“As a mature-aged student I continue to find S.C.A. a spectacularly supportive institution for self-directed and highly motivated post-graduate studies.”
Wayne Pearson MSA, MVA
PhD candidate (Glass Studio)
Practice and Aims of the Studio
The first University to offer Glass in Australia, the Sydney College of the Arts, Glass Studio is internationally recognized for its progressive approach to the education of artists/designers who work with glass and other media. For 25 years the Glass Studio has maintained a reputation for developing and producing diverse range of graduates who have professional profiles in contexts such as contemporary art, studio glass, architectural glass, large-scale public installations, design, jewellery, lighting, set design and the arts industry profession.
The Glass Studio seeks to generate self-motivated and critically informed artists, craftspeople and designers who utilise glass as a medium through which to express their ideas. The Glass Studio program is structured to expose students to a diversity of approaches in utilising glass and its unique qualities. The aims of the glass program are: to ground students in the historical aspects of the material, to encourage the development of the necessary skills for working the material in a wide range of applications, to cultivate a contemporary dialogue of issues informing practice, to promote individual exploration within and between media and to assist and equip students with the necessary skills for working as professional artists.
This is achieved using a learning matrix that is designed to guide students toward a sustainable practice which has a material focus of glass. Processes are explored including including glass blowing and hot sculpting, glass fusing and slumping, coldworking, flameworking, architectural glass and installation, glass design and production for artists and lighting design.
Students can expect to focus on the following key areas during their BVA:
Year One Looking towards the past - using the wealth of craft knowledge
Year Two Knowing now – parameters of contemporary practice
Year Three Future Practice today - a self contextualisation project
Professional academic staff encourage students to cultivate a self-directed contemporary visual art practice that is underpinned by research and experimentation; students are guided to resolve their ideas by using the most appropriate materials and processes available. Students acquire specialized skills and contextual knowledge through critiques, personalized tutorials, and workshops run by staff, visiting lecturers and visiting artists from a variety of disciplinary areas including design and computer aided design. A successful professional placement program and regular gallery and studio visits allow students to establish important industry links.
The Glass program covers the history of glass, the international studio glass movement and thoroughly explores glass in a contemporary art context. Students may wish to base themselves in glass and explore other media such as installation and performance.
All Academic and Technical Staff are practicing international artists, who hold relevant higher degrees in visual art. The glass studio staff aim to provide the highest standards in teaching and student experience. Both full time academic staff Andrew Lavery (Studio Chair) and Jane Gavan (Associate Dean Learning and Teaching) hold qualifications in learning and teaching in higher education.
The Glass Studio promotes a culture collaboration where the students operate as a professional group. The community aspect of the studio is augmented by regular meetings designed to introduce students to the arts industry by providing a forum where information is shared enabling the development of networks in relevant industries. The studio boasts a strong research culture, with a number of well-known artists who are either MVA or PHD candidates.
No prior experience with glass is required to be eligible to study in the glass studio.
The facilities are managed by Marcus Dillon, a practising artist who has owned and operated a successful access glass studio. The studio has recently undergone a series of upgrades across the various sub disciplines in glass. The studio was recently awarded a grant for 8 new multi-point annealing kilns which will add to the current repertoire of 11 kilns.
The studio is equipped with twenty kilns designed for various applications. Three of the large casting kilns and two of the fusing and slumping kilns are equipped with digital multipoint annealing computers. The studio has a purposed design wax and mould making room, excellent coldworking facilities including, lathes, three diamond saws, two linishers, suhners, core drill, engraving station and two flat bed grinders (one with diamond pads). The studio is equipped with two sandblasters, a spray booth, full lampworking lab, a hot glass facility with three glory holes (largest opening 560mm), a new garage, 200kg furnace, two large annealers, knock off bench with hand torches, LP torches and numerous spiral arts punties and blowpipes. The facilities are well maintained with a carefully managed maintenance schedule.
Within the studio students have access to CAD (computer aided design) and CNC (computer numerical control) Lab equipped with Rhino CNC software. This enables students to computer model complex forms and designs and create tool paths for CNC machines.
A unique part of the student experience in the Glass Studio at SCA is unfettered access to a well-equipped central workshop (adjacent to the glass studio) that ofers a full range of facilities additional to the excellent range of studio-specific facilities in the glass studio. The workshop includes facilities for woodwork (panelsaw, bandsaw, thicknesser, mitresaw, V-nailer, sanders etc and power tools), metalwork (folders, roller, metal guillotine, lathe, metal bandsaw, cold saw, metal lathe etc.) and welding (MIG, TIG, Oxy, Electric arc and spot welder) allowing students to construct small or large installation works or objects in various media. Technical support is provided by a highly skilled studio supervisor.
Brendan Scott French
Recent Visiting Artists/Lecturers
Francis Upritchard, New Zealand
Mark Zirpel, USA
Matteo Gonet, Switzerland
Steve Dee Edwards, USA
Current Postgraduate Students
Wayne Pearson, PhD
Cassandra Daw, PhD
Lee Mathers, MVA
Polina Gavria, MVA
Marina Hyasat, MVA
Mark Eliott, MVA
Ernest Salerno, MVA
Stevie Fieldsend, MSA
Glass Studio Matrix
Professional Assistance Listing