Artist a glass act
IT ALL started with a broken down beer bottle.
It might not have been much to look at but that first paperweight fired something inside of Peter Viesnik and 32 years later he is still blowing glass.
The 73-year-old is holding a sale this Saturday at his newly renovated Grey Lynn studio to mark his third decade as a hot glass artist and to celebrate the work of the two fellow artists who now share the space.
Mr Viesnik arrived in New Zealand from England in the mid-70s and started up his first studio in Devonport a few years later.
He has gone on to become one of New Zealand’s best known hot glass artists with his range of paperweights, vases and bowls.
There’s much more to making his signature paperweights than meets the eye.
Each individual component inside must be created first and then painstakingly introduced behind layers of clear glass.
Once assembled it is then polished by different grinding wheels.
Mr Viesnik went through many career changes, including a stint as a restaurateur in Tauranga, before settling on glass.
‘‘I think I’m probably getting a bit long in the tooth to change again.’’
Fellow glass artist Isaac Katzoff now shares Mr Viesnik’s Grey Lynn studio space.
The 35-year-old says he hopes to continue in the industry for as long and with the same enthusiasm as Mr Viesnik has.
‘‘I really look up to Peter. We all do very different work but its great working alongside skilled glassblowers.’’
The sale will be held from 9am to 3pm at Viz Glass, 36a Monmouth St, Grey Lynn.
Glass artist Peter Viesnik is celebrating 32 years of blowing glass.