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.

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