Mariella McKinley is an award-winning Australian glass artist who specialises in hand blown and cold worked glass. Mariella graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) majoring in Glass from Monash University, Melbourne, in 2006. She was then selected for a two year Associateship in the Glass Studio at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Adelaide, a rare opportunity which attracts young artists from around the world. In 2010, Mariella worked as an assistant to internationally renowned Sydney artists, Ben Edols and Kathy Elliott, before returning to Melbourne to establish her own studio.
“My lifelong interest in art and design has led me to explore different art forms including architecture, painting, drawing, calligraphy, photography and textiles. However, it was not until I began working with glass that I discovered my true passion for a medium. I am captivated by the qualities of glass, and excited by the challenges inherent in working with this material as it changes state from hot, molten and pliable to cold, rigid and fragile. In creating my work, I am inspired by the natural world and its infinite possibilities of colour, pattern, texture and form. Each piece is handcrafted with care and attention to detail as I aim to create objects suffused with beauty and joy.
My practice is based in the long tradition of glass making, a physically challenging and endlessly creative pursuit. I am inspired by the properties of glass itself to continue to perfect my craft, and to master the techniques and processes necessary to harness the innate beauty of this light filled substance. Glass blowing is a demanding and exciting art form, a process as dynamic and fluid as hot glass itself. In contrast, when the glass has cooled it requires patience and precision to cold work each piece to completion. These techniques, such as engraving, carving, and polishing, require hours of painstaking work but are rewarded with intricate patterns, tactile textures and delicate forms.” – Mariella McKinley, 2016