Glass artist enjoys job's creativity

23:54, Sep 26 2012
GLASS ACT: Jenny McLeod makes sculptures, glassware and garden art.

Jenny McLeod, 41, is a glass artist. She lives in Western Heights with her partner Peter, daughter Fern, 6, son Hunter, 3, and cat Tuna. She talks with Julian Raethel about working with glass.

My day begins at 7.30am when the kids come and watch cartoons with me in bed.

Peter is up and gone earlier at around 6am.

Once I've dropped Fern at school and Hunter at his caregiver I'm back home for work at 9.30am.

The first job of the day is checking emails from galleries where I supply my work and going over orders.

I specialise in glass fusion which includes sculptures, functional glassware, garden art and exhibition pieces.


The process can get very technical and the kilns I use to make the artwork reach temperatures up to 850 degrees.

Creating a new project from start to finish varies in time depending on size and material. I supply a lot of galleries all around the North Island including Wellington and Whangarei.

Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson has been very good for me with some of my smaller collections on display there.

Winter is quiet and it's a great time to experiment and try new ideas.

I think people are more adventurous and outgoing in the warmer seasons and that is when I'm a lot busier with sales and submitting artwork for outdoor exhibitions.

My clients range from people who have seen my work at galleries and exhibitions to close friends and family buying gifts for people.

I often get a lot of people asking to replicate broken glass artwork.

I had one couple who had a treasured family piece that was damaged in the Christchurch earthquake.

They contacted me to see if I could make another glass fish for them and they were very happy when I sent it which is a great feeling.

I really love my job and the majority of my work is making new pieces as the galleries are always interested in new artwork.

You've got to have high standards and I find creating is the easier part. It's the marketing and selling side of the business that can prove more challenging at times.

I get some of my inspiration from odd little things I see. Sometimes I'll find things in second-hand shops and might draw an idea from that.

It's cool to have a new piece hanging or on display in my workshop for a little while so I can appreciate it and have guests look around.

At the moment my days are a bit shorter having two young kids so I stop to pick them up from school after 3pm and the motherly duties take over for the rest of the day.

Western Leader