass goblets” on this blog 28th November 2018)

Ranenscroft goblet 1677
Later in the 17th century (1673), Englishman George Ravenscroft challenged Murano’s near-monopoly on glass technology with his invention - lead crystal, in which lead replaces the calcium of ‘standard’ (potash) glass.

The inclusion of lead results in glass that has greater ‘brilliance’ or shine and separates light into its component spectra, as a prism does. Further, crystal stayed clear even when thick, whereas cristallo tended to look dark unless it was blown thin. (The Ravenscroft goblet in the illustration is held in the National Museum of Warsaw.)

Another new fashion in glass
Ravenscroft and subsequent crystal manufacturers exploited these refractory properties of the relatively thick crystal, creating a new fashion that challenged the dominance of Façon de Venise. Indeed, the decline in the Façon de Venise style was a major contributor to the decline of Murano’s dominance.

Today, perhaps the best-known legacy of Ravenscroft's creation is Waterford Crystal, which is owned by WWRD Group Holdings Ltd., a luxury goods group which also owns and operates the Wedgwood and Royal Doulton brands, and which was acquired on 2 July 2015 by the Fiskars Corporation.

Source: Dunham, B. S. (2002) Contemporary Lampworking: a practical guide to shaping glass in the flame. Prescott, Arizona: Salusa Glassworks Inc.

This is the third in a series of blog posts about the centuries-old tradition of making glass goblets. Among the many and varied creations of our International Artist in Residence at the 2019 Festival of Glass - Davide Penso (Murano) and Credric Ginart and Karina Guevin (Montreal) - are extraordinary contemporary interpretations of this tradition.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Competing tastes in glass goblets - transparent or opaque?


When Murano (Venice) glass master Angelo Barovier  invented cristallo in the mid-1500s, it represented the 'holy grail' of goblet makers. 

Cristallo was exceptionally clear and  transparent glass, free of the impurities that had clouded its predecessors. What better material for drinking vessels (even the holy grail!)? Drinkers could now appreciate their tipple's appearance, as well as its taste and smell.

Murano Dragon Stem goblet, 1600s
Throughout the Middle Ages, glass goblets from Murano dominated the European market for glass drinking vessels - not least because of Cristallo. Murano's competing glassworks created goblets that were increasingly complex in design, decoration and creation; but they also increased in price, restricting their ownership to the wealthy.
 
Is it glass, or ...?
Despite the popularity of cristallo, it became popular or fashionable to create vessels from materials other than glass, especially precious and semi-precious stones. Faced with this threat to their hold on the European market, Murano’s glass makers created new types of glass that imitated chalcedony, opal, amethyst, emerald, sapphire and other precious and semi-precious stones.

Turquoise was especial popular. It was highly prized in the Islamic world
'Turquoise' goblet
and it was imported into Europe via Venice from eastern Iran. The bowl and foot of the late-15th century Murano glass goblet in the illustration are made of imitation turquoise, while the darker blue stem imitates lapis lazuli. (The goblet is presently held in the British Museum.)

So while Murano’s glass makers celebrated the invention of cristallo and exploited its transparency in new versions of their traditional goblets, they also devoted time and skill to creating forms of glass that  ... well ... didn’t look like glass.

And now?
Of course, most glass drinking vessels are made today industrially. However, hand-made goblets in the Venetian style (façon de Venise) retain their allure. Many present-day glass artists take pride both in replicating the original designs and in creating new forms that showcase their skill and creativity. They include the three International Artists in Residence at the 2019 Festival of Glass - Murano glass master Davide Penso and glass artists Karina Guevin and Cédric Ginart from Montreal.

As visitors to the Festival will see, Davide, Karina and Cédric each creates hand-made goblets in the Venetian style, but each interprets "Venetian style" in their own very creative way.

This is the second in a series of blog posts about the centuries-old tradition of making glass goblets. Among the many and varied creations of our International Artist in Residence at the 2019 Festival of Glass - Davide Penso (Murano) and Credric Ginart and Karina Guevin (Montreal) - are extraordinary contemporary interpretations of this tradition.

Monday, November 26, 2018

‘Tiny Treasures' for Treasure Hunt businesses


Each business in the Festival’s 2019 Treasure Hunt is preparing to place its glass ‘Tiny Treasure’ – a small glass figurine for Treasure Hunters to find.

More than 30 businesses across the North Bellarine – from Curlewis to Portarlington – are taking part in the Treasure Hunt and each one has commissioned a ‘Tiny Treasure’ from a local glass artist.

The Tiny treasures will be delivered well in time for the official launch of the 2019 Treasure Hunt on 7th January 2019, with a “High Tea” at Café Zoo (23 High Street, Drysdale).

Where's this 'Tiny Treasure"?
Even before the launch, eager Treasure Hunters can see what they’ll be looking for, because the ‘Tiny Treasures’ are on the Festival web site: www.festivalofglass.net.au
The web site also includes an interactive map giving information about each participating business.

... and this poor bandaged soul?
When a Treasure Hunter finds a ‘Tiny Treasure’, the business stamps their entry form. (Each business will have blank forms.); and every ten stamps earns the Treasure Hunter a place in the Treasure Hunt draw at the Festival Expo (Sunday 17th February), with specially commissioned pieces of glass art as prizes.

Many businesses have found it so enjoyable to be part of previous Treasure Hunts that they were happy to sign up for the 2019 event.

In 2019, you won’t miss the Treasure Hunt – it will be advertised in all the local papers and on roadside signs; and each participating business will have a poster in its window.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Getting a taste of the 2019 Festival


Monday 3rd December 2018 will see the opening of Glass Inspirations – an exhibition of glass art at Drysdale’s Café Zoo

Glass birds by students at Mauro
Viannello's workshop, 2018 Festival
Local glass artists have created large and small pieces of glass art jewellery and sculptures for Glass Inspirations, around the theme “Birds of the Bellarine Peninsula”. Each piece will be unique and hand-crafted on the Peninsula, making them ideal gifts.

Visitors to Glass Inspirations can admire the glass art, identify the birds and, perhaps, buy one of these delightful pieces. If the pressure of having to choose gets too much, Café Zoo can always supply a restorative snack!

 Glass Inspirations gives people just a hint of what they’ll see during the three months of the 2019 Festival”, said Festival convenor Doug Carson. “Then in January, the start of our annual Treasure Hunt will see treasure hunters young and old searching businesses across the North Bellarine for glass ‘tiny treasures’.”
 
Glass Inspirations will run from Monday Dec 3rd to Monday February 11th 2019, between 9.00am and 5.00pm at Café Zoo23 High St, Drysdale.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

An 'in-duct-ion' ceremony??


A small working group from the Festival of Glass committee has acquired yet another skill – creating a ducted ventilation system!

The ventilation system takes shape
On Wednesday 26 September, the group assembled, tested and then disassembled an overhead ventilation system in a meeting room in Drysdale’s Cafe Zoo. In the latter half of February 2019, as part of the 2019 Festival of Glass, the ventilation system will turn Cafe Zoo’s meeting room into a customised venue for glass art workshops.

Mark (Cafe Zoo) wonders what to cook!
Workshop participants will learn how to sculpt, fuse and blow various forms of glass from our international Artists in Residence Davide Penso (Murano) and Cedric Ginart and Karina Guevin (Montreal).

The transformed room will also be the venue for a Festival first – jewellery designer Davide Penso's Glass Jewellery Lab – from wondering to wearing

At each event, a dozen participants will use gas/oxygen torches to create glass art; and in the process, they’ll create a lot of heat!

All the details about the workshops and the Jewellery Lab are on the Festival’s web site: www.festivalofglass.net.au