New Kiln for Glass Casting - 4th Jan 2012

New Kiln for Glass Casting Arriving just in time for Christmas is the new kiln for Glass Casting in Di Tocker's studio.    Purchased second-hand, though only fired once the kiln has yet to be fully installed.  This will happen in January.  Di is thrilled about the buy  "I have been looking for a kiln for over a year now, second hand ones like this don't come up often so Colleen and I took a rushed, crazy trip up to Auckland leaving at 5.30am.  When it looked good, we didn't hesitate".

Di continues to share studio space with long-time glass colleague Colleen Ryan-Priest and as they are both keen to 'step up' their practice, the new purchase was ineveitable.  The kiln allows both artists to increase the footprint and height of their currents works, and allows for more works to be fired together.

The delivery guys (not Santa!) bought the kiln down on the 23rd of December.  What a present!

Glass Casting Courses running again - 2nd Dec 2011

Glass Casting Courses running again Di Tocker has announced she is running Glass casting Workshops again.  Di had a small break from taking courses while her purpose built Glass Casting Studio in Ohaupo, Waikato was built.

The studio is now equipped with all the gear and facilities to ensure Di can continue to deliver fun and informative workshops once again.  Di says she prides herself on running well organised workshops, " I like to know my students are going away, not only with a self-created glass piece, but also with their brains bursting with knowledge about the techniques and possibilities of this fantastic medium".

The Summer 2012 Glass Casting Workshop Dates are Saturday 4 February, Sunday 5 February and Saturday 10 March, 9.30am - 4pm.

Glass Casting Courses full details and enrolment form.

RE:FRACTION Outdoor Glass Sculpture exhibition - 24th Oct 2011

Twenty-one glass artists from around the country display works at Waitakaruru Sculpture Park.

The exhibition includes work from artists such as Colleen Ryan-Priest, Stephanie Mann, Pam Olver, Ron Reichs and Lee Brogan. Also included is thirteen student works from the Whanganui Glass School.

Refraction is the most popular exhibition of the parks yearly seasonal exhibitions. Held in the rock garden area in October each year you get to hear the local frogs sing while viewing unique peices of art in a spectacular setting.
The exhibition was profiled on TVNZ and you can watch a video here

Below is an interview from Radio New Zealand with artists Di Tocker and Colleen Ryan-Priest ,co park owner Dorothy Wakeling, Sarah Anderson of the Sculpture Trust and curator of Refraction, Karl Chitham.

Listen on RadioNZ

This is a YouTube video from the previous years exhibition, well worth checking out.

Here is the crucial info:
Waitakaruru Arboretum and Sculpture Park
207 Scotsman Valley Rd, Tauwhare.
Owners John & Dorothy Wakeling,
Ph (07) 824 0733;
Open daily, 10am until dusk, entry $10 per person.

Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 - 23rd Aug 2011

Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 As a first time Ranamok finalist I was very keen to attend the opening and check out Canberra Glassworks. The event was well attended by the kiwi finalists. Those who made the trip over were Lee Brogan, Sue Hawker and Kim Logue from Northland; Chris Cathie and Jenny Judge from Auckland and myself (Di Tocker) from Waikato.

The team at Glassworks did an awesome job of presenting the show. With 32 finalists and 35 works, there seem to be just the right amount of works to fill the spaces. In the large entry area 6 works were placed on low-ish plinths with clear perspex boxes protecting the works. Chris Cathie's O-void was in this space. This is the first of these works I have seen finished and I have to say it was impressive; although the work oozes fluidity, the form is so strong it absolutely commands the space. I couldn't get a photo of Chris's work due to the perspex box cover. Through to the next area smaller works were displayed on plinths and also some wall hung works. Here was Jenny Judge's Discarded, Sue Hawkers Joseph's Ewer and Kim Logue's Exposed. My work Stick to your knitting was hung in this area also. It was a relief to see it hung correctly after needing to supply 3 pages of installation instructions! It certainly would have been the hardest work for the team to install - thanks Glassworks! In the last space, a round room of red bricks there were 7 plinths containing medium to large works, including Lee Brogan's Ficticious Shores and Keryn Whitney's Destruct; Construct. All works were in clears, reds and blacks; this space was magic; moody and still, just right to contemplate the works.

It was here that Masahiro Asaka's winning work Surge 12 was. Thoroughly deserved of the title Masahiro's work is beautiful and harsh all at the same time. In my opinion this work was a very worthy winner. It was clear that everyone in the Glassworks 'family' was absolutely rapt for him. Masahiro is working out of Glassworks as an artist in residency this year, working towards his first solo show in January.

The following day after the opening us Kiwis that were still in town were given a 'behind the scenes' tour of Glassworks from Mel George. It was awesome to see the just what they have achieved in 4 years, to see the well thought out working spaces and imagine the possiblities of working in such a facility. An added bonus was that Masahiro Asaka was back in the studio (“after little sleep” he said!) and removing two large works from the kiln. I was able to hang around and watch this process, during which he has to be so careful because his works really are so sharp!

It was an awesome trip; great to meet new 'glassies' from Australia, to get to know my kiwi colleagues a little better, to spend time exploring art, glass and Canberra with Mike (my husband) and to thoroughly check out Canberra Glassworks.

Photo: Masahiro Asaka's winning glass work Surge 12

Di Tocker: Finalist for Ranamok Prize for Contempory Glass 2011 - 3rd Jul 2011

Di Tocker: Finalist for Ranamok Prize for Contempory Glass 2011 Di Tocker has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Ranamok Glass Award 2011 with her suspended glass sculpture 'Stick to your knitting'.   Di says "I have been working towards this result for the past 4 years, however I have never entered a work the competition before now.  I have tried to produce (what I think) is an outstanding piece worthy of this top class competition...but in each of the past 3 years it has eluded me".
She is one of 32 finalists selected from a field of 108.

Di won The Swarbrick Dixon Award for Excellence in Glass at The Sculpture Park @ Waitakaruru Aboretum, Hamilton, NZ last year with a similar work, also titled Stick to your Knitting.  "People really responded to the work, loved the subject and quirky-ness of it, however I felt technically the piece could be improved.  I also wanted to place the work in a gallery space, making the work more confronting".  The new work is larger; each of the knitting needles are 1 metre long, the beads are now all clear and slightly larger, causing the 'knitting' to bulk out and the sculpture to become more 3-D than its predecessor.

Ranamok is the best of the limited number of glass competitions open to residents of NZ and Australia.  It is a travelling exhibition, offering viewers the chance to enjoy high quality, innovative glass artworks by top artists in the glass field at the current time.  This year the exhibition venues will be Canberra Glassworks 17 August - 22 September, Angel Place Foyer, Sydney 4  - 29th October and Riverside Centre, Brisbane 7 - 11 November.

Sticking to your Knitting pays off! - 2nd Oct 2010

Sticking to your Knitting pays off! Di Tocker is thrilled to have been awarded the Swarbrick Dixon Award for excellence in Glass Sculpture with her work Stick to your knitting.  Created from 12000 beads and glass rods, the work is just one of the fabulous glass works in RE:FRACTION: an outdoor glass exhibition at Waitakaruru Sculpture Park until the 14th of November.

Di's Artist Statement:
Refraction: outdoor glass sculpture exhibition, gives me the perfect opportunity not to stick to my knitting!
As a glass artist my passion and focus is usually on glass casting which I am thoroughly passionate about, despite being presented with many technical challenges every week in the studio.

So I take this opportunity at the outdoor glass show to have some fun and present ideas that subsist within my dreams. This work has evolved from my interest in basic life skills such as gardening, cooking and homemaking. Though I am a capable gardener and cook, knitting is not my forte and I needed help.

Hence the collaboration on this project with Melanie, my Mum. She was not fazed when I asked her if she were able to work out “a nice knitting stitch that would look good on giant glass needles, hanging from a tree! “ And she even offered to thread the 12,000 beads to make the glass yarn. Thank you, Mum.

Di would like to take this opportunity to thank a few special people;
Dorothy and John Wakeling - the park is looking even more amazing every year!  Thank you John for your assistance up the tree.
Elizabeth McClure - it is such an honour to be judged a winner by her.
Sarah Anderson - for being a very supportive curator.
Swarbrick Dixon Barristors and Solicitors - thank you for the prize money.
Colleen Ryan-Priest - for being the best glass buddy ever!
And my husband Mike - for giving me the space and support to create glass.

Unity selected for Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards 2010 - 28th Jul 2010

Unity selected for Molly Morpeth Canaday Awards 2010 Di Tocker's new cast glass work Unity has been selected for exhibition at the Whakatane District Museum and Gallery. 

This annual award has a first prize of $5000 drawing enthusiastic glass makers to enter from all over New Zealand.

The exhibition runs from the 14th of August to the 10th of September.
Gallery opening hours are 10-4.30 Monday to Friday and 11-3 weekends and public holidays.

Girls at Coca - 11th May 2009

Girls at Coca Di Tocker's glass work Brown Girl in the Ring Tra-la-la-la-la will be on show at COCA Gallery, Christchurch in June.

The group show simply titled Verre is curated by Rachael Slade and includes work from Lee Brogan, Leanne Williams and Jim Dennison, Colleen Ryan-Priest and Rachel Ravenscroft. 

The six glass artists in Verre boldly embrace the beauty of glass, remaining uncompromised by its conventional fragility or rigidity. Function is dismissed or questioned and attention is focused drawn towards composition, scale and the substance of glass as pure sculptural form.

The glass works can be seen in the front gallery at COCA  from the 9th to the 28th of June.

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