2021 Margaret River Region Open Studios | Vicky Small

Accomplished glass artist Vicky Small will be opening her doors to visitors during this year's Margaret River Region Open Studio.
Accomplished glass artist Vicky Small will be opening her doors to visitors during this year's Margaret River Region Open Studio.

Her work is delicate, intricate and a marvel to look at, now visitors can see just how glass artist Vicky Small creates her wondrous pieces of art at this year's Margaret River Region Open Studios.

Ms Small has always loved glass, 14 years ago she ventured into the art form teaching herself how to work with the material because there weren't many places to learn the craft.

"When I started there were even less resources, I now have a very big library on how to teach yourself," she said.

"My earliest memory of glass was from when I was nine years old, my mum took me to this fellow who did flame work," she said.

"He used to make little glass animals and I was fascinated how he could use a rod of glass, apply heat to it, then melt it and turn it into an animal that was solid."

Since then Ms Small had always wanted to work with glass but it was expensive to be a blower, you needed an expensive setup and had to keep it going all the time, which wasn't suitable for her lifestyle at the time.

"I had done lead lighting and when I did my arts degree I got more involved with glass, at that time in the USA more was being done in contemporary glass," she said.

"Kilns became smaller which made it more feasible to do it at home."

Vicky Small at work in her Dunsborough studio.

Vicky Small at work in her Dunsborough studio.

Ms Small started learning different processes through YouTube videos and books and has travelled around Australia and overseas to participate in workshops and masterclasses.

A couple of years ago she went to Scotland and worked under a German artist to learn a new process in glass which she now works in.

"I really love the fragility," she said.

"I work on the environment and the fragility of the environment, the type of glass I use really expresses that and a lot of people come in and ask what it is.

"Often they think it is a fabric, when I tell them it is glass they want to touch it but are too scared. They are more robust then what they look, they have a fragile fabric look to it.

"A lot of us are used to glass in a stiffer form, like sheet glass, I don't mind working in sheet glass because the pieces are more functional items and water wouldn't seep through them.

"These other ones are certainly decorative pieces rather than functional."

Ms Small usually creates a series of work using aspects of the environment as a theme, she recently travelled to the Northern Territory which has inspired this year's work.

"Some pieces I have done in the past represent tidal pools and living on the coast and its fragility," she said.

"Other ones came out of COVID-19 where I saw the impact it was having on workers, their future and how fragile they were feeling about where it would go.

"I believed there was light at the end of the tunnel, somewhere there has to be.

"This year we came back from a trip to the NT which has a fragile environment that is affected by climate change, this year I am trying to get a series done in time for Margaret River Region Open Studios."

Ms Small said she was looking forward to having people visit her during the event at her Dunsborough studio.

"It is just lovely having people come in wanting to know about your process and giving you feedback," she said.

"When people show you their appreciation it encourages you, I have people who come back year-on-year it is really lovely."

To find more about MRROS visit mrropenstudios.com.au/.