Hot glass designer & artist, Gerry Reilly produces a strikingly vivid range of handcrafted blown art glass designs from the Melting Pot Glass Studio in Margaret River WA, which he has owned and operated for the past 30 years. In 2014, the studio moved from main street to his beautiful 1.5ha property, west of Margaret River. Open by appointment, Gerry specialises in custom-made commissioned artworks, awards and commemorative pieces for private and business clients, and supplies a stunning range of highly coloured tableware and drinking glasses.
He and his partner Margot Edwards run the studio together, having evolved to focus on responding to commissions, online and by appointment; and running experiential hot glassmaking experiences and special events. You’ll never forget the experience of spending an hour with Gerry, as he guides you through making your own glass, or thrills your children as they blow their own bauble.
Gerry began his thirty year journey in hot glass in his early 20s. After training in Ceramics & Glass at Monash University and University of Tasmania (1976-1981), Gerry worked in clay and glass studios in Tasmania and SA, including the Jam Factory Craft Workshop, before settling in the south west of WA in the mid 1980s.
Gerry’s ongoing professional development includes conferences and workshops, including Nexus International Glass Forum in 2019 at Northlands Creative in NE Scotland; stretching back to an advanced workshop in Venetian Glass techniques with Venetian glassmaster, Lino Tagliapietra in the early 1990s. He was Workshop Coordinator for the AUSGLASS National Conference in WA in 2003.
Gerry Reilly exhibits nationally and internationally and his artworks are represented in public and private collections around Australia and overseas, including the Ebeltoft Glasmuseum Denmark. His most recent exhibitions with Linton and Kay Galleries at Mandoon Estate in the Swan Valley in 2018; and Margaret River Galleries in 2019.
Gerry was commissioned by Linton and Kay in 2017 to create a major artwork for the Intercontinental Hotel in Perth, collaborating with architect Eva Sue, on a magnificent three-part hanging installation, Forest Drift, in the hotel foyer, made with 72 blown glass leaves. The commission also included platters in every guest room; sculptures and vases in the upstairs VIP breakfast room; and awards for opening presentations.
In early 2018, Gerry created Effervescence for Perth’s Optus Stadium with over 80 glass bubbles suspended across the roof of the ground floor VIP Locker Room bar.
Gerry Reilly has numerous pieces in the City of Bunbury Collection, after winning the City of Bunbury Acquisition Award in BRAG’s South West Survey flagship exhibition in 2008 and 2003, amongst numerous category awards since 1990, and also was invited to enter his artwork in the Bunbury Biennale 2009.
Gerry had highly successful solo exhibitions at the Arts Centre Warragul, Victoria (2007), Pilbara Fine Art Gallery (2001) and Fremantle Arts Centre (1999). In late 2006, Gerry was invited to take part in the major Australian Glass exhibition with AUSTRADE Canada, at Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto. He has taken part in numerous festival events as invited artist, including the Margaret River’s International Wine Festival and boundary-pushing Emergence Creative Festival.
In 2007, Gerry took part in the Designing Futures Program with FORM Contemporary Design, researching and developing new design artworks exhibited in EVOLVE at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries 2007, and Central TAFE Galleries, Perth 2008. This professional development program further informed his public and private commission work for government, large corporations and private collectors.
Gerry Reilly’s commissioned works include awards, corporate gifts, trophies and interior designed pieces for clients as varied as the WA Dept for Arts and Culture, PrimeMinister’s Dept CHOGM diplomatic gifts; WA Premier’s Dept and DEEWR Indigenous Higher Education Awards; Sultan of Brunei and Danish Ambassador’s collection, Margaret River Masters & Drug Aware Pro International Surf Trophies for 20 years; Swimming Australia trophies; large commission projects for Energy Developments Ltd, Consolidated Minerals, Chevron Aust and Hammersley Iron, plus Fortescue Metals and Woodside Petroleum corporate gifts; SHINE 2011 in-flight group conference; ISAF World Championship Sailing Regatta 2010; Royal Perth Golf Club; Holmes A Court, Leeuwin Estate and Voyager Estate Collections.
Gerry Reilly works closely with numerous galleries, curated art fairs and gift shops, more recently focused on Western Australia, specifically Aspects of Kings Park Gallery, Gallows Gallery, Linton and Kay Galleries and Fremantle Arts Centre’s annual Bazaar Christmas Fair, creating beautiful art glass gifts for visitors and presentation works to a diverse range of companies and government departments. Please contact him for a full listings of retail and gallery outlets.
Much of Gerry Reilly’s design inspiration comes from the vast Australian interior. For over ten years until 2017, he and Margot were visiting artists for the Blackstone Arts Festival held in the Central Desert indigenous community each May; and their travels across Australia, the Nullabor, western Qld and the Pilbara and Kimberley have been a continual source of design inspiration. The landscapes experienced on their R&D roadtrip to Scotland and Ireland in 2019 provide new palettes for Gerry Reilly’s big sky series … now appearing.
Gerry studied ceramics alongside glass in his student days, including 2 years under master ceramist, Les Blakeborough at University of Tasmania in the early 1980s, and worked as a production potter whilst establishing his own glass practice in south west WA. Recent research and development in ceramics, both in NW Scotland with clay master Fergus Stewart, and here in WA with his daughter Emily Ripley, is rekindling his interest with the intention to create a body of work made from local materials – clay, rock, ash and wood; and of building a new wood-fired kiln; seeking to reveal a deeper sense of place in the process and outcome of his art practice.
Gerry has been a Fellow of the Crafts Council of WA since 1995; received Craftmark accredition and became an affiliate of Craft Australia in 1999.
Bibliography – Masters of their Craft – Tradition and Innovation in the Australian Contemporary Decorative Arts by Noris Ioannou.