Monday, September 2, 2013

A Chat with JamFactory Associate Llewelyn Ash

Llewelyn Ash is a Second Year Associate at JamFactory, and most recently won the Youth Category in this year’s Museum of South Australia Waterhouse Prize for his work titled “Above and Below. “  We thought it a great time to talk to Llewelyn about his practice and share it here.

You’ve come to glass from a print making background. How did you discover glass and how does your graphics background influence your glass work today?
I discovered Glass in my second year of study at UniSA when I took an introduction to Glass Blowing class. I was taken by the technical and physical challenge. I was going to major in Printmaking in my final year but at the last minute changed my focus to glass, a decision I’m very happy about. In this final year of study I worked towards incorporating my printmaking designs onto the glass to create a distinctive and unique design. So my graphic background has influenced my glass that I make today.

Can you discuss the influence of landscape, and the coast in particular on your work?
The ocean consumes my thoughts as a surfer and allows me to see some very inspirational parts of coastline. It also allows me to spend a lot of time in nature observing and seeing its beauty, I like to share my observations through my artwork.

How has growing up in an artistic family influenced you?
Yes it has played a large part in my career. I grew up on a hobby farm with three artists working from there, Margie Shepard and my mum and dad, Janet Ayliffe and Glen Ash. So I was always surrounded by art. All of their work as influenced me greatly.

You’ve won a few awards recently, including the Youth Category in this year’s Waterhouse prize. Can you tell us about that experience?
Yes it is a real honor to win this award. It has been a little overwhelming experience with a lot of media involved, it has been fun though. 

What was the reaction at JamFactory? (Associates and staff?...)
It has been so nice to share this experience with the other associates and staff, feels like I have one the prize for the team.

Have you any advice to other young artists out there who are considering, or who are new to the medium of glass?
Glass is a medium that you really need to spend a lot of time with it to learn. So if you want to do it, volunteer your time assisting other artist to learn and get a feel for the medium. Volunteering my time was the most valuable thing I did to get me started.

It’s your second year as a JamFactory Associate. Is the program what you expected it to be? What effect has the Associate program had on your work?
The associate program has been what I expected and has given me the skills to continue glass blowing as my career. It is nice now because when I have an idea or designs I know have the skills to make it.

Has anyone or anything in particular influenced you and your work over the past year and a half?
I think being part of the JamFactory and the glass community in Adelaide has influenced me the most with so many different glass artists and designers working around me. It is a very special place to work. I also got to participate in a glass blowing class in Pilchuck glass school in Seattle last year. Getting to work with many Artists from around the world, learning new tricks and techniques that have been very helpful.

What’s it like getting to make your own trophy?
Well it makes me laugh and I can just make another one if I break it.

Where can we see your work?
Fine Art Kangaroo Island, The JamFactory, Art Images and the Hahndorf Academy and currently at the Museum in Adelaide.
On a lighter note:
What are you listening to or watching lately?
I’m listening to a lot of Tripple J and watching Offspring and Surfing Competitions Online

It’s 12:01 at JamFactory…What’s your favourite place for lunch whenyoudon’t bring one from home?
Haha, Roll and Roll make the best Sushi and or there is a place next to the Jam that makes an epic yiros

What can’t you live without?
Surfing and a good Bakery.