In Whanganui, you’ll find the only open-access glass studio in New Zealand.
New Zealand Glassworks – Te Whare Tūhua o Te Ao – is both a gallery filled with beautiful glass artworks and a mesmerising studio where you can watch artists in action.
In ‘the pit’ artists and tutors work together heating and cooling blobs of glowing glass as they are pushed, stretched, rolled and melded into useful or beautiful things.
Glass has a working temperature of between 600ºC and 1,100ºC – anywhere below 600ºC, it starts to harden. At New Zealand Glassworks, the gas furnace is set at 1,100ºC and can hold up to an astonishing 300kg of molten glass.
The on-site gallery features works from established glass artists from around New Zealand alongside recent Whanganui UCOL graduates, with works ranging from $35 to $35,000.
And, at New Zealand Glassworks you can also try your hand at melding molten glass with a beginner glass blowing workshop where you can make your own glass paperweight.