Review: Canberra Glassworks inner banner

Review: Canberra Glassworks

The nation's capital certainly has no shortage of cultural attractions, with around forty museums and galleries at last count. One of the most interactive options is Canberra Glassworks — the only arts facility in Australia dedicated entirely to contemporary glass art.
23 Jun, 2024
Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks. Image: Visit Canberra

Top Oz Tours offers a great range of Canberra tours and experiences. You can browse the options here.

Glass — it’s miraculous when you think about it.

It’s a solid substance you can see straight through. We live and work surrounded by it — and travel from our homes to our workplaces largely encased it in. Yet rarely do we give it a second thought, even as we sip our evening tipple from it at the end of the day. But as the good Doctor Julius Sumner Miller used to put it so eloquently: ‘Why is it so?’

That question will be answered during a visit to Canberra Glassworks in the nation’s capital. Housed in Canberra’s oldest public building — the Kingston Power House, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2015 — Canberra Glassworks is Australia’s only arts facility dedicated solely to celebrating the artistic form of one of our most precious, but largely unsung materials.


Canberra tours

Canberra Tours, Activities & Attractions


Like many of us here in Oz, my exposure to glass as an art form has been somewhat limited. I recall many moons ago (the aforementioned Doctor was still with us so it was quite a while back) when my globetrotting grandparents returned from a world cruise bearing an emerald green hand blown glass decanter from Venice. There was much ooh-ing and ahh-ing over this glorious treasure, which we were only permitted to touch under strict supervision. It seemed so exotic at the time.

Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks. Image: Adam Ford

Canberra Glassworks has a remit to cast glass art in a contemporary light — and it certainly succeeds at doing so. There’s plenty to do at the centre, and you‘ll need to set aside at least half a day to do it justice.

For many visitors, the ‘Hotshop’ is going to be the highlight. There’s a tiered viewing gallery where you can sit and observe the artists-in-residence creating their works. This is not a demonstration that’s put on for the audience. These are working artists — most of whom have paid to make use of the state-of-the-art facilities.

Watch our video of ten top things to do in Canberra:

Ten Amazing Things to Do in Canberra | Canberra Travel Guide, 2021

Related | Ten of the best things to do in Canberra: https://topoztours.com.au/ten-best-things-to-do-in-canberra/Welcome to The Big Bus tour and travel guide’s…

It feels almost like you are watching a ballet set in the underworld. The glistening artists are the performers — ducking and weaving between one another armed with great rods tipped with glowing molten glass. The Dickensian 19th century industrial setting only adds to the atmosphere.

Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks: Watch local artists at work. Image: Adam Ford

The more serene ‘Coldshop’ is where the finishing touches are put to the works. This is also where the centre’s classes and group workshops take place.

Down in the foyer there’s a wonderful gallery space, which hosts changing exhibitions roughly every eight weeks. Check the website to see what’s on during your visit.

Canberra Glassworks
Canberra Glassworks. Image: Adam Ford

Finally, the Canberra Glassworks shop offers exquisite glassware and general objets d’art — much of it crafted exclusively for the facility. The shop also showcases the work of a different local artist each month. It’s a great place to pick up a souvenir of your visit to the capital.

Formed under intense heat, yet infinitely smooth and cool to touch, there’s no doubt you’ll think of glass in an entirely different way by the end of your visit.

The writer travelled as a guest of Visit Canberra.

Browse our range of Canberra tours and experiences here.

Do you have any tips for things to do at Canberra Glassworks? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Additional images: Bigstock

Adam Ford

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas, and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger, and photographer. He has travelled extensively through Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Adam worked as a travel consultant for a number of years with Flight Centre before taking up the opportunity to travel the world himself as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten. He loves to experience everything a new destination has to offer and is equally at home in a five-star Palazzo in Pisa or a home-stay in Hanoi.

Travel essentials

You can book many aspects of your holiday on the Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas website, including flights, hotels, car hire, travel insurance, and more. When you purchase a product or service using the following links from our partners, we receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay, and it enables us to continue to provide readers with amazing travel inspiration.

Flights

Compare airlines, flights, and fares in one place with Booking.com. They don’t charge any credit card fees and you can always see exactly what you’re paying for in the price breakdown. You can book one-way, round-trip, and multi-city flights, and change your travel dates with ease when you opt for a flexible ticket option (an additional cost applies). It all adds up to a great flight! Search for flights with Booking.com

Hotels

If you’re looking for a great deal on your next hotel or homestay, look no further than Booking.com. Their mission is to make travel affordable and accessible to more people, and to deliver seamless accommodation experiences that complement your holiday. Search for hotels and homestays with Booking.com

Car hire

Discover Cars is an award-winning (World Travel Awards) car rental comparison website, which helps customers find, compare, and hire cars at the most competitive prices globally. You’ll get access to meticulously maintained cars, 4WDs, and minibuses from the world’s leading brands, and at the best possible price. Search for hire cars with Discover Cars

Campervans & motorhomes

Make Jucy your first choice for campervan and motorhome hire. Since 2001, this progressive company has had a vision to be world-famous for enabling experience seekers to discover happiness on the road. The Jucy crew live and breathe their core values of passion, pride, family, and fun, and these values influence every one of their interactions with customers. They’re ready to help you find ‘your happy’! Search for campervans and motorhomes with Jucy

Day tours & experiences

Search and book day tours, guided experiences, and attraction tickets and passes worldwide with Top Oz Tours and Viator. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book through us, and you’ll have access to the widest choice of activities and most competitive prices. Browse day tours and experiences

Multi-day tours & trips

Travelling on an extended tour with a local guide is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the destination of your choice. Top Oz Tours has joined forced with Tour Radar to bring you a fabulous range of multi-day tours and trips from the world’s leading operators. Travel with like minded people and get the best possible price on the holiday of your dreams. Browse multi-day tours and trips

Travel insurance

World Nomads aims to be a part of every traveller’s journey by providing a reassuring range of travel insurance services. Travellers can buy insurance, extend their policy, and claim online, 24/7, on the road or from home. Travel insurance benefits include coverage for emergency medical and evacuation or repatriation, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and more than 150 adventure activities. Get an insurance costing from World Nomads

1


Subscribe to our newsletter for the chance to win a $100 voucher

keyboard_arrow_leftPrevious
Nextkeyboard_arrow_right

 

Share

Please leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Your Cart
Your Cart Is Empty
error: This content is protected.