Glassblower Amanda Dziedzic has been creating her distinctive glassworks for almost 10 years. I first met her at the JamFactory artist space in Adelaide, when she’d just completed her traineeship, and not long after, she was part of TDF’s first-ever Open House event in 2011, where we completely sold out of her glass bonsai! Several years on, and Amanda is stepping into a whole new realm with her practice, and we’re so excited to collaborate once more, and show her work in a whole new light!
When we started working on the TDF Design Awards earlier this year, Amanda was one of the first people we approached to collaborate with. We knew that if we were going to try to pull off an Awards ceremony that crossed disciplines, from small-scale craft practices to big-budget architecture projects, we wanted our winners to go home with something that truly represented the very best in Australian design. And that’s where Amanda came in.
We spent months developing these distinctive one-of-a-kind glass trophies with Amanda, and when we finally released them to the world, we were overwhelmed by the response! It seemed like many of you wanted to take home one of these special keepsakes yourselves. And so, we got to work again!
The one-of-a-kind glass sculptures in Colourscapes are an extension of the trophies Amanda spent months refining for us for our Awards. These sculptural pieces, though, are bigger and bolder than the trophies, and really lean into this new technique of swirling and combining rich colours within the molten glass. There are a total of seventeen sculptural glass pieces in this exhibition, each one completely unique in size, form and colour.
It’s been a big year for Amanda. In addition to working on our trophies, her existing product range (yes, those glass bonsai are still going strong!) and countless other commissions, Amanda also been building her own brand new glass studio, Hot Haus, in Heidelberg West – a huge leap! She’s SUPER excited to launch this new space with an Open Day on November 23rd – stay tuned for more info on that soon!
Can you describe the glass pieces in this upcoming show? What was the inspiration, and how have the works evolved?
These new works are a carry-on from those I created with Lucy and Annie (TDF’s art director) for the Design Files Awards – making those trophies was a real springboard leap into new things for me. It is rare to get the opportunity to really immerse yourself in new works, and this one was too good not to grab with both hands and run with it. I don’t think I have ever experimented with colour so freely, and given my love for colour, it seems nuts that this is the first time these works have come to life!
I was very cautious with both the colours and the sizes in the beginning. I was hesitant to mix certain colours and restricted myself to making quite small while I was doing my tests. As my colour application became more confident so did my sense of scale. I am very, VERY pleased with the progression and outcome of these works. I worked so hard on them and I am just thrilled to see the outcome – I’m very proud of them.
How long has the process of creating this series taken, and can you talk us a little through the process/materials used?
I would say this process has taken at least 6 – 8 months to craft from start to finish. I spent a lot of time thinking about the colour combinations, then spent a continuous block of two months where I worked solidly every week on developing the works. A large portion of this work relies on the colour itself, and glass colour heats differently. For example, a blue is notoriously soft and a red very hard to work with. This all starts to get a bit scientific as each of their make up (while still glass) is different.
Once I started to get a feel for what certain colours would do when combined I could start to manipulate and control the form. I feel as though I am starting to develop a language that I can decipher when making these types of works. Colour plus heat plus air and gravity = new works!
You’ve recently moved into a new space! How long have you been in there, what are some of the things you love about it, and what do you hope to achieve there?
Yes! Our new home! Laurel Kohut [fellow glass artist] and I have started a new glass studio in Heidelberg West called Hot Haus. For a long time, I dreamt of my ideal working studio and what I wanted in a space. Lots of light, greenery, colour, music, good equipment and space to grow. I work so hard, I wanted to create a space where I was stoked to come to work every day. I think I can honestly say we have achieved that!
We had the excellent guidance of my mate and builder extraordinaire, Dingo Brown – he built our dreamy arch-windowed peach design pods which have become an iconic drawcard for the studio, and amazing shelving unit in the showroom. He is a bloody legend (who else agrees to make arch windows happen and accepts designs scribbled on the back of a Bunnings receipt?)We have had so much help from friends and family, our logo was designed by the queen herself, Beci Orpin! We are very proud to be throwing open the doors on Saturday, November 23rd and celebrating with a makers market to celebrate [check back into TDF for more on that this Wednesday!].
This year has been huge for you. How do you feel about all these massive achievements, and what have you learned about your practice/yourself?
It has been a MASSIVE year. If I actually sit still and think about it I almost can’t believe it. On top of working for TDF on the Design Awards, a solo exhibition, building a studio and running my business, I’m also raising a little boy! Cassius just turned one in July, it is mental!
I am learning that you can craft the life you want. It isn’t easy by any feat, but it is possible. Laurel and I talk often that we are crafting our own destinies (as corny as that may sound), but it feels amazing to have the power to do that. We both work so hard and I really believe we are on the cusp of something great.
I think what I have learned most from this exhibition is my working habits. I need to be working on the pieces constantly to achieve progress. I need to be surrounded by them and I need continuity to create. Perhaps one of the most exciting things about a new studio will be having unlimited access to my material. Being able to experiment and push new ideas will be monumental.
Please join us, and Amanda, for the opening of Colourscapes next Saturday, November 30th!
All the works in this show are now pictured on the TDF Collect website, and are available to purchase via email from today – inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colourscapes by Amanda Dziedzic
Saturday November 30th – Thursday December 5th
14 Little Oxford Street
Saturday Nov 30th, 10:00am – 5:00pm, with opening drinks from 2:00pm
Sunday Dec 1st, 11:00am – 3:00pm
Monday Dec 2nd, CLOSED
Tuesday Dec 3rd, 10:00 – 4:00pm
Wednesday Dec 4th, 10:00 – 4:00pm
Thursday 5th, Dec 10:00 – 4:00pm