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Michael Waysmith 07-11-2013 07:53 AM

The Glass Makers Palette - Colour making book
Renowned glass artist to create world-first book

Wednesday, 19 June 2013, 12:38 pm
Press Release: Creative New Zealand


Renowned glass artist to create world-first book with Creative New Zealand Craft/Object Fellowship

Garry Nash

Creative New Zealand is pleased to confirm veteran glass artist, Garry Nash, as the recipient of the 2013 Craft/Object Fellowship.

The Fellowship provides established and senior New Zealand practitioners, curators and writers the opportunity to commit to a period of investigation, experimentation or research in their practice.

Garry, who is the first glass artist to receive the $65,000 Craft/Object Fellowship, will use the grant to produce a ground-breaking book on creating coloured glasses.

The Glass Makers Palette (working title) will detail how a palette of compatible coloured glasses can be created within a studio situation, and will be the first of its kind in the world. The technical manual will consolidate three decades of Garry’s work and hundreds of experiments with different glasses and chemicals.

The decision to support Garry’s proposal was an easy one for the Arts Board, following a unanimous recommendation from the assessment panel.

“This Fellowship will allow Garry to complete a project that will cement his place in the canon of studio glass – a position that the Arts Board felt he well deserves,” says Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright.

For Auckland-based Garry, who has been recognised both nationally and overseas for his work, the key motivator behind the book is sharing knowledge.

“Information about making coloured glasses is currently scattered and hard to access,” says Garry.

“I have always wanted to write this book to help address such issues. I’m excited at this opportunity to share my lifetime of study and help ensure coloured glass art continues to move forward long after I’m gone.”

Creative New Zealand can also see the potential of Garry’s book to open up new avenues of investigation at studio and tertiary education level.

“The results of producing such a book could have a long-term impact on the glass movement in New Zealand, and also has the potential to bring significant international recognition,” says Stephen.

Garry began working with glass in 1978, and his work is sought by collectors worldwide. He currently operates Garry Nash Studio. He is an honorary life member and past President of the New Zealand Society of Artists in Glass. In 2001 Garry was made an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Glass Art. His work is held in countless collections; and notably, in the prestigious Smithsonian Museum (Washington D.C), where he is the only non-American to be represented.

Previous recipients of this Fellowship: Moyra Elliott (2009), Rangi Kipa (2006), Peter Lange (2005), and Malcolm Harrison (2004).

Pete VanderLaan 07-11-2013 12:03 PM

Garry had told me he was doing this and I think it should be a valuable addition to the scant information about making color that exists. I think it's great that a country has the vision to have a grant for this sort of thing as opposed to our current stances in the arts in this country by our dim witted political representatives.

Rollin Karg 07-11-2013 01:34 PM

I'll be looking forward to it. You only have to get one little tip to pay for the price of the book.

Pete VanderLaan 07-11-2013 05:02 PM

He'll probably tell you to not use fluorspar with an electric furnace.

Michael Waysmith 07-11-2013 10:14 PM

It certainly is a fantastic thing, in talking to Garry the other day, he said he'd already been granted $5,000 a few years ago to travel to the U.K. to gather up various information from the university libraries there, so the book is already underway and should be a magnificent piece of work when complete.

Dave Bross 07-12-2013 08:46 AM

I'll be looking forward to this one. Any clues on when it will be done?

Brian Graham 07-12-2013 11:33 AM

I can't wait to own this!

Michael Waysmith 07-17-2013 11:08 PM

I think the proposed timeframe is 12-18 months.

Brian Graham 12-21-2013 08:31 AM

Just checking on an update for this book project - anyone hear anything? I visited the NZ arts website and didn't see anything.

Pete VanderLaan 12-21-2013 08:51 AM

I correspond with Gary Nash and while he had mentioned the writing, I don't get the sense that this is more than a preemptive press release. Croucher and Nash did share a space at one time and Nash says that Croucher worked for him. They don't seem to spend time together.

I am drawn back to the Peiser Interview tapes which I now have and am reviewing. At one point Mark is talking about being at Corning in Sullivan Park 30 years ago, which is where the deep thinkers hang out and he was to have an interview with a senior engineer about his phosphate opals. He virtually waited in the room all day until finally at four O'Clock the man comes in, covered with sweat and pretty disshevelled looking. So Mark asked what was up and it turned out that they were having trouble with a 30 ton melter doing a phase separation opal. He finally said that putting a lb of water on the forehearth seemed to help. Mark went on to say that it really wound up with Mark and Dick consoling the engineer about his troubles. Nothing was working.

The reason I tell that story here is that Mark came to the conclusion that everyone ultimately was guessing. Then coupling this up with a visit to Weyl back in the late seventies where Weyl couldn't figure out Mark's problem shrugged and said "Maybe more Alumina?" was that after making the worlds densest opaque during the class and having been unable to make it even vaguely opal ever since , is that relying on anyone for a set of roadmaps to nirvana is seriously unlikely in glass. Each of us on the journey have found glass to be a strange mistress that lets you in once and then never again. I am as mystified by the opaque as the engineer with the water on the forehearth. So when you hear about a book by me, or Mark, or Nash, or anyone for that matter always remember that a good recipe can't cross the street. It not only can't, it won't out of pure spite. My copper ruby formula was a fall off a log the best copper red out there in New Mexico. Here in new Hampshire we had to hammer it with black tin to get a strike at all.

The interviews are incredible though, They really need editing and it's going to take time. I haven't seen the tape of the color class but we know we want to bring some of the color class footage into the interviews, particularly the sections on mole chemistry.

Richard Huntrods 12-21-2013 01:02 PM

Back many years ago, I took organic chemistry as part of one degree.

We were making aspirin in the lab; something very routine for undergrad chem labs and one of those "it's really, really hard to mess this up" reactions designed specifically for said undergrad labs.

I was pretty good in the lab. My aspirin was perfect. Except, it was light purple. The lab tech, the prof, even other profs - could not figure out how that was possible, as it did analyze as essentially pure aspirin.

But after that, every batch of aspirin made in class in that lab was the identical shade of light purple, and at least into the late 80's, no one had an explanation for why the color.

As to why every batch afterward, it was attributed to minute particles simply being in the lab and nucleating every reaction afterward.

In later years I made a purple tye-dyed lab coat which I used to invoke as the reason why any experiment would succeed (or fail - a good nonsense reason works well for anything.)

I used to say organic chemical reactions owed as much to the color of the researcher's tie and the phase of the moon as to any other factor.

With my track record, I could put 5 grams of Cobalt into 40lbs of SP batch and get bright orange.

Rich Samuel 12-21-2013 03:29 PM

Nash Notebooks: The Next Generation ;)

Pete VanderLaan 12-21-2013 04:39 PM


Originally Posted by Richard Huntrods (Post 116622)

With my track record, I could put 5 grams of Cobalt into 40lbs of SP batch and get bright orange.

I forget where it was but I have seen the argument for making a red using cobalt. Good luck with that. It is actually true that with the right density of cobalt you can actually see part of the red spectrum. It's a flashing moment and it doesn't make red.

I have seen or read proposals for a variety of colors in glass that are really exclusive to the moment in time and place where it's occurring. A basic proof for a scientific theory is that it's results can be duplicated by a peer in another lab- sort of like with cold fusion in a mayonaisse jar. That one didn't pan out either. Coloring glass is a lot harder than making clear glass and making excellent clear glass is almost impossible without big tools and heavy metals. Little furnaces like studio equipment aren't ever going to make good glass by the criteria of the optical standards.

John Croucher 12-31-2013 11:24 PM

Pete: Nash and I shared a co-op studio 25 years ago with Ann Robinson who later went on to concentrate on casting. If Nash told you I worked for him then his recollection of our historical relationship is profoundly strange. He still buys nearly all his color from Gaffer.

Pete VanderLaan 01-01-2014 08:08 AM

well, John, you and I both know how that stuff goes. It's exactly what he told me. He said Leggot too.

Up here in the fire department we used to have a definition of an expert. It was "Anyone more than 25 miles from home with a briefcase."

I sure wish you had been here for the color class with Mark. That was serious fun.

John Croucher 01-01-2014 11:53 AM

Weird. His mendacity knows no bounds it seems. Incidentally, the Smithsonian has never heard of him!

Pete VanderLaan 01-01-2014 04:07 PM

Always good to hear from you John.

There is a well known american glassblower who I would say fits that decription about perfectly. It's not Dale. Big smiles and hair gel

Brian Graham 02-11-2016 08:54 AM

Reviving this thread once again - any news on this book? Approaching the 3 year mark in a few months...

Pete VanderLaan 02-11-2016 09:08 AM

Nope. I think it's worth going back and reading the comments that exist though particularly Croucher's. Then add in the debacle in Portland. Henry told me yesterday that the next edition of Glassnotes will not include the section on batching I wrote for the 4th edition. I'm actually fine with that since I view the potential liability now as being real. I had told him that all of the resources available in 2004 had long since vanished. If anyone still wants the tech material that the 4th edition had, buy it now. That printing is almost gone and the new one will not have quite a bit of it. When will the new glassnotes come out? I don't know, ask Nash.

But if you want red sheet glass, best to buy it now.

Brian Graham 02-11-2016 09:41 AM

Ouch...just noticed the "Air" thread on Portland / Bullseye Glass. Thanks for the input.

Pete VanderLaan 08-14-2016 11:30 AM

well, at this point it's been three years and not a peep. I would not hold my breath about the book.

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