Glass working is a family affair for Eileen Gordon, her parents Alasdair & Rish were successful glass artists specialising in engraving. Eileen went on to complete a varied glass working education in the UK & Australia and along with her partner and sons now operates a thriving studio on the Mornington Peninsula. Eileen is a highly skilled glassblower who draws inspiration from the inherent complexity of glass as a medium and from the richness of nature.
Enjoy getting to know…Eileen Gordon
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent?
My parents were both glass artists so I decided when I left school, I wanted to work with glass too. They were engravers but I took to the molten side and became a glassblower.
Where did you learn your art?
I started in the UK at a place called Brierley Hill Glass Centre where I did a year full time in Glassblowing, crystal cutting and engraving. I then moved to Australia with my family and went to Adelaide to train at the Jam factory Craft and design center for 3 years. Then 2 years with Tasmanian glassblowers. 1-year back in England working for Isle of Wight glass and Okra Glass before coming back here and setting up a studio with my then partner Grant Donaldson. We are now in our third location.
What inspires you most?
Everything around me in nature.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
I like to think my skill level and style is refined and sophisticated.
Describe your studio…
Our studio is in the beautiful countryside of the Mornington Peninsula, Vic.
We have a studio gallery where visitors can come watch us perform our art and feel the warmth of the furnace and smell and hear the action of the glassblowers and see our work displayed in the gallery.
Describe your typical day of creating art…
I walk to work as we live on the property every day is different. First we need to empty the kiln of the work from the previous day, then light up the kiln and glory hole (the reheating chamber)
We often work to orders but always make time during the week to experiment with new work. There is grinding and polishing to do which is done when the glass is cold and we usually set a day aside to do that. From late afternoon we need to start filling the furnace with sand to melt down a new batch during the evening and night ready for the next day.
What mediums do you use and why?
Hot glass, because it’s a beautiful material to work with and always a challenge.
What are you working on now?
I have been working on making some large flowers which I make up of lots of petals and put together while hot.
What are your recent career achievements you feel proud of?
Building this studio gallery and now having both our boys learning the art of glassblowing. Hamish training at the Jam factory Art and design center. Calum working in New Zealand for a glassblowing company there.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I live and work on the same property. And I work for myself and am free to do what I want.
I love the performance of glassblowing and the challenge of succeeding.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?
Sitting in the corner of the studio watching my boys make beautiful creations themselves.