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Back on the job

I spent five days heating the furnace from room temp to 1300C. Started with the gas torch and slowly raised the temp to 200C. I then started the burner and ramped up at between 5 and 10C per hour over 5 days. Filled the furnace on Thursday and started work over the weekend. It is great to be blowing again, ...

June 17, 2018

How to build a glass Furnace

Rebecca and Diane helped me complete the final layer of lightweight castable refractory yesterday. Ready to start up tomorrow. The following image shows the: 1800 dome with the polystyrene former removed from inside and out, the 1400 fibre blanket in place and covered with chicken wire to hold it in place and the final layer of lightweight insulating castable. I leave the light running inside to help dry out the castable refractory and run a fan heater placed in the gathering port when I am in t...

June 6, 2018

Cast in Stone

Yesterday Justin and Rebecca helped me to cast the first layer of the top of the furnace - an 80mm layer of 1800 refractory cast in a former made of polystyrene. Making the former took me a week but the result was effective, especially joining the lower and upper parts together with hardboard and screws. This was much quicker to fit than the last time I made a furnace which should mean the dome holds together better. The big change with this furnace is the steel ring that should allow me to lift...

May 31, 2018

Arise Sir Fergus

I have invested the crucible in 1800 castable refractory and shaved off the edges of the insulating bricks (image above). Now I am working on the former for the dome. Image above shows the base completed. The images below show the crucible surrounded by the insulating bricks, filler brick being cut to shape to fill some of the space round the base and the inside of the bricks coated with mortar. ...

May 22, 2018

Progress with the re-build

Demolition complete, rubbish disposed of and have started the re-build. Re-laid the fibre and bricks that make up the base and decided to cast a square in the middle to prevent the fibre underneath being squashed like the last time. Now cutting the bricks that make the surround for the crucible...

May 18, 2018

The Furnace is Dead

I shut down the furnace two weeks ago and we took a two week break driving round the North Island visiting friends, family and galleries (24960 km). I am back in the studio this week organising the rebuild - Here are a few photos showing what I did today :-)...

May 16, 2018

Photos by Wendy

I had a visit from Wendy Bown last week. Wendy is a professional photographer who takes photos of artist for fun. She took photos while I was blowing a couple of vases and has posted them on her blog. I have added a few to my blog. Wendy BownPhotographer / Film maker / ArtistWebsite:

April 14, 2018

New Tumblers and carafes

I thought I should show you my new tumblers made with K2 transparent frits and the carafes I made to go with them. As well as green, blue and red I have tried them in yellow but have not got the colours right yet. ...

January 31, 2018

Auckland Botanical Gardens

Here are a couple of photos of the painted and blown glass I sent to Auckland Botanical Gardens last month. The first one is call Devonport from the Ferry and the other one is titled Tangible Traces. The show is open until February...

December 14, 2017

Dane Mitchell

I helped Dame make the glass fulgerites for his installation Aeromancy at Hopkinson Mossman gallery earlier this year. Being selected to represent NZ at the Venice Bienale is an impressive achievement - Well done Dane

November 10, 2017

New Work

I started blowing my Tear Drop Vases as practice for my painted vases because, due to lack of practice, I keep stuffing up the painted works when I blow them. Initially I used the colour mixes I had developed for my shard vases but have now started to evolve these mixes as a new line of work. I have even come up with names for the colour mixes, such as Waterlilly and Ocean blue. They have proven very popular. ...

September 12, 2017

The Gaffer

Dana visited my studio in Whangarei recently. She took a few photos and we had a chat about art and glass blowing. Yesterday she sent me an image of the watercolour she has created of me blowing glass and here it is. You can check out her work at

August 9, 2017

Meteorlogical Phenomenon

The photo above shows Dane Mitchell's installation at the Henderson Mossman gallery in Auckland. Dane spent a few days at my studio and we drew fulgerites in sand for his show. Diane and I went to Auckland for the opening. We also had time to see The Body Laid Bare, the travelling exhibition from the Tate Gallery which is fabulous. I got quite emotional when I saw the huge painting by Paul Delvaux flanked with paintings by De Chirico and Max Ernst. Following are photos of Dane and I at the openi...

July 6, 2017

I won first prize at a beauty contest

Every year I send a few pieces to Ashburton and always get a great reception. This year I won the ACL Applied arts and craft award as a bonus. ...

July 5, 2017

How to learn glass blowing

You just need to keep finding new ways to stuff it up. Every-time you stuff it up you have to think how you did that and learn from your mistake. My latest stuff up was a bit of a surprise. I looked in the annealer and found a nicely blown ivory shard vase in two parts. I have been using lustres for lip-wraps recently and was lustring them with a small mapp gas torch. With this one I then tried to fix a slightly wonky lip wrap. That extra couple of seconds was enough to push it over the limit. T...

June 26, 2017

I have run quite a few workshops over the last few months.

All working hard and having fun...

June 18, 2017

Workshop for Chamare and co


February 1, 2017

Visitors from the Far South.

And then drove back to Dunedin in Andrew's new car, which I had stored here for a few weeks. Here are a few photos they took while watching me blow some glass. Certainly makes a difference having a professional photographer behind the camera :-)...

January 3, 2017

Look who was working in my studio last week

Three years ago Rob came into the studio and was the first person to buy a piece of glass from me here. Now he is back and blowing glass. Here are a few photos of him at work and an image of some of his original glass work. He demonstrated how he made his Dickie Pots....

November 9, 2016

Scholarship Student

Scholarship student Phillip was here last weekend and we spent some time making murrine, canes and blowing skulls from a mould. The mould was taken from a skull Phillip created in clay. Phillip recently attended a Summer School in New York were he learnt about anatomical modelling. He hope to blow and cast a complete skeleton over the next few years....

September 25, 2016

Third Birthday

On Friday 16th September it was exactly three years since I took over the glass studio at 8 Quayside and Grinter Glass came into being. It has been lots of fun, I have met heaps of great people and there has been the occasional stress and bits of trouble. Thanks to all the glass blowers who have rented time and given me advice. Thanks also to the glass newbies who have come to give this amazing art a go with me. Thanks also to the the many galleries throughout New Zealand that stock my work. He...

September 18, 2016

Jan Kocian back in the hot seat

Jan came up from Coramandel to rent the studio for three days with me assisting. Phots are for advertising his friend's new business...

September 8, 2016

Garry Nash

And while he was blowing two other glass blowers turned up - Daffy Yorston and Justin Culina. Justin stayed and assisted Garry for a bit....

July 12, 2016

Fergus is up and running

The furnace looks OK so far and the glass is excellent quality. Rebecca has been up for blowing twice and Peter Viesnik came up for a day to catch up on orders with the assistance of Justin. Craig and Islay hired the studio last Saturday and created some great work. I have also run a couple of workshops, one for Phoenix and the other for Mervyl and Donna. All three did will really well for first time glass blowers....

July 5, 2016

Fergus the Furnace has arisen from the dust again

Over the weekend I added two layers of fibre blanket over the 1800 castable and secured it with chicken wire. Today Justin and I added the final layer of lightweight castable to complete the job. Fergus will now be left for a week to dry out....

May 31, 2016 Posts 1-25 of 39 | Page next

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