Peter Viesnik Contemporary
Art Glass

Art glass by Peter Viesnik
Above: Aquatic Fish Paperweight by Peter Viesnik

Peter Viesnik specialises in paperweights and paperweight-style vases and bottles, each one a masterpiece of tiny art-works captured inside the glass. He is also well known for his flamboyant goblet designs, pictured below, which give life to the fluid qualities of molten glass.

Peter began glass-blowing in 1979 when he built his own studio in Albany, Auckland. The following year he formed a partnership with Peter Raos and they moved to a craft/art cooperative in Devonport called "The Works". Here they founded "The Hot Glass Company" in 1980 and hosted workshops with visiting overseas glass masters.

glass goblets by Peter Viesnik
Above: looped stem multi-color goblets by Peter Viesnik

Peter has been awarded QEII Arts Council of New Zealand travel grants, which have enabled him to visit glass masters' studios and view glass collections in the USA, the UK, Europe and Australia. He has played a major role in the New Zealand Society of Artists in Glass since its formation, was elected its Vice President in 1985 and President from 1990 to 1996. Peter has taken part in numerous international workshops and exhibitions, and has taught the techniques of glassworking at several training institutions and colleges.

Peter Viesnik paperweights
Above: Arum lily paperweights by Peter Viesnik.

Peter Viesnik's glass is exuberant and free-flowing and many of his pieces derive from scenes in nature, like his under-water scenes and his calla lily pieces. Another favourite design feature of Peter Viesnik's glass is the inclusion of murrini and dichroic glass pieces, like the small bottles shown below.

glass bottles by Peter Viesnik
Above: Small stoppered bottles with murrini inserts.

Peter also makes beautiful tall bottles with long delicate stoppers and glass trailing on the outside. He also uses flamework techniques, using a bench burner, to make intricate murrinis, fish and seaweed for his marine paperweights and abstract shapes for inclusion in the glass. Also, when he can find the time, Peter makes glass beads as individual collectors' items or for jewellery.

For a time Peter created his glass at the "Burning Issues" studio in Whangarei, New Zealand, but then moved on to his own studio in Central Auckland, New Zealand, called "Viz Glass".

Peter Viesnik working on a vase
Above: Peter Viesnik working on a vase.

Peter likes to give each piece its own "personality" and his work epitomises the essential nature of glass, by playing on the effects of light, translucency, and liquidity.

glass goblets by Peter Viesnik
Above: Irregular trailed stem goblets with murrini inserts

Both Peter Raos and Peter Viesnik make calla lilly vases and paperweights, which require very high levels of skill. Viesnik's shapes and designs are more stylised and impressionistic, like the three tall vases below.

glass vases with internal lillies by Peter Viesnik
Above: Tall Lily vases with internal Calla lily design in three dimensions, blue background

Peter Viesnik by the furnace
Above: Peter picking up hot murrini pieces on molten glass.

Abstract paperweights by Peter Viesnik
Above: Sea garden paperweights by Peter Viesnik.


Peter Viesnik is one of the artists featured in the author's book about New Zealand Glass. This book covers both extensive historical information and current glass artists in New Zealand, with some superb photographs and explanatory text.

INFORMATION about New Zealand Glass !
Including many original catalog pictures and dozens of photographs.
NOW available - this is the new second edition of this book and it covers the fascinating history of glass in New Zealand, the story of Crown Crystal Glass, NZ bottles and an overview of contemporary New Zealand glass artists.
Available as a paperback or as a Kindle book.

Buy Now or take a look

If you are in the UK, this link is better

If you are looking for New Zealand glass, you can usually find items on offer on ebay
- click here to see New Zealand glass currently for sale on ebay.

You could also check out our Recommended Books on Glass.

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INFORMATION about Bagley Glass!

The first and 2nd editions of this book sold out in a few months. The 3rd Edition (revised) is now available and has received a rave response - more information, more and better pictures, new items identified as Bagley for the first time, a helpful index, and more compehensive coverage; - and even better news - the price is lower! This book is a truly comprehensive guide to help you identify Bagley Glass. Click on the picture for more details.

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