Mark and Linda Floyd have captured the process of turning glass into art … the vibrancy and colour of their work is completely eye-catching! Based in Ogunbil, 50 km south-east of Tamworth, Volcania Art Glass has been a finalist in the Tamworth Quality Business Awards every year since 2012 …
Hi Mark and Linda. What can you tell us about Ogunbil, and how you came to settle there?
In the early 1990s, Mark and I wanted to leave Sydney behind and move to the country – but where?
Mark, a commercial pilot/flying instructor, received a posting to the flying academy in Tamworth, so our house hunting began. We came across a beautiful locality approximately 50 km south-east of Tamworth called Ogunbil. It had what we wanted – mountains, trees, plenty of birds and wildlife.
In April 1994, we moved the family of three children and many pets to our 10 acre property.
How did your interest in working with glass begin?
After the move to Ogunbil, Mark was working long hours as a flying instructor, and I was having a break from being a registered nurse. A neighbour suggested I attend one of her leadlight classes, as a way of meeting new people and being creative too. This was the beginning of the Volcania Art Glass journey … Little did I know where that day would lead!
That day has led to a love of working and being creative with glass in more ways than just leadlight and also, many long-lasting friendships have been formed.
How long has your business, Volcania Art Glass, been in existence … and what does it specialise in?
Our business began back in the year 2000 as Edelweiss Productions/Gallery, after having to make some life changing decisions. In 2013 we changed our name to Volcania Art Glass.
We specialise in mainly copperfoil leadlighting, fusing and slumping of glass and doing many commissioned pieces of work.
Our most notable commission was for the Australian Federal Police to commemorate its centenary. We were asked to create a piece to symbolise the beginning of the AFP.
What processes do you use in the creation of your products?
All our products are created at home in our workshop by Mark and me. However, we do purchase the sheets of glass required.
The processes we use are:
Copperfoilmethod leadlighting– cutting and grinding the glass, applying the copper foil, soldering, patina, polishing finishing touches.
- Traditional method leadlight – cutting, grinding, putting together with lead cames, soldering, puttying and polishing.
- Fusing, slumping and draping – this work is created in a kiln. We fuse layers of glass, then on future
firingswe slump or drape the glass to give shape and form.
What types of products do you create – and what are some of your best-sellers?
We create many and varied products. Small leadlight windows/panels, lamps, vases, bowls, plates and platters, sculptural pieces, suncatchers, jewellery, candle holders and coasters, to name a few. Our best sellers are our lamps, one of a kind creations and suncatchers.
You’ve received a lot of acknowledgement for your work … including recognition in the Tamworth Quality Business Awards as a finalist for Excellence in Customer Service Tourism, Sport and Entertainment. What achievements are you most proud of?
We have been finalists at the Tamworth Quality Business Awards every year since 2012, and we have been awarded four TQBAs.
They all mean a lot to us, but especially receiving the August 2017 Excellence in Customer service Retail – small, at the Tamworth Business Chamber Quality Business Awards. We know there are many great small businesses in our region, and to be judged and awarded this honour just exceeded our expectations.
You offer workshops too! What can you teach participants in these sessions?
We can teach participants how to cut glass, grind, copper foil and solder to make a copper foiled leadlight suncatcher, all in a one-day workshop.
Participants will complete their first project on the day and have something they have created to take home. No experience is necessary.
We will travel all over the region, bringing all materials and tools required. All we need is a location and people eager to have a try at something new. The classes are kept small (three – six participants only) with two tutors, so there is plenty of one on one time.
WESWAL GALLERY, 192 Brisbane St, Tamworth – 6766 5847. To book, please contact WESWAL Gallery. SEPTEMBER 28th, 10am – 3pm.
4 EVA KEEPSAKES, 38 Barber St (next to Holden dealership), Gunnedah, NSW 2380. To book, please contact Jo at 4 Eva Keepsakes. Phone 0427 425 911.
- JUNE 15th, 10am – 3pm,
- JULY 20th, 10am – 3pm,
- AUGUST 17th, 10am – 3pm,
- SEPTEMBER 21st, 10am – 3pm,
- NOVEMBER 16th, 10am – 3pm.
FULLERS GALLERY. Barraba contact person: Bronwyn Clinch: email
email@example.com or call 0447 165 008 / (02)6782 1662.
Payment will be required on booking.
- AUGUST 30th, 10am – 3pm,
- AUGUST 31st, 10am – 3pm.
What do you love most about working with glass?
The challenges and the delights of creating something unique; the range of colours and textures; the excitement of opening the kiln (like a child opening a gift on Christmas Day) and seeing your crazy ideas coming to fruition; the smile of your customers when you have interpreted their ideas and made them a reality.
What are your goals for the rest of 2019?
Business-wise: to see our online business grow; to continue to make our customers happy; to do more workshops throughout the New England, so we can travel, meet new people and pass on the knowledge we have to others.
Personally: take some time to look after each other; see more of family and friends; travel.
Where can we contact you?
We can be contacted via our website www.volcaniaartglass.com.au / phone (02) 6769 0250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, visit some of the galleries and shops that stock our glassware. There is a list on our website.
Thanks Mark and Linda.
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Pic of Mark and Linda courtesy of Emma Steed, Rebel Heart Photography.
Glassworks pics courtesy of Hayden Pannell.