photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum
The swivel chair, easel, traymobile, kiln and laying-out workshop table in this photograph have facilitated over 130 years of creative activity. They are shown here in the studio of Philip Handel, a prolific glass-maker who produced hundreds of stained and painted glass windows for public buildings in Australia. Philip inherited the historic studio equipment in 1948 from his father, Alfred Handel, who was chief artisan of the influential glass manufacturing firm Lyon Cottier & Co. But prior to Alfred’s period of ownership, employees of Lyon Cottier & Co. used the equipment to produce windows as early as 1873.
Each individual object in the studio reveals the day-to-day workings of Alfred and Philip Handel, contains narratives of the labour and skill invested in each window, and demonstrates preferred artistic methods. For example, on the traymobile you can see Philip’s unique, personalised scatter of paintbrushes, plastic cups, glass palettes and other artistry tools, which can teach us much about the ‘behind the scenes’ intricacies of this traditional glass-making process. And if you look closely at the workshop table, you can see that thousands of nail holes have punctured the table top, creating a physical imprint of over a century of stained and painted glass manufacturing.
The Philip Handel glass studio is a recent acquisition for the Powerhouse Museum’s collection. See more on the Inside the Collection blog.
Post by Danielle Geracitano, Museum Studies intern student with Dr Paul Donnelly
Photography by Marinco Kojdanovski
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