Things are about to get adults only hot at the Canberra Glassworks


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Its going to get hot at the Canberra Glassworks on Saturday night and it has nothing to do with whats being put in the gloryholes.

Actually it has everything to do with gloryholes, and blowing, and nudes being bent over flames, as the glassworks stages its Winter Glass event, this year with a special adults only session from 8-10pm.

Emma-Kate Hart, who is the Winter Glass artist-in-residence, working on her piece, a neon sculpture entitled Electric Bell Jar.

Photo: Karleen Minney

Its the fourth year of the popular event and while there will still be a full program for families between 4-8pm, this year things are going to get a little risque after dark.

“For the past three years, when we'd close at eight, we'd get a different crowd coming through about 7.30 and wed have to kick them out,” says Wendy Dawes, the glassworks marketing manager.

“Were trying to engage with a different audience.”


Therell be food trucks from Mr Papa, Fricken Fried Chicken, Le Petit Breton and The Italian Traveller and limited edition Aurora gin from Canberra Distillery Gin, Bentspoke beers and Summerhill Road wines. There will also be a DJ and a wine bar set up in the Engine Room.

Dawes said “the naughty bits” will be tasteful.

Artist Jacqueline Knight works on some limited-edition tumblers for Winter Glass.

Photo: Karleen Minney

“You can join the Tile High Club by making glass tiles inspired by the idea of nudes and rudes, think Matisse or Picasso, or its easy enough to use your imagination,” she said.

“And Steve Ciezki, whos our creative fellow here, his Dirty Demo in the Hotshop will be fun, hell be making something quite risque, quite phallic.”

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Emma-Kate Hart, who is the Winter Glass artist-in-residence, will be making, in collaboration with Mexican artist Fernando Melendez, a neon sculpture entitled Electric Bell Jar. Its a human form made out of about 70 individual neon pieces. A human figure was cut into contours on a 3D-modelling program and then each section was converted to paper layouts which were then used as a reference for each individual section of neon.

“But the piece-de-resistance is Southern Lights, which is an installation of about 100 pendant lights which will hang outside the entrance off the glassworks,” Dawes says.

Artist Jacqueline Knight, left, and her assistant Beth Lick at work.

Photo: Karleen Minney

“In previous years weve had a glow garden, where weve had forms with glow sticks in them installed on the ground but this year weve mixed it up a bit.

“All the lights have been made in the past six months, 90 per cent here at the glassworks … and most of them are new designs. They showcase the depth of talent we have in glassmaking and design in Canberra.

“There's such a diverse range of colours and shapes hanging outside on two rows, most of them are for sale.”

Dawes said the idea of Southern Lights has been the theme for 2018.

“The last few years we've looked at European winters and we went, you know Canberra's got a pretty awesome winter so we've tailored it more to home.”

One experience not to be missed is the Hotshop Moshpit where, for $20, you can get close to the action, sitting in the Hotshop.

Despite the AO rating late in the day, theres still a good range of family friendly activities throughout the day. Children can make wonder jars in the activity tent, make emoji tiles in the Engine Room, or listen to Celestial Stories in the Fitters Workshop.

Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is a reporter at The Canberra Times.

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