Grant Donaldson’s love of the land informs his creative practice, seeking to express the nuances of the Australian environment in the challenging medium of glass is the driver of his creativity. Grant has produced stunningly coloured functional platters and unique creative art pieces in his journey from working on the land to working as a full time glass artist.
Enjoy Getting to Know… Grant Donaldson
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent?
After helping my partner Eileen set up her glassblowing studio in 1990 I got involved in the business and started to assist Eileen. In 1994 I sold my share of my farm, and we moved to the Mornington peninsula. We built a new studio in Rosebud and I started in glass from that point. After many years of learning and making lots of mistakes I eventually became proficient. Slowly my skills caught up with my ideas. The ideas come from thinking deeply about things. Opening up the side of your brain that is not the mundane not the technical stuff that life seems to be full of.
Where did you learn your art?
In our own glassblowing studio with Eileen by my side.
What inspires you most?
The land and what survives in it, people doing amazing things
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
I try to get a feeling that comes from a piece that the viewer might understand sometimes it’s a free flowing shape, sometimes it could be the feeling of standing out there in the sun smelling the rain or the grass or the dust or the smell of the animals. Or it could be total silence
Describe your studio…
Lots of equipment, Furnace (which is like our 3rd child only it demands more money) Gloryholes, Kilns, Benches, Pipes and Puntys …but enough room to dance with the glass.
Describe your typical day of creating art…
We start knowing exactly what we are doing. Equipment has to be arranged in a certain way, colours have to be heated just right and tools have to be organized. We work through a list and everyone in the studio knows what is next.
What mediums do you use and why?
Hot molten glass because it’s the most challenging medium we can think of
What are you working on now?
We always have orders to do and we are working on some exhibitions in 2020
What are your recent career achievements you feel proud of?
Making new pieces all the time
What do you love most about what you do?
The challenge. The journey that leads us to the next piece.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?
Still in the studio but our sons doing the business