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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 Festival "Best yet"

--> The sixth annual Festival of Glass was the biggest yet, presenting a greater variety of events over a longer period.
2016 Festival of Glass Expo

Festival events happened over the two weeks between February 14th and 27th and included new features to spark visitors’ interest, as well old favourites.

From 1 February, people started searching businesses in the area for ‘Tiny Treasures’ – glass ornaments that are clues in a Treasure Hunt with dozens of prizes. Twenty-one local businesses participated, each placing a poster in its window identifying it. People who completed their Treasure Hunt firm placed them in - you guessed - a treasure chest at the Festival Expo on Sunday 21 February to receive their prize.

“Each year’s Festival introduces new features and this year’s is no exception”, said Festival Convenor Doug Carson. “This year saw the first ever Treasure Hunt, with twenty one local businesses sponsoring and displaying pieces of glass art. This was a unique blend of commerce and art that we plan to continue.”

Each day, something new
On Sunday 14 February, around thirty people attended the Bellarine Historical Society’s historic bottle workshop at Drysdale’s Court House Museum. They brought with them their old bottles and some learnt to their pleasure that their bottles' had not just sentimental value, but monetary value, too!

The Masterclass begins
On Friday 19 February, seventy-five people attended a glass art Masterclass at Leura Park winery, Curlewis. The audience enjoyed drinks and nibbles while they watched two master glass artists - Peter Minson and Mark Eliott - create replicas of the locally endangered Orange-bellied Parrot and Hooded Plover. The replicas were then auctioned, to support the work of local groups trying to conserve the birds.

Images of the birds were also created at the Festival Expo on Sunday 21 February at Christian College in Drysdale. More than four thousand visitors attended, and were offered chances to help create a mosaic of the Hooded Plover and a bead woven hanging of the Orange-bellied Parrot. The glass replicas, mosaic and wall hanging will tour the region in the next few months, publicising the birds’ plight and showcasing these different forms of glass art.

Expo visitors toured the 45 exhibitors, watched demonstrations and created some glass art for themselves. The Expo also features the Glass Art Awards ceremony, the Treasure Hunt draw, ‘Glass on Film’ (short films about glass) and a raffle for glass art collectibles.

Hot glass work for Seniors
The previous Saturday (20 February) saw another Festival first - an ‘outreach’ workshop for seniors at Drysdale's Senior Citizens Club. Around twenty people attended and had their first try at working with hot glass, under the watchful eyes of Peter Minson and Mark Eliott.
Hot glass for Drysdale's Senior Citizens

“We’re especially pleased with this year’s new features”, said Festival convenor Doug Carson, “because they’re the result of collaboration between the Festival and community groups. When new groups come on board, it broadens the Festival’s support base and offers the community new ways to be involved”.

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