Saturday, 10 October 2009

Joan O'Leary Surprise

I bought this vase in a TradeMe auction this week. The seller just called it 'Pretty Vase', but I recognised it as a nice example of the work that Chuck and Lesley Simpson and Andrew Williams made at Inglewood from about 1988 - 1990. So I was thrilled to find once I received it that it was well signed with the full name Joan O'Leary and the date 1989. Joan worked with Chuck and Lesley at Inglewood in 1988 and 1989, and while I have several pieces of her work from that period, this is the first I have seen that is so close to the work that Chuck and Lesley were doing themselves. Other pieces I have resemble much more closely the work Joan did later when she moved to work with Mandy Angus in New Plymouth in the 1990s.



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


17 comments:

  1. Glass planets are looking beautiful.Especially the third one.

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  2. Hi, found one similar to the pic on right, it is signed Lesley Justin 89, any idea what it is worth? May put on TM, regards a.christie@xtra.co.nz

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  3. These generic glass items where training pieces. Worth about what you paid for it 21 years ago!

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  4. These pieces were Chuck and Lesllie' bread and butter pieces, in the early 2 years of their independent studio operating at Egmont Village Taranaki. 12 minutes work then, yep worth about $18 then and now.

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  5. $18 Us maybe or Euro! Lessli was a great, she became so well known she changed her name to Indiian Brooke.
    I would pay over $20 for either piece!

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  6. Well my child did a 2 hour private Hot Glass class and produced far superior work first try.....

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  7. Joan O'Leary died of Luekemia caused by being saturated in the chemical which makes their pretty opalescent designs of the period. Stannus Chloride / silver nitrate.
    The same cocktail killed 2 of Chuck's staff and ultimately him at age 56.

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  8. But he sure made some $$$ for a while.

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  9. Leslie has Lupus, she can't go near glass or she will die.

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  10. Chuck was the Paul Hogan of the Glass Industry in the late 80's. Leave him alone RIP to the graetest comedian ever!

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  11. what is this shit, leslii must be a pretty hot woman the way you described her

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  12. Just letting you guys know, les-leigh joanne was my late wife.

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  13. I'd love to learn more from you about this. Can you email me at sparksame@gmail.com?

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  14. I knew that glass was being sold at Egmont Village, but were Chuck and Lesley making glass there? At Inglewood Tony Kuepfer had connected to the huge gas feed to the dairy company. What was the fuel source at Egmont Village? Did they start there while Tony was still in the studio at Inglewood?

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  15. Sending you email. Chuck's son.

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  16. Wow - I never realised there were such nasty negative people in the glass world. I've just been reading some of the comments on Stuart's blog from "anonymous" people. Be brave - identify yourselves. I would have thought that Stuart would have received positive feedback from all the glass fraternity including the newbies like me - a collector not a glass blower. I know nothing about glass but I know what I like and if it is a "bread and butter" item - so be it. Good on you Stuart.

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  17. Thanks, Gail, I'm glad you find the blog helpful. I'm hoping to add some more pieces soon.

    There is a specific and understandable family reason for these comments by 'Anonymous'. He did subsequently make direct contact and provided some very useful and helpful historical information.

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