Designing Craft/Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory

Co-curated by Margaret Hancock Davis, Margot Osborne and Brian Parkes this exhibition brings together 40 contemporary artists, designers and craftspeople all of whom have worked in or are alumni of JamFactory’s studios.

A book is available tracing the history and impact of JamFactory on craft and design locally, nationally and internationally. Purchase our Designing Craft/Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory book online.

ANZ is the principal sponsor of our 40th anniversary and the exhibition Designing Craft/Crafting Design: 40 Years of JamFactory.

The exhibition is supported by Arts SA’s New Exhibitions Fund, Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program supporting touring exhibitions by providing funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia. This exhibition will be toured nationally by Country Arts SA.


Crossed stitch Tightening the thread between contemporary art and craft

Contempo brings together four artists who are proving that craft is not a dirty word.

From a cross-stitcher to a ceramicist, a textile artist to a glass blower, we hear from practitioners who are introducing audiences to traditional craft techniques while showing us that we shouldn’t be poo-poohing the word craft.

6-7pm: lecture

7-8pm: drinks

Nick Mount
Nick Mount is one of the world’s leading glass artists. His vibrant works range from extraordinarily flamboyant scent bottles to more recent glass fruit pieces.

Wednesday 24 April 2013 6pm – 8pm


Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Rd, The Domain 2000
Sydney, Australia

Links: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest (May 17, 2013 - Jan 2014)

Museum of Glass

1801 Dock St,  Tacoma

Museum of Glass presents Links: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest, a new exhibition featuring the work of 21 Australian and five American contemporary glass artists, opening on May 17, 2013 in the Museum’s North and Viola A. Chihuly Galleries and on view until January 2014.

This is the first American museum exhibition dedicated to a wide spectrum of Australian studio glass, and the first to connect artists and institutions in Australia and the Pacific Northwest.

Links: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest tells two related stories that began in the 1970s. In 1974, American artist Richard Marquis travelled to Australia to lecture, demonstrate and build glass studios at the invitation of the Australia Council for the Arts. Marquis’ relationship with Australian artist Nick Mount initiated a lineage of blown glass artists in Australia. The second story centers on kiln-formed glass and the relationship between Klaus Moje, founder of the glass workshop at Australian National University in Canberra, and the Bullseye Glass Company in Portland, OR. In 1979 Moje met Boyce Lundstrom, co-founder of Bulleye Glass Company, while at a workshop at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. At Moje’s instigation, Bullseye Glass Company developed a line of compatible, fusible glass that solved longstanding technical problems. This glass is widely used by Australian artists today.

By Cassandra Smith | Monday March 4 2013 Nick Mount – the fabric of work, installation view. Photo: Jeremy Dillon.

Nick Mount (born Adelaide, 1952) is the embodiment of a disciplined artist. A figurehead in the Australian studio glass movement, Mount’s work ethos insists on a healthy respect for the tools used in glassmaking, of maintaining a constant regime of studio time, and always pushing the boundaries of his medium through continuous making. A high level of skill is evident in the acutely detailed pieces he creates, and the pleasure Mount has derived from the process of hot glass blowing over his 40 year career is positively trumpeted out of the luminously colorful, endlessly variable ‘scent bottles’ which he has been exploring since 1997. These are studies: experiments in variations of form by the hand of a master craftsman, and exquisitely pleasurable to view.

Currently on show at the Geelong Gallery are a selection of hung and ‘reclining bob’ forms with intricately patterned exteriors. The naming is a nod to the exhibition title, the fabric of work, as they are shaped like the ‘plumb bob’ tool, which is attached to a string and used in glass making. Humor is not lost in the titles accompanying some of the ‘scent bottles’ displayed in symbiotic pairs, with titles such as Pear with a can of Pears #080312 2012. This piece consists of one vessel shaped like a can, the other a curvaceous pear, each with a hand-carved olivewood stem, the can of pear’s stem curving protectively around the pear-shaped vessel. The suggestion of a relationship between the two is echoed in the title.

Outlandishly shaped and freely adopting traditional techniques, Mount’s scent bottles showcase the seductive and elusive qualities that can be achieved in glass. The phoenix-like quality of hot-blown glass in particular – born from fire with the artist’s breath giving it form – adds an air of theatre and mystique. Notably, all of the vessels are empty, void of the precious liquid a scent bottle would normally hold. They contain only light, and suggest at scent through colour, texture, and pattern, holding our imagination captive. Peepholes are a recurrent feature; the pieces are lined up to allow the viewer to see the insides of the works, to see through them (opaque glass is no hurdle, then, for the inquisitive visitor.)

Centre-stage holds the teal and white grand showpiece Scent bottle #030808 2011. The fragility of the piece is audible when you come within a one-metre radius of the work; the tinkling noise of the three-piece vessel shifting its weight is an unnerving experience.

Mount’s love affair with hot blown glass stemmed from a fortuitous meeting with the esteemed glass master Richard Marquis (b.1945) in 1975, who he assisted in conducting hot glass blowing workshops in Victoria and Tasmania that year. Marquis’ roots lay in the West Coast of the USA, where the funk craft movement preceded the 1970s American studio glass movement. This individually focused, self-expressive style had an enormous influence on Mount. After visiting California, Mount mixed this influence with the industrial-scale handcrafted style of glass production in Venice and Scandinavia. The fusion of traditional and contemporary glass-blowing methods served as a basis for the set-up of his long-lived studio, which opened under the name Budgeree Glass in 1978.

Looking to the future, the single piece Plum #010512 (2012), with its cross-hatched style pencil markings, the ‘low fire surface decoration’, could be a hint at the direction to which Mount will turn next. This piece stands out among the others through its humble and earthy feel. Elements of this drawing technique are seen in the other works, with the spirograph-like, wispy, curvaceous lines floating throughout the vases, but unlike these, the cross hatchings in Plum #010512 bring the maker’s mark directly onto the surface, exuding warmth.

In the Australian cultural scene, crafts have an intriguing position and are a current hot topic. Crafts are harnessed for many purposes – from activism and self-expression, to utility. The importance and relevance of their display and handling is being discussed at places such as the National Gallery of Victoria and Craft Victoria, the latter organisation holding regular forums and continually try to push the concept of craft to new areas. Mount’s work belongs in this discussion, as he straddles the line between artisan and artist.

On a final note, the tension between Mount’s identity fluctuating between artist and artisan was embodied in the way in which the works in this exhibition were displayed.

The plinths used in the exhibition detracted from the show. An assortment of generic style, clunky white plinths were used, whose function was to hold the vases up to the viewer and be technically invisible – there but not there. These utilitarian platforms cheapened the beautifully carved wooden and metallic squares and sewn sacks that many of the glass vessels rested on, and could have been scaled in a better way, or perhaps of a finer material, to reflect the quality of the pieces.

Already a master of his trade, yet allowing himself to stay fresh by constantly exploring new territory in the poetry of glass – the possibilities of a limitless, endlessly shapeable form – it will be an intriguing journey to follow Mount’s trail of inquiry into the next decades.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Nick Mount – the fabric of work

Geelong Gallery

16 February – 12 May

Cassandra Smith |

Cassandra Smith is an emerging Melbourne artist and writer. This year will see her completing her undergraduate Fine Art degree at RMIT.

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Talks - Geelong Gallery


Meet the artist or curator and find out about the stories behind selected works on display. Free! No bookings required.

Tony Hanning 
Nick Mount—the fabric of work
Friday 1 March at 11.00am

Join Australian glass artist, author and lecturer, Dr Tony Hanning who will discuss contemporary studio glass art and explore the practice of Nick Mount. Copies of Tony Hanning’s book, Nick Mount: The Fabric of Work, will be available to purchase at the Gallery Shop for $49.95.

Nick Mount—
the fabric of work 
Wednesday 10 April at 12.30pm 

Presented by Geoffrey Edwards, Director, Geelong Gallery and the author of Art of Glass


The Penfolds Ampoule Project For Your Rare Wine

The Vessel: 

The glass sculpture was designed and hand-blown by Nick Mount, an internationally recognized glass artist. To encase the ampoule, Nick has designed and hand blown a conical, elongated plumb-bob of transparent grey glass with a ruby red ‘cotton-reel’ top. The plumb-bob is suspended in a bespoke Jarrah cabinet, with the ampoule held securely at its core.



Thursday, 27 October 2011

Nick Mount -  represented by Thomas R. Riley galleries - Booth 820

CHICAGO —The Art Fair Company, based in Chicago, again presents two art fairs under one roof at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Avenue) Friday, Nov. 4 – Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.

For the second straight year, SOFA CHICAGO 2011, the critically acclaimed International Sculpture Objects & Functional Art Fair, will share the Pier’s Festival Hall with The Intuit Show of Folk & Outsider Art. SOFA CHICAGO, now in its 18th year, enjoys the prestigious position of being the largest and longest continually running art fair in Chicago, a mainstay of the city’s cultural and social calendar. The Chicago Sun-Times hails SOFA CHICAGO as “amazing,” and Bradley Lincoln of Chicago Home + Garden raves, “This is one of my favorite art shows in Chicago – I guarantee you will see some flashy, jaw dropping works of…genius.” The SOFA CHICAGO and Intuit Show’s joint Opening Night Preview on Thursday, Nov. 3 will be open to the public from 7 – 9 p.m. with ticket purchase. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit