Gals of Glazz - Bethany Wheeler

Halo! This weeks gal of glazz is the lovely Bethany Wheeler who runs 1000 degrees glass studio. Beth worked at Monash when I was there and now runs her own studio. I am in awe of the studio she has built. It is so fantastic, well considered and a lovely, light working space. (She has also saved my bacon, letting me come down and use her drill press to drill holes for my lights, thanks beth!) Her cold working space is the bizz! (i hate cold working and even I want to be in there).

I really admire Beth and what she has done. She built up that little studio from scratch. She is my inspiration for my future studio, everything is just so nice in there (not like my leaky, dusty little shed...). So here you go, meet Beth;

Gals of Glazz
Tune in for 10

1.             Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Bethany Wheeler an artist based in Melbourne, I predominantly work in kiln formed glass whilst dabbling in paper, porcelain, found object assemblage and installation.

2.             What do you make?
I usually have few different bodies of work on the go at any one time.  At the moment I’m working of a new series of fused wall panels based on abstract aerial landscapes.
I always have a wax on the go, to be cast and combined with other elements and found objects for a body of ongoing works based on memory and recording the actions makers and their tools. 
I’m also constantly adding to a body of work based on the historical practice of making friggers - ‘glass with no utilitarian purpose, executed to satisfy the whim of the glassmaker.’ They were most often made in glass factories at the end of the working day on a whim – it’s where the term ‘friggin around’ comes from.  They document a calendar of making; I usually make 3 or 4 each month.
Plus a bit of production and corporate awards etc.

3.             Why do you make?
Making is inherent to who I am and I love challenge and beauty of working with a material that teaches you something new every time it comes out of the kiln.  I’m drawn to the fascinating material paradoxes of glass; fragility - solidity, liquid - solid, transparent - translucent - opaque – it is a hybrid that illustrates notions of the human condition and ways of seeing
4.             What’s you colour palette?

Clear or black teamed with anything bright - transparent or opaque.

5.             What’s your proudest achievement?

Setting up my workshop 1000 Degrees Glass Studios two and a half years ago was a big achievement for me.  Starting with a 230sqm empty shell, I built five artist’s spaces, a kiln forming area, a project/gallery space and later a purpose built cold working and wax/mould making workshop was added.  There are up to five resident artists based at 1000 Degrees at any one time creating a vibrant and supportive creative collective.

6.             Hot or Cold?

Hot, warm and cold its all integral to the process.

7.             What’s your dream project?

I’d love to play around with some large-scale furnace casting.

8.             What’s your influences?

The natural world. 
The history of glass making and the communities and cultures that form around the medium. 
Plus………Livio Seguso, Clarice Beckett, Silvia Levenson, Antoine Pevsner, Issey Miyake, Clare Morgan, Tapio Wirkkala, Rosslynd Piggott, Donald Judd, Peter Cooley, Walead Beshty, Janet Lawrence, Michael Rogers and the list goes on and on.

9.             What’s coming up for you? Or what are you looking forward to?
My last exhibition for the year is a group show at Kirra Galleries called Virtuoso, its opens on the 3rd of December.  After that I’m really looking forward to working towards a group show called Aesthetics In a Time of Emergency at Craft ACT next year with a group of friends.

10.         If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life what would they be?

Avocado, hummus & raspberries.

Check out Beths studio here