Ann Robinson was born in 1944 in Auckland. She attended Elam School of Fine Art, Auckland University, in the late 1960s, but as she says "dropped out along with many of my generation, to explore the wider world of life, as the hippy generation defined it.
Learning to bake bread, keep bees, grow organic food, milk a cow and make butter, living in the country, along with my two children. This wonderful time of freedom eventually led to a strong desire to re-engage with the arts as a creative person".
After a 15-year break, Ann re-enrolled at art school having been inspired to study glass practice after the establishment of the first glass studios in Auckland. After graduating she joined Sunbeam Glass Works, a previously established studio, to become a partner with two others in 1980, where she became as she says 'not a bad glass blower' over the next nine years. During this period she also worked on developing a method of casting and the results of this new way of working won her three major awards, including the Philips Glass Award in 1984 and 1986, and the Winstone Biennale Award for Craft in 1987. In 1989 she left the partnership to set up her own studio on the west coast, north of Auckland. This move enabled her to concentrate solely on casting.
| Antipodean Bowl, 2009 |
With some crucial support from The Arts Council of NZ, galleries, friends, and many loyal collectors, as well as 'great dollops of good luck', she has produced limited series of beautiful cast glass vessels. She has established an international profile with exhibitions in Australia, Japan, USA and Europe as well as exhibiting widely in New Zealand. On three occasions she has been invited to teach at the Pilchuck Glass School, in Washington State, USA, and has delivered addresses at numerous international glass conferences.
In 2001 she was awarded the Officer of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM), and in 2006 a "life time" award for services to glass from the American Glass Society. She received an Arts Foundation Laureate Award in 2004.
In 2007 Ann was commissioned to create a font which installed in the baptistery at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland in 2009. This is a unique piece of art, cast in five pieces of solid glass.