Studio Visit: Monmouth Glass Studio

We speak to Isaac Katzoff, one of the founding members of Monmouth Glass Studio alongside fellow glass-blower Stephen Bradbourne, and...

What a treat! We were lucky enough to be granted entry into Monmouth Glass Studio in Arch Hill recently. It was fascinating to be walked through the ins and outs of how these guys create their beautiful glass pieces, from the shaping moulds, through to the furnaces and finishing up in the annealer to set. 

Isaac Katzoff and Stephen Bradbourne, the two guys behind Monmouth Glass Studios, have not only created their own collections of beautiful glass works, they have also caught the attention of industry leaders such as Cheshire Architects, Hipgroup and Katie Lockhart. We caught up with Isaac Katzoff about the attraction of infinite possibilities, their glass installation inside Ortolana restaurant, and spending as much time as possible on beautiful Great Barrier Island...

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- When and where did you start glass blowing, and what was the attraction for you personally?

I started blowing glass when I was in art school in the States, at Southern Illinois University. I just took the class to fill seats. The class was going to be cancelled. I haven't been able to stop since. At first it was just the shear desire to figure out how to use the material and the fire, of course. Now it's more the infinite possibilities of what can be done with glass that attracts me.

- How did Monmouth Studios come about?

Steve and I decided to try to make a business out of our glassblowing.

- Tell us about your studio space.

This space has been a glassblowing studio for 15 years, two other owners before us. We bought it from Peter Viesnik, one of the first studio glassblowers in New Zealand. He still shares the space with us. We did a massive renovation, opened it up, painted it white, cut some holes in the walls to let light in and built shelves and dedicated spaces for every part of the process. It's a really nice and comfortable space to work in. You wouldn't know that from the dirty alley leading up to it but it's perfect inside.

- Who have you created glass works for?

Cheshire Architects, Douglas and Bec, Katie Lockhart, my Mum...

- Your favourite project to date, and why?

The installation in Ortolana at Britomart. It was hard work and there were some serious challenges but I really enjoyed the scale of it. Figuring out what it would look like, how to make it work and then assembling all the little pieces and seeing it come together into one massive thing was really awesome. I'd love to do more big installations.

- Best coffee in Auckland is at....

Atomic in Kingsland.

- When I need a good meal, I head to...

Lunch: Dragon Bowl in Balmoral, Dinner: Top Ten Thai on Balmoral Rd.

- This springtime I'm looking forward to....

Dusting off the longboard and spending as much time on Great Barrier Island as possible.

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See our range of Monmouth Glass lamps, available in store and online [here]

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