Clare Belfrage

Graduating from Monash University in 1988, Belfrage spent the next two years working for Michael Hook at Resolution Glass Works in North Melbourne as a production glass blower producing mould-formed goblets and perfume bottles.

Russet and Brown Collection, 2014
Blown glass with cane drawing, hand sanded and polished

It was an exciting time in Melbourne for glass blowers, with the newly-opened Meat Market hot shop providing an open-access hot-glass studio for hire. Belfrage fondly remembers the sense of community at the time, when she and other ‘glassies’ seemed to eat, sleep and dream glass.

This keen sense of community of glass blowers has seen Belfrage work in a number of group studios. She currently works from the JamFactory’s studio, having first joined the JamFactory as an Associate in 1991, and later becoming the studio production manager in 1996. In 1997 she was a founding member of Blue Pony — an influential studio she shared with other glass artists such as Tom Moore, Gabriella Bisetto, Tim Edwards and Jessica Loughlin — and in 2009 she was offered the position of creative director of the newly established Canberra Glassworks where she developed and oversaw the programming of exhibitions, as well as the professional artist-in-residence and education programs before returning to Adelaide in 2014.

 

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Belfrage is known for her distinctive works in which complex patterns of fine glass lines trace her forms. Inspired by patterns in nature, Belfrage applies fine glass rods known as stringers, at an early stage of production, producing the fluid line found in these works. The sea’s power is captured in Awash in black, 2014 — the lines swell and move in across the surface in ghostly form, referencing the majestic power of the ocean with its ever-shifting sands and currents of water. While Cluster in brown and burgundy, 2014, suggests growth resulting from the laying-down of matter, whether rocks forming over time, or textiles being produced as someone knits or weaves.

Awash in Black, 2014
Blown glass with cane drawing, hand sanded and polished

Clare Belfrage