Glass Prizes at Easter Show - 10th Apr 2015

Communicate! by Di Tocker

The largest amount of glass entries was received at this years Aucklnad Easter Show Art Awards with over 100 entries.  The standard of glass making was at the highest level and covered the many disciplines of working in the medium.  The prizes were allocated as below.

Decorative and Sculptural Glass
1st Prize - "Waiting" Francia Smeets
2nd Prize - "No title" - David Traub
3rd Prize - "Communicate!" - Di Tocker

Wearable Glass
1st Prize - "Falling" - Frances Hanson
2nd Prize - "Blue Birds Over" - Carol Croucher

3rd Prize - "A Day at the Beach" - Frances Hanson
"Time for Reflection" - Heather Olesen
"Water World" - Keith Grinter
"Carnival of Glass" - John Hanson
"Sea Pod" - Lou Prendergrast-Mathieson
"Untitled" - Kathryn Bartlett
"The Dawn Chorus" - Frances Hanson

Peoples Choice - "Time for Reflection" - Heather Olesen

Congratulations to all the winners!

Kiln 1, kiln 2, kiln 3 - 16th Feb 2015

Friday the 13th of February was a lucky day at Dicastglass Studio as we took delivery of our 3rd kiln.

This is an exciting step to producing more and larger glass objects.  Di Tocker says "It became apparent that I would need more kiln capacity last year.  The large works I want to make from my Rooms series take one month to fire in the kiln and I couldn't fit anymore than 3 in last year.  I would like to make at least 6 per year but I also need to keep up with commissions, gallery supply and students work".

Di gave a lot of thought as to whether to trade up a smaller kiln for 2 larger kilns but in the end decided more flexibility would be created from have 3 medium size kilns.

Casting Crystal - full supply to New Zealand - 2nd Feb 2015

Casting Crystal - full supply to New Zealand All colours of Blackwood Casting Crystal are in stock and available from Dicastglass near Hamilton, NZ.  You can order Blackwood Casting Crystal in 1kg amounts from the Dicastglass online store and it will be delivered direct to you.

Manufactured in Victoria, Australia, Blackwood is the casting glass of choice for full time caster Di Tocker.  Di loves the organic colour mixes, that have full compatibility with each other, and release fantastically from the plaster/silica moulds she uses in her practice. Blackwood Casting Crystal is also very responsive to cold-working.

Bronze (see images) was introduced to the glass casters pallet in 2014, soon to follow was citrus (a pale yellow) and soon to arrive (after some final compatibility tests) will be pink.

Glass Cloak Embraces All - 22nd Sep 2014

I have been asked to create a work in response to an item of my choice from the archives of the Te Awamutu Museum.  This has been an interesting exercise leading me in journey with twists and turns as my ideas and thoughts have morphed along the way.

I chose a whale bone Patu, which once belonging to a local Maori woman Rahapa Te Hauata.  She married Irishman Thomas Power in the 1800's. I was quite taken with the Patu when I found out that family members still visit it at the Museum archives.  It wasn't so much about the form, although I did respond its simplistic shape - it was more about the item being surrounded by family.  I consider that the family draws strength from the Patu.

The models in my studio developed over time into a cloak form (gathering) and after 2 initial attempts that failed to translate fully into glass, I got this result.  And after asking the lovely and helpful audience on Facebook I settled on a name - Embrace.

I will continue to explore this series, hoping to place 3 of these (different colours) in the exhibition to be held at the Te Awamutu Museum at the end of this year.

Embrace our people, embrace our loved ones, embrace our land...

Sculpture Wheels make Moulding easy. - 7th Sep 2014

Sculpture Wheels make Moulding easy.

I am always on the look out for tools that can make any job easier and more efficient.  Turntables/lazy susans are useful items in a sculpture studio, but I never found one just the right one for my purpose of use in the casting studio.
So I created one, 2 actually so I could have 2 sizes.  Over the past few months I have trialled these in my glass casting studio and am totally happy with the results.

The sculpture wheel  is available in 300mm and 460mm diameter;

  • it makes moulding easier,
  • helps to maintain even wall thickness of layer moulds,
  • helps to view all angles of work when modelling / hand-building wax, clay, plasticine or other modelling materials,
  • is easy to spin allowing for even decorating and mark-making,
  • could be used for cake decorating, painting models, 360 degree photography -the uses are endless.
To purchase a sculpture wheel from Dicastglass head to the Casting Supplies online store.

Paper Dolls in Glass resonate with Families - 28th Jul 2014

Paper Dolls in Glass resonate with Families

I started making (what I call) the Paper People series in 2008.  Others call them cut-outs, paper dolls, paper families.  I have always received great feedback for these in cast glass, but interestingly these were very slow to sell.

Technically quite difficult to cast in glass, I actually gave up making them for a couple of years.  But over the past couple of years demand has been high.  I have overcome some of the technical problems and the Paper People Series in cast glass are now sold around New Zealand at various galleries.

These are the latest in the Paper People series to travel to new homes.

Mould Making Silicone available at Dicastglass - 28th Jul 2014

Mould Making Silicone available at Dicastglass RTV2 (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) Silicone Rubber is a Premium Mould Making silicone that cures at room temperature to form a tough and flexible silicone rubber in under 24 hours. It offers excellent detail reproduction with high tear strength for long lasting moulds. RTV2 Silicone Rubber moulds release easy due to  non-adherent, flexible and elastic properties when used at the correct mixing ratio.

RTV2 Silicone Rubber has a medium viscosity which makes it ideal for pouring or brushing. Its high temperature (up to 200°C) and chemical resistance make it well suited for all types of casting resins such as polyester, polyurethane and epoxy as well as some low heat alloys. Applications include arts restoration, general handy crafts, wax casting, plaster forms, seals, stage decorations, statuettes and many more.

When RTV2 Catalyst is added at 3% to the RTV2 Silicone Rubber, the product has an average working time of around 30-40 minutes at 25°C. The actual curing time is approximately 2-4 hours. The mixing ratio needs to be accurate so an electronic scale is recommended to weigh the RTV2 Silicone Rubber and RTV2 Catalyst. Do NOT attempt to speed up or slow down the working time by adding more or less RTV2 Catalyst. Do not use this product in temperatures below 0°C. Be aware that the more RTV2 Catalyst added may result in greater silicone mould shrinkage.


Knitting Sculpture at Hamilton Gallery - 25th Jul 2014

Knitting Sculpture at Hamilton Gallery

Di Tocker's glass sculpture 'Stick to your Knitting' is on exhibition at Aesthete Gallery in Hamilton, NZ.  Made in 2010, and selected as a finalist in the Ranamok Glass Prize, Di is thrilled to see it on exhibition again.  Crafted from 14,000 glass beads and borosilicate glass rods shaped into 'knitting needles', this assembled glass artwork has made its way to Canberra, Sydney and finally back to New Zealand.

'Stick to your Knitting' currently hangs in the window at Aesthete Gallery, Cnr Rostrevor and Victoria Streets, Hamilton.  Aesthete is open Wednesday to Friday 10 am -4pm and Saturdays 10am - 2pm.

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