Fiona Rennie Schwieters

I became a glass sculptor through a trip to Italy in 2000. I had been carving N.Z. limestones for ten years and wanted to carve marble in Pietra Santa, historically a mecca for sculptors, carvers and bronze casters. Botero was exhibiting enormous bronzes in the Piazza. I was inspired to experiment with a different medium.
When I returned to New Zealand I worked at Artworks for six months gaining skills in bronze casting. I did a course with David Reid at the Studio gallery workshop in lost wax glass casting. This led to me sharing a glass casting studio with Sam Ireland and Greg Smith for 3 years, in Kingsland and exhibiting in the Studio Gallery. In 2005 I set up my studio in Grey Lynn with a kiln and a flamework torch and have been glass casting using mainly local Gaffer Glass since then.

My work comes from a love and respect of nature. As an island edge dweller, I spend a lot of time interacting with the ocean. Living around the Waitemata makes it easy to inhale the salty air, catch storms rushing down the harbour; get an uplifting glimpse of the sparkling sea.
A day of dabbling in the rock pools is bliss.
Snorkelling in the tropics: breathing under water, gliding over corals, eyes open to luminous colours, senses suspended in a vivid wondrous world.
If you can make it in wax you can cast it in glass.
I make silicon casts from fruits and seedpods; cast in wax; then I play with the wax forms. I often start just forming warm wax; a figure in flight, corals, birds, sea creatures, nudibranchs, strange animals, deities, or trees emerge. There is wonder in creation.

I love the slow moving liquid alchemy of glass.
I am fully conversant with the techniques and processes of sculpting with glass billets, frits and rods; working with warm wax: pouring hot wax into silicon moulds, fettling, spruing, refractory mould making, steaming out, filling, firing, annealing. Then chipping plaster from the glass form , sandblasting , grinding and polishing . Each successful piece of glass has eleven processes in its creation and there is risk at every stage. It is very exciting to release the form from the refractory material and then polish its secrets into colour and light.

Biography

Contact:

Email: fionas@pl.net
Studio:
12 Arnold St, Grey Lynn, Auckland
phone: +64(0)9 378 9775
mob: +64(0)21 257 4468

Galleries:

Piece Gallery
Matakana
The Poi Room
Newmarket
Ora Gallery
Wellington
Mana Gallery
Parnell
Buana Satu