Greg Smith has worked with several different methods of creating art glass since the late 1980s. He is best known for his paperweights, like the one above, in which he combines laminating, engraving, and etching to produce the glass "feature" and then encapsulates this within a hot glass paperweight.
Some of Greg Smith's work is overtly humorous and irreverent, like his cartoon fish and clown heads, and the "Alien Tourist" paperweight shown above. Other pieces are more serious and simple, informed by ancient lapidary techniques of the Pacific Rim, and a deep love for the land and seas. In his paperweights he enjoys creating images from rock drawings, palm tree sunsets, and fossils on the one hand, and at the other extreme, scenes with flying saucers and strange faces.
Greg is also recognised for his cast glass work, and two of his pieces were selected for display in the exhibition "The Cast" which toured New Zealand in 2001 -2002. One of these, "Killer Red" is shown below. This cast glass piece takes the shape of a traditional ritual killing blade.
Greg Smith began working with Glass in 1985 at Avalon Glass on the West Coast of the South Island.
In 1998 he was awarded a QE11 Arts Council Grant to study with Ann Robinson and Garry Nash at Sunbeam Glassworks. In 1995 he was awarded a QEII Arts Council Emerging Artists Study Grant which he used to study with Prof. Boyce Lundstrom, co creator of Bullseye
Fusable Glass, at his factory / studio in Southern California. During his time there Greg was immersed in all aspects of kiln glass-working. On his return from the United States Greg worked on a series of cast glass disc pendants with Kobi Bosshard (a gold and silver-smith). He also
began a series of Ritual Blades, made in open cast moulds, cold worked and hand finished.
In 1997 Greg Smith was selected with one other NZ Glass Artist to be a Finalist in the RFC Glass Awards in Australia. The two pieces selected were a Ritual Blade and an Armband, both cast, carved and hand finished. In 1998 Ornament, the U.S. Quarterly, featured his work with Kobi and gold and silversmith Tracie Piercy in a two-page spread. In 1999 two pieces from his collaboration with Kobi were selected as finalists for the RFC.
Above: Greg Smith's "Broken Dreams" paperweight.
The paperweight shown above, is very special to Greg. It features a south sea island with a ship sailing by and a face on the ship in profile. When he was making it, the glass picture broke in half. This happened at the time when Greg had just learned about a tragedy in his family. He finished the paperweight using the broken pieces, calling it by the poignant name "Broken Dreams".
Greg Smith is one of the artists featured in the author's book about New Zealand Glass. This book covers both extensive historical information and current glass artists in New Zealand, with some superb photographs and explanatory text.
|INFORMATION about New Zealand Glass !|
Including many original catalog pictures and dozens of photographs.
NOW available - this is the new second edition of this book and it covers the fascinating history of glass in New Zealand, the story of Crown Crystal Glass, NZ bottles and an overview of contemporary New Zealand glass artists.
Available as a paperback or as a Kindle book.
Buy Now or take a look
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