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Why Amanda Dziedzic chose the hottest form of design

Blowing and shaping molten glass at temperatures higher than 1000°C is hot work to say the least. So how does Amanda Dziedzic make it look so cool? Susan Muldowney chats to the Melbourne-based artist about her fiery obsession.

 
Amanda Dziedzic was introduced to the physically demanding art of glassblowing during her Visual Arts degree at University of South Australia back in 2005. But it wasn’t until her two-year associateship at Adelaide’s acclaimed JamFactory that she began to hone the skills behind her striking glass designs.
 
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“You have to be very careful and know your limits, as the last thing you want is to injure yourself and be taken out of the game.”

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Glassblowing creates huge demands of the maker – how do you do it?

It’s one of the things I actually quite like. When I come home tired, gritty, hot and usually smelling of smoke, I know I’ve worked hard! You have to be very careful and know your limits, as the last thing you want is to injure yourself and be taken out of the game.
 
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Describe your production process

A usual day on the glass usually goes something like this… Arrive a couple of hours early to sort my colour for the day and get the equipment warming up. My first assistant (Jaan) will pick up the colour when it is at the right temperature, pop a bubble in it, then take a dip of clear glass from the furnace. I’ll blow and shape it and my second assistant (Dani) will bring me a punty to transfer it from the blowpipe. We’ll then be able to work on the top of the piece and finish it. As far as getting each piece right, it really is about reading the glass and knowing your heat. Repetition is key to learning glass blowing.

 
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What inspires your work?

Plant life is my biggest inspiration. Plants are so incredible and will always be a source of wonder for me. The other guiding force in my design process is colour.
 
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Tell us about your Yumemiru series

Yumemiru are a response from my time spent in Japan. It roughly translates as ‘to dream of’. I was thinking of Japan so frequently and these works are my version of a Japanese daydream. This body of work allows for my love of colour to be present while using a variety of soft shapes to hint at Japanese gardens.
 
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Tell us about you upcoming collaborations

I’ve got a couple of collaborations in the pipeline. One of them is with flame worker and jeweller, Jess Dare. I am also part of a group show based on the idea of ‘The Secret Garden’, which will run later this year in Melbourne. It will have artists from all different mediums, not just glassies.

Amanda Dziedzic
amandadziedzic.com.au