de Flute Glass studio and glass gallery

A life-long fascination with moving colour and light motivates glass blower Ron van der Vlugt. His work has a sense of movement, an instant of fluid light and colour frozen in glass.

As a child Ron experimented in the dark with torches and pieces of coloured plastic from car tail lights. As a glass blower, he is intrigued by the elusive challenge of capturing the shifting qualities of light and colour as the glass moves from a glowing, flowing, molten state into a cool, hard, solid shape.

Like the Italian glass blowers, Ron works "hot and fast" with few tools, working the glass quickly while it is fluid and hot, relying on the natural forces of gravity and spinning to shape it. He says this makes him more in tune with the glass, so that while he doesn't always control the tricky medium, at least he understands it.

Ron developed his art first in the US, at California Art Glass, then the Wanganui Glass Blowing School, and the Toyama Institute of Glass Art in Japan where he was exposed to Japanese aesthetics and the sophisticated techniques of the Italians. Ron now works from his own De Flute Glass studio in Rotorua.

by Sarah Moodie

California Art Glass Studio, USA
August 1990
Advanced Fused Glass Course, Pacific Glass, USA
Fusion Art Glass Studio, Gisborne - Self-employed
Commercial Art Adult Student Gisbome Boys High School
Wanganui Polytechnic, Glassblowing and Production
Toyama Institute of Glass Art, Japan
Graduate Student, Glass Blowing Major
May 1995
Hoglund Glass, Nelson
Blown Glass Studio, New Plymouth
February 1997
Pacific Light, International Art Glass Conference, Auckland
Research and building of the de FLUTE Glass Studio, Rotorua
June 2002
GAS - Glass Art Society of America, International Glass Conference, Amsterdam, Holland
May 2005
GAS- International Glass Conference, Adelaide, Australia
January 2008
  Release of the "Volcanic Series" body of work, culminating 7 months development
New Zealand Exhibition Indigenous Art Conference - hosted and assisted Preston Singletary Glassblowing Workshop
New Zealand Society of Artists: Glass Conference and Exhibition
October 1988
Trish White Gallery, Stained Glass
June 1990
Gisborne Artists Winter Exhibition
November 1990
"Focus on Glass" Art Glass Association of Southern California, San Diego, Best 1st time entry award
October 1993
"Glass Blowing and Casting", Fine Arts Centre Wanganui
March 1995
Graduation Exhibition, Shimizu Plaza Gallery Toyama, Japan
September 1999
Opening exhibition, de Flute Glass Studio & Gallery, Rotorua
August 2003
Rotorua Artists Biennial Exhibition
June 2004
Ashburton Society of Arts, Annual Exhibition, Guest Artist
September 2005
Rotorua Artists Biennual Exhibition Judges selection
August 2007
N.Z Art of Glass Awards. Mazda Artworks at the Hilton, Auckland
November 2009
  Rotorua Artists Biennial Exhibition, Three Dimensional Prize, Highly Commended
Rotorua Museum Art Awards, Finalist. Volcanic series purchased for Museum's permanent collection