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Wood Blocks for Glass Blowing

One of my glass blowing students lent me her lathe while she went overseas for a few months. I cut down a Tristaniopsis Laurina (alias water gum), an Australian tree that grows like a weed in Northland. It was us big enough to turn a woodblock for glass blowing. It was a bit of a struggle as I don't really know what I am doing but it turned out OK. The next one will be better because I have joined the Northland Woodturners group at the Quarry Arts Centre and am now able to get advice, watch...

May 8, 2019

I won the McDonald Equipment prize at the glass conference

The old Castle, The Great Gates of Kiev, The Cattle and Gnomus. Below is the next in the series - Tuilerie Gardens and I am currently working on Promenade.  These works were painted on small, sandblasted glass blanks using Paradise Paints. The paintings are based on blind contour drawings made while walking, a process I developed for investigating “the everyday” for my Masters in Art and Design. Once painted and thoroughly dried I heated each piece to 570°C overnight, picked it up on a...

February 24, 2019

Photos by Simon Gould-Thorpe

Simon was in the studio a couple of days ago watching me blow glass. He took a few photos of me blowing tumblers and kindly sent them to me, Here they are. ...

February 11, 2019

Glass Blowing Video

Joules, Dani and Summer arranged to visit my studio to make a video of glass blowing. They did a great job as you can see in the finished video. I hope to see them back here soon to try this amazing art for themselves. ...

December 10, 2018

Hundertwasser Art Centre, Whangarei

A few months ago a start was made on demolishing the old Harbour Board Building to make way for the new Hundertwasser Art Centre. A bunch of us from the local businesses were there when the first pile was vibrated into the ground. I took a piece of my glass and placed it on a light box next to the rig to see if we were going to have problems with the piling. It did not move at all. Since then we have felt the vibrations every week day and sometimes on the weekends as the pilers try and keep on s...

November 9, 2018

The Other Day in 2016

Rebecca Heap found this photo of Brendan Sole and I casting the furnace roof  for the Glass School furnace. This was part of our furnace building elective. Although I now build furnaces to a different design, what I learnt on this course was invaluable when I bought my own studio in 2013. ...

October 5, 2018

Fifth Anniversary of the Grinter Glass Studio

Five years ago on 16th September 2013 I moved into the glass studio created by Keith Mahy in the Town Basin Whangarei. I left the ute and trailer parked in the loading zone half the day because I was busy in the studio and got a $14.00 fine. The next day Garry Nash helped me get the furnace, glory hole and annealer sorted. By the weekend I had made my first batch of glass from the raw materials left in the studio and started blowing glass. I lived in our caravan for the first 8 months and rememb...

September 19, 2018

Photographs by Dave Kerr

Photographer Dave Kerr was in the studio a few days ago and sent me a couple of the images he took of me blowing. In the top photo I was reducing the black lustre. The reducing flame turns silver oxide into pure silver on the surface of the glass to create a shiny lip-wrap. In the photo below I was cooling the next piece ready for the last gather of clear glass over the coloured core.  You can see more of Dave Kerr's photography at

September 5, 2018

Training the Trainers

A team from Regent Training came to the studio on Tuesday for a half day of glass blowing as their team building exercise. They had a good time and gave me the impression that Regent Training Centre in Whangarei would be an enjoyable place to work. They do a great job of organising training for people of all ages to get them into the work force. ...

August 4, 2018

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 Posts 1-25 of 48 | Page next

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