Last month I finally got around to visiting what has to be the cutest glass studio ever. This slice of rainbow glass heaven is nestled in a pretty valley, just up the road from our shop, in the Granite Belt region of Australia.
Prior to opening his dream studio, Brian spent the last 30 years working as a glazier in the city. One day on a whim he purchased a plane ticket to Japan to take a much over due holiday. He loved the place so much that he flew home, packed up his life and moved to Japan to live. Brian comes from a family of glaziers, his grandfather was a lead lighter and glazier in England, and his father and brother also glaziers. Brian had spent most of his life working with the practicality of glass. Japan lit a spark in him, a yearning for something more creative. So upon returning to Australia he left the city life, bought a property here in the country, and opened Glass Shokunin Studio.
I first met Brian earlier this year when he popped into our Bridget Bunchy Recycled Gallery Shop. We have a few of his amazing dichroic glass earrings and pendants in our shop. I love them, they look like mini galaxies.
His glass studio is only a few kilometres away, back up the New England Highway heading towards Stanthorpe. I am pretty excited that another artist has moved to the village and opened a shop.
I am taken by his story and the bold move he made from owning his own successful glazier company to striking out on his own yet again. The difference is this time he is following his passion for colourful glass artistry.
With years of experience working with plain functional glass, Brian now works exclusively making gorgeous divine glass art – vessels, sculptures, jewellery, garden art and accessories. His pieces focus mainly on glass fusing and flame work using all colours of the rainbow.
What I loved the most about Glass Shokunin Studio is all the little sculptural pieces of glass that hang in the bush or mounted on logs as you meander down the driveway to the studio. His property is immaculately tiny, and everywhere you look glass features in the sweetest of ways.
Brian’s wife took a basket making course on their recent visit back to Japan and is now adding her exquisite woven baskets to the studio.
Originally Brian bought his rural property to be a weekend escape from city life. But he fell in love with the pace of country life Despite leaving a steady income to live the ups and downs as an artist, Brian has never looked back.
I applaud his courage, love his art and hope you enjoy this little sneak peek into his studio and this wonderful pocket of the world I live in.
You will see his sign on the highway (25355 New England Highway) and if the little open sign is hanging down the bottom, head on down. He has no set hours, but will see you coming and open up his studio for a welcoming tour. It is worth it!
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