Saturday, 10 October 2009
Several pieces I have from this period are marked 'Glassplant', which was the name former owner Tony Kuepfer painted on the studio wall as a spoof on the Taranaki Think Big projects of the 1980s - the Methanol Plant, the Gas to Gasoline Plant, the Glassplant...
But the one at right is signed Lesley Justin 1989, and the one below is signed Chuck Simpson 1989. Justin was Lesley's surname before they married, and she signed her own pieces with her own name, though they also signed pieces jointly as Chuck and Lesley Simpson
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Mel Simpson was one of the pioneers of studio glass in New Zealand. He is notable as one of the two founders of the NZ Society Artists of in Glass (1980), which continues today as the national glass artists' organisation in NZ.
Mel learned his glass-blowing in the USA at UCLA (1975), having gone to the US to do a post-graduate design degree (Illinois 1974), but he discovered glass while he was there. His first degree was BFA from Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland (1971) and he returned to Elam to teach. He established the glass facilities there with a QEII grant in 1978. Ann Robinson, Garry Nash, Peter Raos and others were all students of his there. He received two further QEII awards in 1981 and 1983, and exhibited widely in NZ and overseas between 1980 and 1993.
The earliest signed piece I have of his work (top right) is dated 1977, and the latest a 'trophy' dated 1986 (below), though I have two unsigned pieces I bought at an exhibition in Howick in 1991. I think he stopped making glass about 1993. One of the first pieces of NZ glass I bought was one of Mel's (top left), signed and dated MEL SIMPSON 1979, bought in 1979 or 1980 from an exhibition at Whitecliffe Gallery in Parnell, Auckland.
Saturday, 25 April 2009
The work that German glass artist and jeweller Rena Jarosewitsch created during her stay in
I bought a platter and a broach in the early 1990s, but at the time I was unable to afford the intricate small sculptural pieces she assembled. I recall seeing these at an exhibition at
Rena also made slumped and fused glass platters and glass jewellery, as well as a range of small sculptural pieces of glass assemblages of pieces decorated using stained glass techniques. Her work was exhibited at galleries in
In 1995, Rena left