Let LAVA Flow !

Brooche made by Jennie Merritt 2015

Brooche made by Jennie Merritt 2015

Yes, it is hard to believe, but we are now into our third year at  LAVA.

The Gallery and Studio have had nothing but support from the day we opened, from the public and artists alike. My vision was not a cloudy one.

Bunbury and the South West of Western Australia have been amazing with their support and there is nothing better than meeting new people every day and sharing in my passion for glass 🙂

On a business level, as to be expected there would always be things that would need adjusting as you go.

We utilised every form of advertising we could that was suitable and believe I now know where my advertising dollar is best spent. Naturally it was the last part of the plan.LAVA LOGO.jpg BELLEN Website

Our primary goal with the comprehensive marketing strategy was to build the LAVA brand and we believe this is well on its way. Despite the current economic environment and having an extremely niche market in a rural town, the business grows and we am feeling very positive for the future.

We all need something new and alive in our lives and that is what LAVA does, provides the colour, energy and inspiration to travel through our life.

So, why do we feel so positive? Well, apart from still feeling focused and energised there are of course as many factors and reasons  as there are facets to LAVA. These include:

  1. Consistent growth in sales
  2. Regular return customers
  3. Destination shoppers from Perth and nearby areas
  4. Interstate tourists who have heard of ‘LAVA’
  5. Internet sales
  6. Growth in classes, workshops & courses
  7. Growth in commissions
  8. Need to employ more staff to assist
  9. Confidence and pride of local community

These were all goals that are on the five year plan and we are delighted that LAVA has achieved this in the first two years.

The LAVA Gallery now boasts forty artists work exhibited regularly. Every artist is as different and as diverse as the possibilities of glass.

LAVA GALLERY

So that’s the update, my next blog will be on one of the varied techniques in art glass!

Post Exhibition Synopsis

It was really lovely to share with the local community artworks made by people who had learnt some format of Art Glass from the LAVA Studio.

Holding the opening during the day was a huge success and something that I would certainly do again.

Live music added to the atmosphere and the vibe was a curious one.

We demonstrated a raking technique and it re enforced why I love glass. The gasps from the viewers so rewarding and grounding. Small things we tend to forget when we become engrossed with what we do. Like how exciting it was the first time we experience things, the reason why we do them.

The Gallery was busy all day and as I looked around at the crowed and saw the smiling engaging and interested faces of people I knew that people were enjoying the glass. Strangers chatted and shared glass experiences, sales were made and the local area had a vibe. Yes, I was a happy LAVA Lady.

Exhibitions of any kind are daunting, putting yourself out there for critique, so I was very proud of the locals who exhibited. No ones work was out of place.

So ,Yes, we are planning our next exhibition. A solo exhibition…….

Stay tuned!Image

Giving back for the support!

Yes, folks it is one year that LAVA has been open.

Whoop Whoop……… champagne all round.

As a way of celebrating our 1st Birthday LAVA will be holding an Exhibition to celebrate!!!!

Classes have been popular and as a way of giving back to the community that have supported the LAVA Studio the exhibition is a student exhibition entitled’ Creative Reflections’

All students will have the opportunity to exhibit their work and offer for sale if they so chose.

Very Exciting! We will also behaving a few added attractions to the exhibition to entice those who have been thinking they may like to experience ‘Art that flows’

Yes folks, we will be having a  hot glass raking demonstration.

Sand casting demonstrations and  the opportunity to make a hand casting.

And……. for your entertainment, there will be live acoustic music to add an extra relaxed vibe to the exhibition.

I have to say that when I first floated the idea with the past students I anticipated reluctance….I was SO VERY wrong.

Most have accepted  the opportunity with excitement which is fantastic a reflection of the enthusiastic and vibrant people here in the South West!

If you are local and can make it along please do….. come see how South West people creative with ‘Art that Flows’…..

The Opening is at 11am Saturday 19th April and will go until Sunday 29th April 2014

Until next, Stay creative and please enjoy a couple examples of some creative peoples work.

Brenda

LAVA Lady

Felt glass Student elation

Things are ramping up at LAVA

Hi there,

Well, the new year is well underway and things are ramping  up ( pardon the pun, a glass term ) at the LAVA Gallery & Studio.

The Gallery has now twenty-seven Western Australian Glass Artists.

From opening the Gallery in April 2013 to now, there are now fifteen new glass artist who exhibit their work.

I have been very careful to not double up on style, to keep the variety true and the quality and ethos of the Gallery is intact.

These really are exciting times!!  Daily I enjoy the flurry of people who come into the Gallery and enjoy the diversity of color and technique.

There is NOTHING more complimentary than having a group of young  people come into the Gallery and move around saying ‘ wow, how cool is this!’  for me that makes me smile and glow…. the ultimate compliment!!

Christmas was a wonderful experience for the Gallery. We had no real expectations as being a new business there was nothing to measure against. But, what I can say is that a lot of local folk in the South West of Perth and beyond did receive an Art Glass present for Christmas from ‘Art that Flows….’ Christmas decorations were very popular as were gift vouchers and family hand castings.

Thank you to all the Artists for their support of the LAVA Gallery!

Post Christmas, things are quieter, but not dead…… in the Gallery but the Studio is full on with teaching classes and commissions.
Not to mention I have a new piece of studio equipment…..very exciting…… a new bigger kiln, can’t wait to fire him up.

So, that’s the wrap up for now and I shall leave you with some new work in the LAVA Gallery.

Red Murine Vase by Laurie Fossier-Mills

Red Murrini Cylinder

A Rainy Day by Janine Koefoed

Rainy Days panel 47x20cm

                                

Thank you for stopping by and please, stay tuned for some new work from the LAVA Lady  out of my new kiln 🙂 

Brenda 100411 copy

A LAVA Christmas

The year has gone so fast I can not believe that it is only nine weeks to Christmas.

I have started to gear up for what I hope to be a colorful and festive time in the Gallery.

The LAVA Gallery Staff Christmas party sorted, Christmas baubles ordered, some already here. Invitations to Artists to exhibit in the ‘Something Special  for Christmas’ Exhibition about to be sent…… the excitement builds and I am looking forward to sharing Art Glass with the South West of WA the LAVA way!!!

Soon to have two new faces in the Gallery to be involved with the growing energy.

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Post Exhibition Retrospective

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Well, the LAVA ‘Our Backyard’ exhibition is now closed.

As Exhibitions go it was a wonderful success. Art was sold; the public were treated with a selection of theme based artwork and educated to many aspects of the Art Glass world that they did not know existed.

Lives were brightened with the beauty of glass! Mine included!

Post exhibition I reflected……Art Exhibitions….. What are they really? An opportunity to showcase your interpretations and your passions expressed through your artistic medium?

Perhaps, it is merely the forum or stage that we choose to ‘come out’ as an Artist and publicly expose ourselves for either acceptance, and be prepared for critic.

The more I thought of it I came to the following conclusion.

My belief is there are simply two parts to being an artist and the desire to exhibit.

The first is not only the desire to express yourself through your chosen medium but to have the conviction to put your name to your art. It is the bravest thing an artist can do. Own your soul, and put it out there for approval or critic. Group exhibitions always a wonderful way it introduce yourself.

I would be naive to ignore reality; the second is of course that exhibiting artists would like to sell their work.  There is no bigger compliment than a person connecting with artwork and wanting to buy it.

It is a huge step to exhibit and it comes down to one thing, confidence! It is part of an artist’s personal journey and can be quite daunting and liberating all at the same time.

I would like to thank the Artists who exhibited. Your artwork was marveled at and I enjoyed sharing your stories with the public and my life is richer for it.

Now to start and plan the nest exhibition ‘A LAVA Christmas’

Brenda

Our Backyard Exhibition

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The exhibiting Artists at the ‘Our Backyard’ Art Glass Exhibition at LAVA Art Glass Gallery & Studio 

Ennica Brennan, Evelyn Henschke, Christine Elston, Wayne Harris and myself, Brenda Ellen

 September 14th 2013, at 4.30 pm  it was a rainy, windy and so uninviting afternoon. An afternoon you would prefer to curl up on the sofa and watch a good movie and have a glass of red wine. Well, not for the LAVA exhibition opening. It was the  first exhibition since opening at Easter and was a great success. Glass lovers came out to be inspired and treated with the talents of their local South West Glass Artist who  exhibit at the LAVA Gallery. The exhibition was opened by Claire Pendrigh from the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.

Folk from Perth made the trip especially and I was so elated to see them. Friends, family and locals supported the opening and purchased exhibited pieces. Gallery was a buzz with the glass enthusiasts , the Glass Artists exhibiting and the infectious excitement  that the LAVA Gallery generates.

Both Martin and I were very happy with the way the event happened given the wild weather and we thank everyone who came to share .

Opening exhibitions always have a toll on me. Preparing artwork to exhibit was a priority and I managed to get a body of work together that I was proud to exhibit alongside y peers. Eight pieces of work all varying techniques, all I loved making and being creative again lifted my energy, so now I’m getting daring and trying new things outside of my usual comfort zone.

All the artists produced beautiful varying work from Evelyn Henschke’s jewellery to Ennica Brennan’s stunning bird sculptures. Christine was alive with all her colour and Wayne the king of ‘less is more’ a  body of work all black and white.

There are always those behind the scenes that make the event and evening what it is, apart from the art work. Without them I really would have struggled and for the second time in my life I asked for help. Mum and Martin catered….. the canape’s and  food was so professional, delicious and abundant, we may need to diversify!  The Champagne, wine and drinks were plenty and the food to match. No alcohol induced purchase, all real and still spontaneous. Dawn produced the catalogue and was Gallery Assistant of the year.

Visit the LAVA website http://www.lavaartglass.com.au and have a look at the artwork of ‘Our Backyard’. A tease is below.

Happy days, soon to be warmer days I  hope 🙂

Thank you for your interest.

Regards,

Brenda

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Christine Elston ‘Blue Water Reflections’

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Ennica Brennan’s ‘Sky Blue Bird’

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Evelyn Henschke ‘Underwater Backyard’

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Brenda Ellen ‘Crashing Waves’

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Wayne Harris macro image of ‘Silver Moon’

LAVA News Flash

Today the first day of Spring and Father’s Day here in Australia. A Federal election next weekend and lots going on.

The Gallery has been open for five months now and the vibe and excitement has not waned. People from all walks of life are still coming in to enjoy the Art Glass and experience ‘Art that Flow’. I am still loving talking about the glass and sharing the stories that are behind all the pieces.
Now for the newsflash…..The Gallery will soon be holding one of many exhibition in the warmer weather. The first ‘ Our Backyard’ Five Glass Artists from the South West region of WA will be exhibiting, interpreting where they are from in the South West through their art work. Exhibition opening 14th September 2013.

The second will be in late November, ‘A LAVA Christmas’ 

I always knew it would be hard work long hours and yet the vision is stronger and my enthusiasm grows with the work load.

I am so excited to be sharing with the community the beauties of Art Glass.  If you an come visit, please do.

 

The journey is gaining momentum and is wonderful……

 

The key to Happiness

A few days ago I was remind why I opened the Gallery.

I found myself sharing my passions for the Gallery and glass differently to any other day. I meet lots of people every day but on this day I met a lady who was on a holiday, whom coincidentally,  came from my home state. Instantly her energy was relaxed and she felt very much at home, as did I.

I notice that after the shock of the initial burst of colour, of which everyone experiences, she was very happy and comfortable to wander around the Gallery.  Took her time appreciating every piece of work asking questions freely and immersing herself in the art space and aura of the Gallery. I felt complimented that she was enjoying the Gallery & conversation as my dreams for the Gallery had hoped for.  The genuine interest was obvious and humbling.

We talked about the Glass, Art in general and our life journey that caused us to meet on that day. Having come from the same place and meeting on the other side of the country at this particular times in our lives.

I have always believed that we meet people for a reason for however long or short their  presence is in your life. On this day I felt enriched to have shared my passions not only for the glass and Art but for life itself.

This meeting reminded me of how passion for what you believe in and trusting your instincts is the key to pursuing dreams and happiness.  Meeting wonderful people, sharing like minded conversations and experiences and feeling alive.

Thank you Gillian!

Living the Dream

Living the Dream

What drives this Blog

Hello,

I’d like to introduce myself and the passion that drives this Blog.

My name is Brenda Ellen and I am passionate about following yours dreams.

I have been a Glass Artist for 22 years. Whenever in my life anyone asked me what I did for a living, I would proudly reveal and say with confidence, “I am a Glass Artist”….. Without any thought the person would usually say, “Wow………..…. How cool! So you blow glass!”……………..… I am sure you could imagine how deflating that might be as the innocent only associated being a Glass Artist with Blowing Glass. My next sentence would always start with, ‘well actually, blowing glass is one format of Art Glass, and I am an Architectural Glass Artist. I see pictures in Glass and use glass as a form of expression” I would then proceed to educate them of all the other formats, including kiln formed glass, leadlighting, stained glass, etching, casting, copper foiling Tiffany Style….torch work, bead making and inevitably the person would say “wow, I did not realise you could do so much with Glass” I am sure the person was sorry they asked, but I felt justified to educate them.

My life journey change a few years ago and I decided it was time to live the recurring dream I have had for many years. I moved to a new location, from the trees to the sea and opened a Gallery & Studio that showcases Art Glass in all its beautiful, alluring glory. I wanted to share my passion for Art Glass alongside my peers and educate people about Glass as an Artistic medium. There is of course another part to my dream.

Selling your Artwork is the ultimate compliment an Artist receives. As an Artist trying to get Art Work, in any format, into a Gallery can be hard enough as it is. But, trying to get your Art Glass into Gallery’s in your own state can be even harder. As an Artist it is difficult to emerge …… it takes confidence, courage and support. My belief is that for the greater good of Art and community, Gallery’s should support Artists in their own State first. It’s great to have big named Artists from all over Australia and the world in their Gallery’s, however, please consider this, even those Artists started somewhere, probably at home.

Of course Artists can open their own Gallery. Often when an Artists open’s a Gallery, they do so to showcase their Artwork, their technique skill and life journey. Promote themselves through their chosen medium. I admire this. It is not always economically viable to do so and it can take away from your artwork.

So, the other part of my dream was to be exclusive. To provide a forum and Art Space that represented Art Glass created by exclusively Western Australian Glass Artists. The Gallery was not to be about ‘me’ and my Artwork. It was to showcase my medium, giving an ‘Exhibition’ experience. I wanted to give back and support my peers for all that I have learnt from them. I want to educate the community about Art Glass and showcase a spectrum of artistic taste, technique and expression.

Please don’t misunderstand; I am a member of Ausglass, which is an Australian group representing Australian Glass Artists and AGDA, another Australian group representing Architectural Glass Artists and I support Australian Artists wholeheartedly. However, I was frustrated and believed I knew a solution. As such LAVA Art Glass Gallery & Studio is the only privately owned Gallery dedicated to Art Glass of a collective group of Glass Artists in Western Australia.

So, LAVA Art Glass Gallery & Studio stems from those passions. It’s about providing an Art Space for ‘Art that Flows’ by Western Australian Glass Artists. It’s about evolving with the glass as glass is a medium that has changed some much over the centuries. It’s about educating the innocent and sharing the beauty or colour, light and texture and the essence of glass.

What is the ultimate part of my dream….????

Put simply, when you think Art Glass in Western Australia you think LAVA.

A Gallery & Studio that showcases Art Glass that has been created collectively by over 20 different Glass Artists. A Gallery that offers choice. A choice of Artists. A choice of Style. A choice of Artistic expression. A choice of High End art work or a gift item. A Gallery that encompasses Modern, Edgy Art, Art that is Traditional, contemporary, functional, sculptural or wearable.

I invite you, to discuss these thoughts that drive my passions and I value free thought, freedom of speech and the right to your own option. My intention with this blog is to share on a more personal note the developments of the Gallery, how owning, and running the Gallery effects my Artwork and my journey finding the balance in life with your passions and reality.

As a footnote I would like to say that my life journey has been as colourful as the Glass I love and touch every day. My life is enriched with the love and support of my three beautiful children. I have travelled life’s journey growing into the woman I am today. People have floated in and out of my life, whether briefly or long term and touched me in some way. Even though people in my life may have changed I want to acknowledge and thank every person who has shared my life.  You have all given me the courage, support and strength to follow my dream.

Regards

Brenda Ellen