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Self-taught Brisbane glass artist, Samantha, channels her passion for sculpting glass and her obsession with flowers into a vast array of glass and enamelled copper jewellery, beads, and sculptural pieces.

05 February 2021

Designer Spotlight: Hextasy Glass

Pop 21st February in your diary to check back and see Hextasy Glass and more Australian glass artists exhibiting their glass wares as part of the 2021 Festival of Glass Expo.

COMING SOON TO MADEIT:

Festival of Glass Jewellery

COMING SOON TO MADEIT:

Festival of Glass Homewares & Sculpture

Passionate self-taught fusing, lampwork, and enamelling artist, Samantha: ‘Glass has taught me great patience and perseverance, and humility as not everything you try will work the first time.’

Well hello there kind viewer, I am Samantha Stitz, curious creator of Hextasy Glass. Thank you for stopping by to find out a little about my passion. When it comes to glass, the sky is the limit for me. I dabble in fusing, lampwork and recently, enamelling.

Purple and blue fused glass flower pendant by Hextasy Glass

Based in sunny Brisbane, Australia I live with my amazing partner and our family of 6 tiny dinosaurs (heritage breed chickens). In 2019 we moved into a new-to-me house and a cosy new studio which looks out upon my veggie patch and has become my happy place away from the world.

One of Samantha’s ‘tiny dinosaur’ chickens, Pikelet, sporting a Hextasy floral necklace: ‘When I’m not in my studio you can generally find me… getting my hands dirty in my veggie garden and cuddling my wonderful little heritage breed chickens’

What could be more magical than glass to work with as a medium? Since stumbling across this amazing field after my mother purchased a fused dichroic pendant in 2008, I have been mesmerized. Little did I know at that this point it was to become my life’s passion; little did mum know she had signed herself up to helping me with markets in exchange for jewellery! 😊 (Thanks mum, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your love and encouragement.)

Self-taught Brisbane glass artist, Samantha, channels her passion for sculpting glass and her obsession with flowers into a vast array of glass and enamelled copper jewellery, beads, and sculptural pieces.

Glass can take the shape of just about anything you can imagine. I love the power of being able to shape something solid into beautiful creations and am forever fascinated by the colours, different techniques, endless learning opportunities, and the fantastic places it has taken me.

Samantha in her home workshop creating fused glass creations by melting glass rods with a oxygen torch

I am largely self-taught and only in the past few years had the pleasure of attending workshops by the Maestros, due mainly to the amazing opportunities that the Festival of Glass has provided. I’m only new to Madeit, however I’m thrilled to be a part of their lovely community and to be a featured artist.

Hextasy Glass work in progress: Enameled jewellery pieces to be strung together to make jewellery

Australian owned and handmade is something we all need to support, especially in the current climate with so much uncertainty in the world. I know I personally do a little happy dance when someone adopts one of my pieces, which is why I support other artists when looking for gifts and homewares.

A collection of colourful glass beads made by Samantha at Hextasy Glass

Fusing pendants led me to find the field of lampworking (using an oxygen-fuelled torch to melt glass) and I started making beads in 2010. It has been quite a few years now, with a few bumps along the road.

A pair of cupped hands holding a collection of daisy shaped glass beads: ‘I was finally able to have corrective surgery and… learn to use my hand again.’

In 2013 I was very unfortunate to have a work accident, tearing the TFC cartilage in the middle of my right wrist. My hand was rendered inoperable for 18 months due to a mis-diagnosis, but I was finally able to have corrective surgery and - in a nutshell - learn how to use my hand again. It was a very humbling experience which has never dulled my passion and learning, and after a lot of physiotherapy and help and support from family and friends, I have been able to spend the past couple of years on working on fine tuning my sculptural work.

Copper enamelling work in progress at Hextasy Glass

Only recently have I stepped into enamelling copper, which is lots of fun to do, especially in the summer months in Brisbane as it can get very hot and humid and not suitable for spending hours at the torch.

A glass sculpture of purple irises in a wooden stand: ‘I love the idea that glass flowers will never wilt and die’

Flowers are my obsession. I love the idea that glass flowers will never wilt and die; that they can immortally bloom day after day. They represent so many different stages of life from happiness to tragedy; they celebrate and commemorate occasions. My grandfather was an oil painter and my childhood home was filled with his botanical paintings and I have always been drawn to them.

A collection of fused glass flowers, butterflies, and even a mermaid tail, by Hextasy Glass

I primarily work in soft glass, which I source from suppliers in Italy, Germany and America. This presents quite a challenge in my work as soft glass can be a bit temperamental and can get unhappy when you are working on large pieces.

Samantha coaxing temperamental glass components into a floral sculpture: ‘Soft glass can be a bit temperamental… I get around this by talking nicely to it and piecing my sculptures together using individual components

I get around this by talking nicely to it and piecing my sculptures together using individual components and designing them so that they aren’t stressed by the different temperature changes from the torch and once completed, the glass goes through a process of annealing in the kiln. This means that the piece is held at a certain temperature such as 510 degrees for a specific amount of time (garaged is the technical term) and then slowly cooled to room temperature. This allows all the molecules that you have upset and gotten out of alignment while manipulating the glass, to arrange themselves in a uniform pattern to take the stress out of the glass, making it nice and durable.

Samantha in her workshop fusing a glass flower onto a new stem

Glass has taught me great patience and perseverance, and humility as not everything you will try will work the first time, but practice and hard work will always get you where you want to be.

When I’m not in my studio you can generally find me at my day job as an Administrator on Monday thru Friday, maintaining my website and stockists, getting my hands dirty in my veggie garden and cuddling my wonderful little heritage breed chickens.

Samantha sporting one of her own glass bead creations: ‘I enjoy teaching and sharing what I do with others as it is what I breathe every day.

I am grateful for my amazing partner, Chris, who both encourages me, who doesn’t complain when the kitchen table is covered in components and projects, and who has travelled all over Australia with me to assist me in markets and exhibitions to share my work with the world.

A sea of fused glass flowers by Hextasy Glass

I love supporting handmade artists, there is so much talent and inspiration to be found in the community. I enjoy teaching and sharing what I do with others as it is what I breathe every day and has brought me so much joy over the years. I hope that you will enjoy my passion as much as I do.



COMING SOON! Save February 21 in your diary to visit Hextasy Glass and more Australian exhibitors in the virtual 2021 Festival of Glass Expo on Madeit:

Festival of Glass Jewellery

Festival of Glass Homewares & Sculptures

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