Evelyn moved into glass in 2003 after 25 years in commercial art: primarily illustration, design, graphics in the advertising, photography, publishing and print industries, the last 13 as the art director for a publishing company. Combining a full time career and raising 4 children meant interests were woven into life: agriculture, horticulture and sculpture combined through landscaping and a variety of materials.
But a life-long passion with clay, the need to develop her own personal expression through art and more family time resulted in the change of career to a full-time sculptural artist in 2002, setting up a home studio, experimenting in glazes, slip casting, raku, moulds, firing, and learning new skills with metal sculpture - welding and bronze casting, wood, concrete, stone carving, stained glass, lead-lighting and mosaics.
Her initial step into glass was with copperfoil/leadlighting, followed by the only other ‘art glass’ courses available at the time: Lost wax casting using locally made Gaffer lead crystal. After working with colour all her life, lead-lighting introduced the ultimate properties of glass: combining colour with light, and a basic night class in glass casting (2003) combined the form of sculpture with added depth and dimension of glass - along with an endless source of possibilities and technical challenges.
After working with colour all her life, lead-lighting introduced the ultimate properties of glass: combining colour with light, and a basic night class in glass casting (2003) combined the form of sculpture with added depth and dimension of glass - along with an endless source of possibilities and technical challenges. A year casting on her own led to being selected for a more comprehensive 1 year casting course at Auckland’s Artstation in 2004, and the introduction to other artists work.
From her beginning, glass artist Evelyn avoided the status quo in terms of direction, techniques and subject matter. Being completely unaware of existing glass and artists when first learning castin and working in isolation set her apart with what she wanted to create and how allowing her work to take on its own direction without any preconceived limitations or influence.
Exploring the qualities of her materials and constantly re-defining her own boundaries by pursuing ways to gain further understanding of wax, glass and refractories as materials, experimenting, combining variations, manipulating and modifying techniques or methods often developed for other mediums all aimed at capturing what she wanted: more complex and intricate details and textures. A reflection of her own personality and expression of her thoughts.
Now very familiar with the majority of New Zealand’s Glass community - from 2006 - 2010 she was on the NZ Society of Artists in Glass (NZSAG) committee, the majority of her time in 2006 - 2008 was taken up with being ‘Editor’ - photographing, interviewing, writing, producing and printing the ‘Glass News’ Magazine, and following that in 2009 - 2010 co-ordinating the production of a book on New Zealand Glass art incorporating 115 of New Zealand’s glass artists, collating and writing the technical explanation texts.
Time served an invaluable insight into the New Zealand glass scene, it’s history and a study of New Zealand glass and the artists.
Searching for new or different techniques and approaches lead her to the USA in 2008 to visit with a technical expert at a glass casting foundry, resulting in combining modified techniques and American refractory moulding materials into her methods, and a further, longer collaboration again in 2011.
Evelyn enjoys attending and teaching workshops or classes when the opportunities arise. The stimulation and interaction of other artists ideas and challenges is a time to learn and develop new ideas as well as share techniques and skills.
She has attended Glass Master classes and workshops both in New Zealand and overseas in fusing, slumping, carving, engraving and sandblasting, painting, flame work, hot casting, glassblowing along with attending overseas GAS (USA) and Ausglass (Australian) Conferences. Evelyn has participated in many exhibitions and is represented in galleries in NZ , Australia, and the USA. Along with achievements within NZ, having two works selected as a finalists for the 2005 Ranamok Glass Prize on her first attempt, two again in 2006, she was then awarded the Ranamok Glass Prize in 2007 with “Ngahere Karauna” (Forest Crown.) Another two works entered in 2010 were selected, with “Transparent Illusions” an installation of 24 life sized masks becoming the People’s Choice award, and selected as a finalist in 2012, 2013, and the in final 2014. Other notable invitations to exhibit include Kirra Illuminated Glass Award: selected 2014 and 2016, Sydney’s annual ‘Masters of Glass’ (Sabbia, 2009, 2011), NZ Glass Invitational (Milford, 2008 - 2010), Looking Glass (NZ, 2009 - 2010), Putiputi (NZ, 2010) and Oz: Studio Glass from Australia and NZ (Imago, USA 2010, 2011, Austin Art Project 2014) where her works are displayed alongside the most notable names.