making a hand blown bird in what was once part of the Nuutajärvi glass factory, now the glass school, photo by Janika Karttunen
making a hand blown bird in what was once part of the Nuutajärvi glass factory, now the glass school, photo by Janika Karttunen


from the southern tip of africa to scandinavia

from scientist and amateur musician to artist

harmony and disharmony

the dance of life and death

during childhood visits to Finnish glass factories and Italian studios in Murano, i was fascinated by the elemental properties of glass; fire, air, water and earth, the danger and malleability of molten glass and the mesmerising transparency, reflections and refractions in the finished pieces

at age 50 i elected to leave a more certain career as an epidemiologist biostatistician in academia in South Africa and create art full time.   first i painted portraits of friends and of musicians using abstractions of random and organised patterns shining through their transparent skins to reflect how i see creative minds working

a glass blowing course at Kosta Boda in Sweden showed me how difficult, but not impossible, it is to work with hot glass…

in the summer of 2019 i shadowed Kaapo Lahdesmaki from Lasismi in Riihimaki Finland - during this time i was inspired watching the conceptions of a number of the most eminent glass artists and designers working in Finland come to life

i set up a hot glass studio within the Cape Glass Studio where Nelius Britz gave me much encouragement.  since then i explored kiln-casting, fusion, slumping as well as glass blowing and sand casting

as access to the studio was restricted as a result of the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in South Africa, i began exploring drawing and painting again.  interupted power supply halted progress in the hotshop completely so in 2021 i moved to Finland to learn glass blowing at Nuutajäarvi glass school

the choreography between assistants, the gaffer and the glowing material moving at the end of a hollow pipe remind me of my training as a latin dance teacher 

science and mathematics, combined with my piano studies, the harmonies and patterns in nature, as well as in music are sources of inspiration. this background remains essential to my attempt to innovate in the making of interesting art

My aim

it is a privilege to make art, art has the ability to move us profoundly, give us pleasure, make us think, make us forget for a while, its uses are less tangible than the output of many occupations, but no less important. art is a window to our subconscious, we do not always understand what we see, or why the beauty affects us, however to gaze on art or listen to great music is vital to our being and to our growth. classical art is amoung the most valued of all objects created by humans, for the exceptional technical ability, and the depth of meaning it imbues.

i am in my element when i am able to create, it is my way of transcending the mundane, of exploring my feelings and thoughts. in this overly cosumerist world of uninteresting machine made objects, ny aim is to add a few unique, hand-crafted pieces of beauty to the world each day

Personal collection of glass

this comprises mostly glass from Finland (Oiva Toikka birds, vases by Timo Sarpaneva and Tapio Wirkkala, Iittala, Nuutajarvi, Humppila, Muurla), some pieces from Murano (Livio Seguso) and Scotland.  these inspire me and so are unfortunately not for sale but are on view in my home gallery