Have you ever made your own Souvenir?

Do you collect souvenirs when you are on vacation? I guess you do, like so many of us. Do these souvenirs gather dust and are often neither seen, nor used, when you get back home? If you actually MADE your own souvenir would it be more meaningful?

Welcome to Canberra, Australia’s capital city, where that opportunity presents itself!

The Kingston Powerhouse, the very first permanent public building in Canberra, was a coal-fired facility that produced the steam to generate electricity for about 50 years in the 20th Century.

The Canberra Glassworks.

When it was no longer needed for its original purpose it remained vacant for many years until it was renovated in 2007 and reopened as the Canberra Glassworks. It has become a functioning glassworks which has become an important component of Canberra’s tourism industry with strong, ongoing links to the Australian National University School of Art.

The Glassworks offers workshops for individuals and groups and covers such activities as Glass Blowing, Flameworking, Beadmaking, Casting and Glass Engraving. This is the largest dedicated glass studio facility in Australia. The studio contains a public viewing area, together with public access walkways around all glass working areas. Visitors can purchase a great variety of glass items made by the craftsmen who work there on a daily basis.

Colorful Plates from Gather at Canberra Glassworks

As a visitor looking for a souvenir from your time in Canberra you can work with an expert to make your own piece of glassware. With 40 minutes and the help of a craftsman you can create your very own souvenir for $170 AUD (roughly $120 US). you can spend about 40 minutes with a craftsman making your own souvenir – your very own creation. 

An Expert helping a visitor create a souvenir.

If you are going to take advantage of this activity, be aware that you will probably not be able to ‘create your masterpiece” and walk out of the Glassworks with it in your hand. Your masterpiece will need some further treatment and it may be a day or two before you can pick it up. Time to make a decision: (i) arrange your visit to the Glassworks early in your stay around Canberra, or (ii)  if you have a friend around Canberra, get that person to pick up your work of art, or (iii) arrange for the Glassworks to have it delivered to you, no matter where in the world you are normally resident.

If you feel that you do not have the skill to create something out of molten glass,  I have some advice for you.

A souvenir created by a relatively unskilled tourist.

If I can create a glass with multiple colors, then you can assuredly do so too. My souvenir of a visit to Canberra is so much more meaningful – because I helped create it!

As with a whole range of activities, in many countries, Covid 19 has necessitated some changes in our everyday life. Canberra Glassworks has modified some aspects of its daily operations.

Located at 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston ACT, the Glassworks is normally open to the public  10.00 am – 4.00 pm Wednesday through Sunday. If you are intending to spend some time at the Glassworks, and I certainly hope you do, it would be worthwhile to check what activities they have planned at the time you are going to be there. Current information will be available with an email to contact@canberraglassworks.com, or by phone at 02 6260 7005 from anywhere in Australia.

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