Andy is an Australian glass artist who lives and works in beautiful South Australia. I met him first when he came to study at the Australian National University in Canberra where I was also studying. We always got along well and discovered we’d come from similar educational backgrounds (Waldorf) which definitely helped our friendship. We worked together again when he had returned (and I had moved) to Adelaide, to attend the JamFactory as associates. He has always made both thoughtful exhibition work and production. But one of my clearest memories was how he’d sometimes make me run while I was working with him. Run so that the glass was as hot as possible to make the fine little parts necessary while goblet making. The best thing about Andy is his attitude, he always has a good one. And when you work long hours with all kinds of people you definitely appreciate a positive and enthusiastic energy. I do anyway. You can’t be down on someone who loves what they do and one thing is for certain, Andy loves glass.
Andy and I also collaborated on some work in Adelaide, exhibiting under the name WAMB we made some work that was slightly out of each others comfort zone, but really fun. It’s been probably a good 10 years since I’ve seen him, I’m looking forward to the next time we meet, but you can meet him here.
Tell people a little about yourself. Where were you born/grow up, did you study?
Born in Stirling, Scotland. My family worked and lived in a Camphill Community for people with disabilities. When I was three we moved to Australia. I had twelve years of Waldorf education in three different states. I guess I am pretty grateful for that.
What do you do now, is it what would you like to be doing?
I make a living blowing glass. It is a very challenging lifestyle but also rewarding. Sometimes I wish I was a professional surfer… But mostly I am happy with what I do.
What does a typical day for you involve? Or a typical week? Is typical even a word for you?
I like running in the morning first thing. It jogs all the chatter out of my head. In a good week I run four or five times, in a bad week I don’t run. My days are very flexible but revolve around my routine of glassblowing. Sunday and Wednesdays.
What mediums do you like to work with?
I am all about glass. I think that other mediums are great, but glass got me from an early age and I’m still passionate about it.
Where do you work?
Jamfactory in Adelaide has been my work place since 2001. It is a vibrant community of creative people. So glad that place exists.
Who or what inspires you most – at the moment?
Buddhism is pretty core to my life. I like reading Buddhist literature and finding ways to put it into practice. It definitely makes life more meaningful and is also where I find the inspiration for my work.
Do you have a favourite blog and/or book to recommend?
Hmmm. Mahamudra by 9th Karmapa. It is probably the most clear and succinct guide to meditation I have read.
I also really enjoy reading Lojong texts which are often translated as mind training texts.
Best thing you’ve ever made?
A timber crate to freight my work. Very satisfying to work with another material. I like timber.
What is the coolest thing to do in your town?
Farmers’ Markets on Sunday
Surfing the mid-coast
And one awesome place to eat there?
Wasai Japanese Kitchen, Adelaide
Is one thing you’re bad at that you wish you were better at?
Did you ever want to be rich or famous? What drives you?
Not interested in fame. I would like to be wealthy but choose happiness first. Or maybe I am just too comfortable to make lots of money. I am really inspired by the techniques of glassblowing; I like to push myself to make complicated things like fancy Venetian style goblets or other intricate techniques.
Thanks Andy! You can check out more of his past work and info on his website.
How lovely Andy’s work is! I really like those goblets too, they look sort of gothic and really cool and the pretty coloured bowls and vases are beautiful.