Lifestyle

How to blow your own artwork

ALAN Ussher's glassblowing studio in South Lismore has the look and feel of a laboratory.

All around is an array of gas burners, kilns and industrial tools employed to shape the tubes of Pyrex he uses to create his intricate works.

Known as lampworking, this style of glass work was perfected in the late 1800s for the production of lamps and scientific equipment.

It is thought the earliest verifiable object made of lampworked glass is a collection of beads dating from the fifth century BC.

"This is small scale style of working and it is an affordable operation," Ussher said.

 

He takes tubes of Pyrex and manipulates them into shapes, drawing colour and finer shapes into the objects as they form.

It's all done in the blast of flame from the custom made gas burners that fire a variety of flames of different intensities to shape the glass.

Using this technique he is able to create and join complex shapes into functional objects and works of art.

"It is quite a technical process but it is very versatile," he said.

"As well as works of art, I can make hot and cold drink containers and kitchenware such as tea pots and wine glasses."

Ussher also repairs and builds complex scientific apparatus.

He occasionally does repair work for the laboratories at Southern Cross University.

"I have also worked with inventors making vessels for specific experiments they were running," he said.

Ussher was recently part of the 10th Annual Flame on Glass Exhibition at Kirra Galleries in Melbourne.

The show focused exclusively of the work of lampworkers and Ussher created a collection of sci-fi inspired objects.

 

He says he has always been interested in art and music.

"I had worked in a number of mediums but this is the one that stuck," he said

"I have always liked a challenge and this is certainly is a challenging medium.

"I like the versatility and the colour is very attractive.

"I like that it is different and not everyone is doing it, so it's easy to stand out in the crowd."

Ussher's Gallery is open to the public, and he sells his work at the monthly Lismore Makers Market. He also offers classes in lampworking at his studio. The cost is $50 an hour per person and students get personalised tuition in his fully equipped studio.

  • Alan Ussher Glass blowing: 14 Foleys Road, South Lismore. Ph: 0439468983 or visit alanussher.com

Topics:  artist profile, classes




Parents' worst nightmare: Daughter, 6, could be deported

The family of six-year-old Lennox Head girl Sienna Tippett have applied for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene so she doesn't get deported for having an undiagnosed mystery illness.

A Northern Rivers family has started the fight of their life.

New $1.7m McDonald’s planned for the Northern Rivers

An artist's impression of a proposed new McDonald's for Ballina.

The new fast food outlet would create about 80 new jobs

Don’t get caught out by fake $50 notes being circulated

Police are warning people to be on the lookout for counterfeit $50 notes that have been circulating on the Northern Rivers.

Counterfeit notes used to buy alcohol, petrol and supermarket items

Latest deals and offers

Prince Harry regrets not talking about Diana's death

Diana, Princess of Wales, enjoys a ride on the Maid of Mist in Niagara Falls, Ont., in this Oct., 1991, with her sons Prince Harry, then 7, and Prince William, then 9.

The royal was 12 years old when his mother was killed

Oh Kim, be careful with the spray tan when breast feeding

Kim Kardashian West accidentally smothered North's face in fake tan

Michael Hutchence doco to show a life lived INXS

Michael Hutchence.

Michael Hutchence will live in tell-all feature-length documentary.

Sunshine Coast cooks to do battle for Masterchef crown

asterChef Australia finalists Matt Sinclair and Elena Duggan.

Noosa's Matt and Elena stay mates to the very end.

Matilda The Musical's clean sweep at Helpmann Awards

A scene from Matilda The Musical.

TIM Minchin-scored production enjoys record awards haul.

Harry's MasterChef exit makes way for all-Noosa grand final

Harry Foster congratulates MasterChef finalists Elena Duggan and Matt Sinclair after a closely-fought semi-final.

YOUNG Rocky-born cook now working in his dream job in Tasmania.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started