We received an invitation from Marie Simberg-Höglund to come have coffee and another look at one of Nelson's art institutions, (our words, not hers) Hoglund Art Glass. So we did yesterday. Outside, it was raining and gray and pretty horrible, but it was nice to walk the grounds, taste Marie's almond muffins, and admire the colorful artworks. And to talk to her.
There's been some changes/development since the last time we posted about Höglund Art Glass, and here are some updates:
- There has been no guided tours offered to individuals after 2007 - however, a trained guide can be pre-booked for larger groups. You can, however, read about the process, see examples, and view a video in the room behind Gallery Reception, (note the wine glasses with bent stems, my favorites!) Then, proceed to view glass blowing through the back door. Glass blowing can be observed some days when their schedule work demands it; other days they work on other processes elsewhere, so you're best to contact the gallery a little ahead of time if you want to be absolutely sure.
- On Fridays and Saturdays there is no glassblowing, though the gallery is open and you can still view the video and see the bent stems.
- There run workshops as well; Ben is eyeing the Paperweight Experience already.
- There is no cafe.
Over the years they have had around 100 apprentices/trainees from New Zealand, Australia, Asia (including a woman from Japan), and beyond. Some have returned to be trained further.
Because this establishment always welcomed visitors, local and from afar, to some extend it was mistaken as a tourist attraction in the past. It was and continues to be first and foremost a seriously art-making studio, and that was the most valuable point I heard.
If you're over the ditch, you have the option to visit their studio in northern Queensland, but we have to say "boohoo" to that! Come to the Nelson gallery/studio.
And a big thank you to Marie for her patience and professionalism in assisting us deliver accurate information.
Photo by Ben, text by Meg today.