Artist Studio: Joanna Bone + GIVEAWAY!
Glass artist Joanna Bone knows many secrets. Thankfully not the kind that would have her imprisoned or even killed if she was to reveal them (as they did to the Venetian glass artists of old). But it’s enough to earn her recognition as one of Queensland’s most highly regarded glass artists.
Working from her Enoggera home studio the British expat, who studied at the Royal College of Art in London, has long been fascinated with the brilliant colours of Brisbane’s natural environment. “The colours of my work in England were dull and neutral, but if you compare them to my work now you’ll see there’s an explosion of colour,” she explains.
“It is not until you get up close with nature – whether that be walking in the textures of the sand or looking at the leaves in the park – you realize that the connection with the environment is missing in most people’s busy lives. Making my glass gives me time to slow down and really observe the natural environment around me.”
After spending time with Joanna, it is obvious that much of her work is informed by the Japanese philosophy of wabisabi – finding perfection in imperfection. “Patterns formed by nature inspire me because they are not perfect, and that’s what makes them so perfect,” she says. So for those who worry about scratches and dints in your furniture – don’t! It gives them character, and is the sign of a well-lived life.
Joanna was the first from this state to win the prestigious Ranamok Glass Prize in 2005 for artists in Australia and New Zealand. “I guess that’s what really put me on the map as far as glass art is concerned.”
Every so often, she has to make the journey to Canberra Glassworks – Australia’s only facility dedicated to glass artists with state-of-the art equipment. The glass is heated at high temperatures to soften it, while special tools are used to shape and form the glass. She works with a gaffer who does all of the blowing for her.
Once it has cooled, it comes out shiny and stripy. Joanna then takes it to her home studio where she uses various techniques such as, cutting, grinding, polishing, engraving and sandblasting.
“The thing with glass blowing is it’s not a solo sport. People say you can teach me. But it’s not as simple as that. You really need to study it first before you put it into practice. And that takes many years.”
Joanna will be selling some of her work at Brisbane’s first Containerval Festival, Northshore, from November 2-11. For details visit their website here.
To be in the running to win one of Joanna Bone’s one-off glass paperweights, simply Sign Up to StyleTribe before 5pm, Monday October 28 (Brisbane time). If you’ve previously signed up you will automatically go in the running. The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted via email. UPDATE TO THIS POST: Congratulations to subscriber W.S.