High demand for Glass Casting Courses - New Dates! - 17th Feb 2012

Di Tocker has just announced the dates for the final two Glass Casting Workshops for 2012.  Di says "Interest is definitely increasing in my courses, there were some people left disappointed at missing out on the Summer Workshop earlier this year".

There will be a Winter Workshop - June 9th and 10th, July 14th and a Spring Workshop - September 29th and 30th, November 3rd.  Di explains "I can only manage to do 3 workshops a year as I have other commissions on the go and I really need to continue with the development of my own work".

It is necessary to book early to avoid missing out on Di's Glass Casting Courses. 

Click on the links below to download full details and enrolment forms.
Techniques of Glass Casting - 3 day Workshop
Enrolment Form Winter 2012
Enrolment Form Spring 2012

Glass Casting Workshop Success! - 7th Feb 2012

Glass Casting Workshop Success! Ten students attended Di Tocker's inaugural Glass Casting Workshop at her newly built studio in Ohaupo on the 4th and 5th of February.  It was an all women crew, and abilities differed some having done some glass work before but most were new to the techniques of glass casting.

Plenty of laughs were had as the group connected well and Di kept the atmosphere light while insuring plenty of information was shared about the processes.

On Saturday the students spent all day working on their wax models, carving fantastic forms from solid blocks of wax.  As usual the subject matter was completely varied, there was a candle holder, labyrinth, houses, cat, negative figure forms and other abstract forms. 

On Sunday the kiln molds were made, by layering the plaster over the wax model.  The wax was steamed out then the kiln was loaded ready for firing during the week.

All students responded well to the challenges and will be looking forward to returning on the 10th of March, when they will reveal their glass within the mold and use cold-working techniques to finish it.

Some of the student comment from the weekend;
"Excellent pace, amazed at how much we got through"
"Di is well organised and very approachable.  She knows when to stand back and when to move in without being pushy or superior"
"Seriously enjoyable"
"Very informative, great notes"

Summer Glass Casting Workshop Full - 15th Jan 2012

Summer Glass Casting Workshop Full Di Tocker's Summer Glass Casting Workshop to be held in her new purpose built studio is full.  There has been a huge amount of interest in her courses of late and as a result Di will run the course with 10 students, instead of 8.

Di will have an assistant working with her during the 3 day workshop to ensure the course runs smoothly. Being in her newly completed and well equipped studio will help also.

Students will get to complete their own glass object cast from Blackwood Lead Crystal.  They will work through the complete process - wax modeling, mold making, glass selection, kiln loading, kiln schedules, de-molding and glass finishing.  Students can expect 3 days in a fun and totally informative environment with Di Tocker, full-time glass artist.

New Kiln for Glass Casting - 4th Jan 2012

New Kiln for Glass Casting Arriving just in time for Christmas is the new kiln for Glass Casting in Di Tocker's studio.    Purchased second-hand, though only fired once the kiln has yet to be fully installed.  This will happen in January.  Di is thrilled about the buy  "I have been looking for a kiln for over a year now, second hand ones like this don't come up often so Colleen and I took a rushed, crazy trip up to Auckland leaving at 5.30am.  When it looked good, we didn't hesitate".

Di continues to share studio space with long-time glass colleague Colleen Ryan-Priest and as they are both keen to 'step up' their practice, the new purchase was ineveitable.  The kiln allows both artists to increase the footprint and height of their currents works, and allows for more works to be fired together.

The delivery guys (not Santa!) bought the kiln down on the 23rd of December.  What a present!

Glass Casting Courses running again - 2nd Dec 2011

Glass Casting Courses running again Di Tocker has announced she is running Glass casting Workshops again.  Di had a small break from taking courses while her purpose built Glass Casting Studio in Ohaupo, Waikato was built.

The studio is now equipped with all the gear and facilities to ensure Di can continue to deliver fun and informative workshops once again.  Di says she prides herself on running well organised workshops, " I like to know my students are going away, not only with a self-created glass piece, but also with their brains bursting with knowledge about the techniques and possibilities of this fantastic medium".

The Summer 2012 Glass Casting Workshop Dates are Saturday 4 February, Sunday 5 February and Saturday 10 March, 9.30am - 4pm.

Glass Casting Courses full details and enrolment form.

RE:FRACTION Outdoor Glass Sculpture exhibition - 24th Oct 2011

Twenty-one glass artists from around the country display works at Waitakaruru Sculpture Park.

The exhibition includes work from artists such as Colleen Ryan-Priest, Stephanie Mann, Pam Olver, Ron Reichs and Lee Brogan. Also included is thirteen student works from the Whanganui Glass School.

Refraction is the most popular exhibition of the parks yearly seasonal exhibitions. Held in the rock garden area in October each year you get to hear the local frogs sing while viewing unique peices of art in a spectacular setting.
The exhibition was profiled on TVNZ and you can watch a video here

Below is an interview from Radio New Zealand with artists Di Tocker and Colleen Ryan-Priest ,co park owner Dorothy Wakeling, Sarah Anderson of the Sculpture Trust and curator of Refraction, Karl Chitham .

Click here to listen

This is a YouTube video from the previous years exhibition, well worth checking out.

Here is the crucial info:
Waitakaruru Arboretum and Sculpture Park
207 Scotsman Valley Rd, Tauwhare.
Owners John & Dorothy Wakeling,
Ph (07) 824 0733;
email info@sculpturepark.co.nz.
Open daily, 10am until dusk, entry $10 per person.

Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 - 23rd Aug 2011

Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 As a first time Ranamok finalist I was very keen to attend the opening and check out Canberra Glassworks. The event was well attended by the kiwi finalists. Those who made the trip over were Lee Brogan, Sue Hawker and Kim Logue from Northland; Chris Cathie and Jenny Judge from Auckland and myself (Di Tocker) from Waikato.

The team at Glassworks did an awesome job of presenting the show. With 32 finalists and 35 works, there seem to be just the right amount of works to fill the spaces. In the large entry area 6 works were placed on low-ish plinths with clear perspex boxes protecting the works. Chris Cathie's O-void was in this space. This is the first of these works I have seen finished and I have to say it was impressive; although the work oozes fluidity, the form is so strong it absolutely commands the space. I couldn't get a photo of Chris's work due to the perspex box cover. Through to the next area smaller works were displayed on plinths and also some wall hung works. Here was Jenny Judge's Discarded, Sue Hawkers Joseph's Ewer and Kim Logue's Exposed. My work Stick to your knitting was hung in this area also. It was a relief to see it hung correctly after needing to supply 3 pages of installation instructions! It certainly would have been the hardest work for the team to install - thanks Glassworks! In the last space, a round room of red bricks there were 7 plinths containing medium to large works, including Lee Brogan's Ficticious Shores and Keryn Whitney's Destruct; Construct. All works were in clears, reds and blacks; this space was magic; moody and still, just right to contemplate the works.

It was here that Masahiro Asaka's winning work Surge 12 was. Thoroughly deserved of the title Masahiro's work is beautiful and harsh all at the same time. In my opinion this work was a very worthy winner. It was clear that everyone in the Glassworks 'family' was absolutely rapt for him. Masahiro is working out of Glassworks as an artist in residency this year, working towards his first solo show in January.

The following day after the opening us Kiwis that were still in town were given a 'behind the scenes' tour of Glassworks from Mel George. It was awesome to see the just what they have achieved in 4 years, to see the well thought out working spaces and imagine the possiblities of working in such a facility. An added bonus was that Masahiro Asaka was back in the studio (“after little sleep” he said!) and removing two large works from the kiln. I was able to hang around and watch this process, during which he has to be so careful because his works really are so sharp!

It was an awesome trip; great to meet new 'glassies' from Australia, to get to know my kiwi colleagues a little better, to spend time exploring art, glass and Canberra with Mike (my husband) and to thoroughly check out Canberra Glassworks.

Photo: Masahiro Asaka's winning glass work Surge 12

Di Tocker: Finalist for Ranamok Prize for Contempory Glass 2011 - 3rd Jul 2011

Di Tocker: Finalist for Ranamok Prize for Contempory Glass 2011 Di Tocker has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Ranamok Glass Award 2011 with her suspended glass sculpture 'Stick to your knitting'.   Di says "I have been working towards this result for the past 4 years, however I have never entered a work the competition before now.  I have tried to produce (what I think) is an outstanding piece worthy of this top class competition...but in each of the past 3 years it has eluded me".
She is one of 32 finalists selected from a field of 108.

Di won The Swarbrick Dixon Award for Excellence in Glass at The Sculpture Park @ Waitakaruru Aboretum, Hamilton, NZ last year with a similar work, also titled Stick to your Knitting.  "People really responded to the work, loved the subject and quirky-ness of it, however I felt technically the piece could be improved.  I also wanted to place the work in a gallery space, making the work more confronting".  The new work is larger; each of the knitting needles are 1 metre long, the beads are now all clear and slightly larger, causing the 'knitting' to bulk out and the sculpture to become more 3-D than its predecessor.

Ranamok is the best of the limited number of glass competitions open to residents of NZ and Australia.  It is a travelling exhibition, offering viewers the chance to enjoy high quality, innovative glass artworks by top artists in the glass field at the current time.  This year the exhibition venues will be Canberra Glassworks 17 August - 22 September, Angel Place Foyer, Sydney 4  - 29th October and Riverside Centre, Brisbane 7 - 11 November.

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