Glassblowing first began in Hokitika in the 1970’s when two young Swedish glassblowers, Ove Janson and Ken Johansson, decided Hokitika was an ideal location for a glassblowing factory. Financially backed by local business people, they established the ‘Hokitika Freeform Glass Factory’.
After almost 20 years of learning the art of glassblowing, both Gene and Anthony have mastered their craft and are now the lead glassblowers in the studio.
Barry now helps manage the workshop, and also cuts, grinds and polishes the glassware each day. Judy still spends most of her week making sure that all areas of the business run smoothly, including working in the shop and managing the office.
Gene enjoys the challenge of creating large stunning pieces and trying new things. He has gained skills from a variety of people, and has mastered his craft. Gene concentrates mostly on bowls, vases, perfume bottles, paua shells, kiwis etc. His glassware has been acclaimed as being some of the finest in the world.
Anthony concentrates more on freeform items, specialising in penguins, angelfish, whales, seals, dolphins, paperweights etc. He also assists Gene when blowing vases, bowls, perfume bottles etc. Anthony has also taken on the role of learning about the glass melt, so he and Barry perform this task most weekends.
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