ROBINSON, Ann; Vase: Flax pod 'Te Rito'
Ann Robinson was born in Auckland, New Zealand and worked in leather and textiles before receiving a diploma in fine arts from the University of Auckland in 1980. Robinson established the Sunbeam Glass Studio, Auckland with Garry Nash (see Acc. no. 1988.091) and John Croucher (see Acc. no. 1988.046) in 1981.
During the nine years Robinson was involved with Sunbeam Glass Studio she became increasingly dissatisfied with glass blowing 'especially the lack of intimacy and difficulty in making a personal statement with it.' She experimented with casting techniques and became skilled in pate de verre (an ancient technique which allows for the precise placement of glass colours in a mould). In 1993 Robinson ceased her involvement with the studio and built a new studio on the west coast of Auckland where she concentrated on the production of cast glass. This technique was first used by French art glass makers, such as Gabriel Argy-Rousseau (1885-1953), at the turn of the twentieth century. The demanding technique means the scale of such pieces is usually quite small and the amount produced limited.
Robinson's investigation into the structure of plants inspires her work. Of the work Vase: Flax pod 'Te Rito' she has said: 'I have carved the herringbone pattern that can be observed in the manner in which the leaves emerge from the base of the plant. A universal motif, beautiful and rhythmic, for me symbolising one of the patterns of life and growth'.(1) The fern frond is also the source of some traditional Maori designs.
1. Artist's statement, Vitreous, Crafts Council of Queensland, Brisbane, 1997, p.3.