IT'S a whole seven years since the historic Kingston Powerhouse, designed by architect JS Murdoch, first opened its doors in 2007 as a working glassworks, with the idea of providing access to facilities for artists working in that medium.

Glassworks Touching Lightly (candle)

It is the only cultural centre  in Australia, Canberra Glassworks staff say, which is wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art. The brainchild of former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and dedicated local glass artists, it was built and funded by the ACT Government and has rapidly acquired an international reputation for its high quality work, its state-of-the-art equipment and its range of workshops presented by professional artists. It also has studios for artists and mentorship programs.

The glassworks has no intention of hiding its light under a bushel, and the big birthday bash begins this Saturday, May 10 from 10am with a  traditional smoking ceremony presented by Ngunnawal ranger Adrian Brown.

At 10:30am  ACT arts Minister, Joy Burch speaks from the Hotshop floor and then the festivities lighten up as guests are invited to witness a “creative challenge” in the hotshop and engine room, where the artists, in more frivolous mood than usual, will be creating glass birthday candelabra. Judging will take place from noon and guests are invited to adjudicate.

All day there will be hands-on activities for children in the foyer. Guests will be asked to engrave birthday messages on a glass birthday balloon commissioned for this event, which will also include demonstrations and ‘make your own’ workshops through to 4pm.

By happy coincidence, this celebration coincides with the  Canberra International Music Festival’s Kingston Foreshore Event, which runs at Norgrove Park from 1.30 to 5pm.  The sensible thing to do,   Glassworks staff suggest, is to make a family day of it.

Canberra Glassworks’ 7th  birthday celebrations, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, Saturday May 10, 10am to 4pm. All welcome.

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor