Artwork Description / Detail
Ann Robinson was born in Auckland and completed a Diploma in Fine Arts at the University of Auckland in 1980. Her innovative glass creations have received major national and international acclaim, with numerous awards including an American Glass Society’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2006, Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2004. Robinson was also the recipient of the 2002 ‘John Britten Award’ for Contribution to Design, and awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2001.
Following the completion of her diploma, Robinson joined the established studio of Sunbeam Glass works and became a partner with two others. It was during this period that Robinson developed a method of casting glass, the ‘lost wax casting’ method, which led to her receiving many awards such as the Phillips Glass Award in 1984 and 1986, and the Winstone Biennale Award for Craft in 1987.
The lost wax glass casting process (also known as cire perue) is a modified version of bronze casting. A wax blank is formed by pouring molten wax into a plaster base mould. This wax blank is then modified and reinvested in a second mould, made of refractory materials – that is material which can withstand a long period in the kiln at high temperatures. After the wax is burnt out, the cavity is filled with molten glass. The glass-filled mould is then slowly cooled to room temperature. Larger pieces can require up to three weeks cooling and one week finishing.
The colours and shapes of the flora and fauna of the outdoors influence Robinson’s bold cast glass pieces, with native New Zealand plants and trees constantly providing inspiration to the artist. The ever changing weather patterns and the sharp clear quality of New Zealand’s light creates an understanding and perception of colour, which she transforms in her vessels.