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Stephen Skillitzi

Area of Interest: Hot Glass, Mixed Media.

Please click to see Stephen talk about his work and practice


Whilst differing perspectives exist, the artist Stephen Skillitzi has often been credited with being "the Father of Australian Studio Glass".

His artistic aspiration: become an innovative solo maker in the Crafts Movement, focusing firstly on Clay then Glass, was initiated 55 uninterrupted years ago in 1960 at age 13 via his homemade solo-use electric-kiln and ceramics studio.

His diverse ongoing career embraced

1/ Academia:-studying//lecturing/demonstrating/course initiating/mentoring.. both in USA (1967-1970) and Australia 1970 to present);

2/ Glass (blown and/or cast: for exhibition, corporate, home-wares projects and commissions);

3/ Non-commercial (street theatre/performance, environmental installations, playable mixed-media games).

Following his brief pioneering involvement in the 1960’s U.S.A. university-centered Glass ‘renaissance’ he returned to Sydney to establish the very first independent furnace-focussed Glass Studio in Australia springing from a 4/1971 Craft Board grant (its first for Glass). Obviously other mainstream glass products,techniques and factory traditions were already in place.

As prophesied by Skillitzi, other craft-artists have fundamentally matured and broadened the nation’s Studio Glass profile propelling it into justified international prominence.... eclipsing its humble 'Studio' origins of 1971.

That multi-faceted aussie Glass history (which has come to dominate the Crafts scene) was

1/ outlined by Skillitzi, his scholarly paper is online, but presented at the 2009 conference of Ausglass, the 'backbone' association supporting aussie glass activities since 1978... Skillitzi has attended every bi-annual conference;

2/ documented by him in the "Eminent Persons Program" archived at the National Library, Canberra. Skillitzi’s contribution to Australian Studio Glass was acknowledged via ‘The Ausglass Medal' for 2015.


Group: 100s since 1965

International: Portugal 1999; Denmark '96, '75; Europe '95; Japan '81, '94, U.S.A. '91, '90, '89.

Australian: Artman Gallery, Victoria, 2011-2013, Ranamok Glass Prize (traveling juried), 2003, 2005. Gallery M, Adel., 1996-2015 (3x per yr.).

All 18 Ausglass members’ shows, 1981-2015.

Solo: over 40 since 1966 International: New York City ‘92; Dallas Texas '91; Uni Massachusetts '70. Australian: Distelfink G., Melb., '93; Studio 20, Adel., '86; Bonython G., ’71, '81; Holdsworth G., Sydney,'81; Gallery 180, Melb., '79; Realities G., Melb., '72; Alladin G., Sydney, '67. 'War of the Worlds’:(national touring duo-works S. Skillitzi/J. Santos), 2003-06. 'Stack Up or Ship Out', (blown glass organic sculpture): Art Images G. Adelaide, 2007. 'Skillitzaphrenia', (glass/clay/metal): the Jam Factory, Adel., 2007, Zahara G., Adel., 2008. ‘Strata Series’,(etched, blown glass): Aarwun G., Canberra, 2008. ’New Works’; Artistic License G. Adel. 2008, ’09,’10. Anima G., Adel., '97; Gallery M., Adel., ’03,’07,’10,’13,’15; SALA/Cosmos Glass Open Studio, '09, '10, '11,’13.


1968: The first student of Dale Chihuly (now the world's most celebrated glass artist).

1969-75 Skillitzi was the first Australian to:

a) Publicize the U.S.A.- initiated Hot Glass Studio Movement

b) Receive a Craft Board grant for Glass to establish a ‘studio furnace' with public demonstrations

c) Exhibit 'studio' blown glass.

d) Exhibit internationally his Studio Glass.

Full time lecturer at SACAE. Ceramics/Glass Dept. 1976-87.

Founding coordinator of SACAE’s degree glass course1979-1986.

Director of Cosmos Glass, c/o Glass Earth and Fire Studios, 1987 to the present.


Numerous media interviews, demonstrations, lectures and performance art events in Australia and in six overseas clay or glass-related tours since 1967.


Grants: Craft board: 71, '74, '75, '96, Arts S.A.1996.

Scholarships: U.S.A. 1968, '69, '70. Kristallnacht project U.S.A. award 1992. Ausglass Conf. Installation competition, Wagga,1999. Represented in all national, state and most regional museums, and overseas including seven U.S.A. museums. The Ausglass Medal 2015.


1966: Ceramics Certificate, N.A.S. Sydney

1970: Masters Degree in Fine Art, Uni. Mass, USA

15 Rudford St, Brighton, SA 5048

Ph 08 8298 4156