Friday, June 22, 2012

JamFactory Alumnus Clare Wilson Reports Back From Pilchuck Glass in America

Time to update, the last three weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of Glass making, excellent friends, a lot of hot dogs and lets not forget the slugs......
The excellent Pilchuck Glass School where I spent two weeks as part of a multiples and mixed media class with the awesome Lance Freidman as teacher, Karen Donnellan and Jonathan Chapman as TA's, I have to say I had no idea what to expect (apart from knowing the class would be about multiples, mixed media and connections) and that was a good thing, the first project included eggs...

Now let me explain, the initial project was about finding a way to think outside the box when it comes to connecting identical objects leaving the objects (eggs) visible and an integral part of the design, but also being able to carry and transport them easily. Using elastic bands this is what I came up with, I am not going to go into to much detail with the projects but hopefully a bit later on I will be able to add some images of the work I made during the class.

I was incredibly fortunate to be re-united with some very good friends and JamFactory 2008/9 team Amanda Dziedzic and Mariella McKinley, I worked with these guys for two years straight! Having left Australia in February I haven't seen them for a few months, so this was an amazing coincidence that we were all selected for classes in the first session at Pilchuck Glass School this year! Amanda and Mars were both selected forKaren and Jasen Willenbrink-Johnsen's class which looked astounding as you can see from the owl that Karen chose to make in a demo (pictured below). Picture above courtesy of Amanda Dziedzic.

Yes as with many summer school programs there are the essential parties that one simply must attend! This one involved a lot of glitter and very odd costumes.....also beer and dancing, fun was had by all.
And my first Hot Dog.....

Now to the serious bit, making the glass, below are some of the expertly crafted tools used to produce some beautiful, inventive contemporary glass..... and yes that is a carrot.

The above pictures show the 'Magic cup competition' which is basically 'who can make a cup using the most absurd tool imaginable', you only get one and you don't get to pick it yourself, mine was the cinder block and this was my cup, I was pretty pleased with myself.

NOW for the serious glass....Amanda Dziedzic making a beautiful and awesome Japanese inspired radish and lovely life like Fruit made by Mariella McKinley. These gals made some amazing work in there hot sculpting class and I heard they learnt quite a lot as well.

Below I have added a few images of the work that was produced during the class I was taking, my desk shot is the first one. The class wasn't about producing finished pieces it was more idea's based and everyone managed to produce some incredible work in a really short amount of time.

Beautiful Sunset, our view from the Lodge

Well I think that's it for Pilchuck

Now on to Seattle and New York....

Big thanks to Clare Wilson for sharing her experience with us here on JamPacked!  And we love to see what Amanda Dziedzic and Mariella McKinley are up to as well. We posted images of Amanda's work,  available in the shop, on our Facebook page last week and Mariella's work will be on display in GalleryOne as part of Transparency, opening 6 July. 

You can find Clare's blog on
and follow us on facebook at

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tjanpi Desert Weavers Workshop

As part of the KURU ALALA: Eyes Open exhibition JamFactory was proud to host a Tjanpi Desert Weavers Workshop held Saturday and Sunday 2 and 3rd of June. The event was well attended with participants learning basic weaving skills, and creating their own grass  (tjanpi) weaved baskets and animals. 
The workshop was conducted under the expert guidance of Mary Pan and Janet Forbes from Blackstone (WA) and Yartitji Young and Nora Davidson from Amata (SA) who shared their stories and experiences.
We hope everyone enjoyed this event as much as we did. 

For those who would like to continue weaving at home you can purchase the small sail makers needles (see below) from Whitworths Marine and Leisure, Port Adelaide or from E-bay. The larger needles and bunches of raffia can be purchased from Spotlight, Lincraft or  Baldocks, Adelaide  for bulk purchases. Brown Paper Packaging in Melbourne is another source as well.
Happy Weaving...

Friday, June 1, 2012

JamFactory's Lex Stobie's Interior Fit-Out for Magazine Gallery

Magazine Gallery on Clubhouse Lane, Adelaide
JamFactory Furniture Studio Program Manager Lex Stobie designed and built the fit-out for a local city business that has recently transformed itself from gallery space into something a little bit more. You can grab a coffee, specialty tea and a snack while you browse the collection of local and international magazines at “Magazine”.
Magazine, located off Hindley Street on ClubHouse Lane, is run by Josh Fanning and Farrin Foster. Four legged Fred is responsible for greeting customers, and can usually be seen watching the laneway from the front door.  Josh is also the face behind locally published and internationally distributed magazine Collect.  

We asked Lex about Magazine and the fit-out.
I came to the job through my association with Josh from Collect Magazine. Josh had done a feature on me in one of their issues, and through the association with him and with others as well, we quickly worked out that there was something that we shared in common, and that was about a philosophy and a belief about how things could be done in the ideal world. I suppose that was a bit of a shared aspiration, and through that we got talking about what they wanted to do and I offered to help them out with it.
 My  philosophy is about the local homegrown grass roots approach to things.  I’ve lived in big cities around Australia and visited big cities around the world and I think the common thread amongst those cities that ties them together, is the sense of community between the people who live there. It’s about knowing your neighbor. It was quite evident to me after a short period of talking to Josh that that’s what he’s about as well.
I met Josh by chance at the Bowerbird Bazaar and told him I thought the Collect was great and signed up for a subscription. It was early days for the magazine (issue #3) and it arrived hand addressed with a little hand-written note on the inside that said “Thanks for subscribing. It’s people like you that make us willing to do this every day”. I’m just supporting a person who’s striving to do the same thing as myself.
Magazine Display Shelving at Magazine

Interior including Front Counter


Lex checking out some of the magazines on offer
In the beginning it was a lot of just me helping them work out what they wanted to achieve in the space; so more of the interior design aspect of it, and later on he asked if I’d be willing to do the physical making of those ideas for them, and that’s something I was happy to do.
The counter, in particular, which is the main focal point for them, is their point of sale and where they have all their information and paraphernalia. That piece had to be designed and made to suit the requirements specific for them.  It had to take into consideration being more than just a big box; what you don’t see from the front is there’s a lot more going on behind. It’s a clean facade from the front and side, but when you get around the back it’s quite nitty-gritty and integrated.  It’s a modular system that can be changed to suit their needs as they evolve.
The shelving was a specific piece that had to meet the requirements for the magazines.  Not having any of the magazines to work with in the country, we had to come up with solutions that would accommodate the potential stock.  So the variation of the magazines had to be taken into consideration and it needed the kind of look they were after as well.
Lex Stobie, Farrin Foster and Fred!

Collect Magazine on display and for sale
Lex is currently developing a range of furniture for the Jamfactory studio which would be produced on site, and retailed as a JamFactory product.
He has also produced exclusive work for Great Dane furniture and is in the process of creating a new design to for them to be launched in six weeks time.
Lex moved from Melbourne to Adelaide in 2010 and has set up a studio on George Street in the city. He splits his time between there and The JamFactory.
Counter seating by Lex Stobie