Thursday, 25 August 2011

Visiting International Glass Artists

I mentioned recently my acquisition of a piece made in New Zealand by Lino Tagliapietra during a demonstration and workshop visit he made here in 1990. This was one of quite a number of such visits organised by NZ Society of Artists in Glass over the years - I have mentioned those I know of in my article on the beginnings of NZ Glass in the book New Zealand Glass Art published recently by NZSAG.
As well as the Tagliapietra goblet, I have been lucky to acquire two other examples of glass made in New Zealand during these visits.  Richard Marquis was one of the first American glass artists to study glass making in Venice, spending a year on a Fulbright scholarship at the Venini factory on Murano in 1969.  Subsequently, Marquis shared widely the knowledge and skills he had acquired by touring and demonstrating in many countries, including New Zealand in 1981 to coincide with the first NZSAG conference.  During that trip, Auckland Museum was given one of his fabulous teapots by NZSAG.  But Marquis also made a number of pieces in the Devonport Hot Glass workshop of Peter Raos and Peter Viesnik.  An eagle eyed daughter of mine spotted this piece on a stall of glass Peter Viesnik was selling during a studio clear out in 2004, and gave it to me as a much appreciated present. It's not signed, but the attribution is clear, confirmed by Peter Viesnik.

Fred Daden was an English gaffer whom Tony Kuepfer first met on his way to New Zealand in 1973, and then again at a glass conference in London in 1976.  At Tony's invitation, Fred Daden spent a month at Inglewood in 1977.  Tony has described this as being equivalent to the amount of glass making in a year’s diploma course.  He learned a great deal from Daden, technically.  He learned how to make glass move – “a good piece is a fast piece”.

At Tony's suggestion, NZSAG invited Fred to return to demonstrate at the second NZSAG conference held at Inglewood in 1983.  To help fund the trip, Daden made a number of pieces at Inglewood for sale, and this one turned up on TradeMe in 2008.  The vendor thought it was English, having seen the London University tag (Fred lectured at London University) and didn't understand the Inglewood reference - but I did!  I'm delighted to have these tangible links with some of the world's glass greats who have passed on their skills in New Zealand.