Glass Artist: Leslie Karl Baxter

Leslie Karl Baxter, Director of Architectural Glassworks, has worked in glass design and manufacturing for over 30 years and followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Bela Kozak, whose work in the fields of stained glass and leadlight – both traditional and contemporary – is well renowned. His design experience, along with other designers in the company, combine to produce uniquely crafted:

  • Feature Windows
  • Panels
  • Doors and Sidelights
  • Balustrades
  • Contemporary Mirrors
  • Designer Bowls
  • Sculpture and Wall Art

Many years of experience, extensive technical knowledge and an enthusiasm for the medium together with a creative approach has resulted in a varied and fascinating portfolio/body of work.

Artist’s Statement

My inspiration comes from a strong love of colour, texture, landscape and light in the mediums of photography, drawing and cast, fused and fired glass. These things continue to influence many of the designs I am currently creating onto the medium of glass art panels.

My works on glass panels reflect on my perception of the open spaces in areas of Central Western Victoria, as well as elements of the abstracted landscape of Central Australia. In recent travels to Far North Queensland and coastal New Zealand, the particular textures and colours of water, sea, bush and coastal plants/foliage, geological formations as well as cloud formations, weather patterns and sky scapes (especially at dawn and dusk), have evoked passionate responses which I endeavour to recreate in my glass work.

I develop images in my mind before transferring them onto the front and back of the glass in a simultaneous application and firing process which I initiated, and have researched and developed of the past ten years. The alchemy between the glass and the metallic colour, which is permanently fired into it, is subtly assisted by the texturing of the glass. The result generally evokes a response in the viewer, as their perspective changes while moving past the work. The colours appear to change in an interactive manner, from reflective to transparent. I endeavour to create a fascination or intrigue for the viewer on their first experience with a work, to hold their attention and cause them to look deeper into the glass and appreciate the laying of the detail once they have seen the initial graphic. In this way, I hope my panels will continue to give pleasure over a long time.

Curriculum Vitae

PROFESSIONAL DETAILS

1975-2002
Owner/Arts Director Abbey Leadlight (closed 2002) and Architectural Glassworks in East Kew, Melbourne, Australia.

Commissions for architectural glass in residential, commercial and public buildings. Currently also creating slumped/cast glass panels as wall art paintings, and three dimensional works. Developed a unique process for applying and working with permanent translucent metallic colour in the glass.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2008 – Glass fusing workshop, Canberra School of Glass with Kirsty Rae
2008 – Workshop given at Gossel Studio, Calden, Gemany – 3 day visit to Heraeus Factory, Hanau, Germany. Collaborated with glass scientists there in relation to use of materials.
2006 – Recipient of Victorian Government First Step Exporters Grant to pursue potential markets in Singapore, Germany, Dubai.
2005 – Participated in Melbourne workshop with English glass artist, Amber Hiscott.
2005 – Attended the International Glass Artists’ Conference (GAS), Adelaide
1991 – Glass grinding and polishing, Pavel Tomecko, Sydney College of the Arts
1989 – Hot glass workshop, Pauline Delaney, Meat Market, Melbourne
1988 – Glass fusing workshop, Allan Crynes, Melbourne
1986 – Glass fusing workshop, Shar Feil, Melbourne
1981 – Architectural glass design workshop, New Zealand, with Johannes Schreiter.
1980 – Architectural glass design workshop, Chisholm Institute of Technology, Melbourne with Ludwig Schaffrath.

EXHIBITIONS

2011 – Arts Council of Mansfield “Spring Arts 2011”, People’s choice award winner
2010 – Collaborative Exhibition with The Artist Goldsmith, Waiheke Island, Auckland, NZ
2009 – AGDA (Architectural Glass Design Australia) Exhibition, Melbourne
2008 – Kirra Gallery, Melbourne
2006 – Toyota Community Spirit Gallery Sculpture Exhibition, Melbourne
2005 – Strathcona Art Exhibition, Melbourne (winner sculpture award)
2004 – Exhibition at Manyung Gallery, Mornington Peninsula
2004 – Group Show, “Free Associations”, Keesan Rubens Gallery, Brunswick
1983 – Daylesford Easter Arts Festival
1982 – Knox City Glass Exhibition
1982 – Meat Market, Australian Contemporary Craft Show, Melbourne
1981 – Meat Market, Australian Contemporary Craft Show, Melbourne

COMMISSIONS (Selected)

2009 – Marymede Catholic College, South Morang
2007/9 – St Anne’s, East Kew
2006 – Luther College, Croydon
2003 – Our Lady of Good Mercy College, Heidelberg
2002 – Guardian Vaults, Scottish House, Williams St, Melbourne
2001 – Walter and Eliza Institute, Royal Pde, Parkville
2000 – Uniting Church, North Balwyn
1999 – The Necropolis Chapel mausoleum, Springvale Cemetery (collaboration)