Suzanne Hanly and Ben Hanly are the Glassworks.
At our Auckland studio we make stained glass windows to our own designs as well as working with well-known New Zealand artists such as Phillip Trusttum, Shane Cotton and Robert Ellis.
We have a strong fine arts background and when we started our studio in 1980, we were driven by a desire to raise the standard of design and quality of glass art being produced in New Zealand. We were greatly inspired by seeing The Jerusalem Windows by Marc Chagall and Charles Marq, and wanted to work with New Zealand artists to produce the same sort of quality of work.
Over the years, as designer at Glassworks, I have built a large varied and stylish base of design work that I continue to develop. I have designed many of the projects that are shown on the website. I graduated in Fine Arts from Canterbury University, and have a diploma in Arts Management from Auckland University.
Ben Hanly brings an outstanding affinity to the process of making glass art. His technical skills make the stunning works in glass a reality. Ben originally worked in a stained glass studio in Christchurch in the late 1970s and from there he has mastered the art of glass fabrication. Ben Hanly is the son of two of New Zealand’s leading artists, Pat Hanly, painter and Gil Hanly, photographer.
Over thirty five years, we have become a respected stained glass studio in New Zealand and in the Pacific region. We have accumulated a wealth of practical and management skills.
We are perfectionists in our work and the glass we choose to use is the best. Most of it comes from St Just in France and Lamberts in Germany. We buy mouth blown glass because when produced by this method there are variations in colour, tone, texture and translucency. This gives life and character to the design. We can also order glass to be made for us for special projects.
We collaborated with artists to showcase our work in an exhibition called “Artists in Glass” and showed it at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery in Christchurch (1985) and then toured it around New Zealand. We collaborated with artists such as Ralph Hotere, Pat Hanly, Nigel Brown and Phillip Trusttum. This led to our first major commission for a stained glass canopy around Unisys House in Wellington designed by Phillip Trusttum. At 45 metres long with 402 individual glass panels it was the largest glass public artwork in the Southern Hemisphere.
We were then invited with others to tender for the windows on the north face of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Together with artist Nigel Brown we responded to a brief written by Professor Toy, the architect of the cathedral. We were selected to do the project by Jolyon Saunders of the Elam School of Fine Arts.
The project went on to encompass the north face and the windows down the sides of the cathedral, and the north face of St Mary’s, which is next door to the Holy Trinity Cathedral. In all the whole project took us about 7 years to complete.
We have completed many large-scale glass projects working with artists, designers and architects, as well as smaller domestic commissions. You can see images of many of glass projects on this website.