Akihiro Okhama

In that moment my life flashed before my eyes.

There have been those momentous occasions in my life that have had an amazing and profound impact on the path my journey follows. You always remember the first job interview, the first pay check, the first love and for those of us most fortunate discovering your passion. I had always had an understanding of what was possible with glass and torching.

In May 2009 we had the Annual Bead Competition which was hosted at Annie Rose. Annie Rose had brought out a Japanese Glass Artists which 12 of us had enrolled to understudy. I remember the night before the class was to commence Peter Viesnik, Carolyn Hewlitt and myself went for a vino and to see an art exhibit at The Quarry (a must see when in Whangarei). Upon returning to the studio Aki had placed his beads and marbles out for display and sale.

As any self respecting woman would do I reached for the most expensive item on the table, a marble. The marble has a dark black background inhibiting light entering the centre so you had to move the marble to gaze into it… It was this moment that my life flashed before my eyes, not the past but the future!

I have never seen anything like this in my life. Three miniature bouquets of flowers in intricate detail, roses, arum lilies, ferns and leaves clustered on three separate plains creating a tunnel of floral designs in a marble no more than 7cm in diameter. I didn’t realise this was possible. Who knew this could be achieved with the equipment I have in my studio.

A path of development began to form in my mind, a goal to be able to create such beautiful intricate designs and be able to do so in the comfort of my own studio. The task laid before me and the journey I am to take was all starting the next morning when I would be introduced to Aki’s world of glass.

It is in this moment standing there with pure clarity that I realised I will be creating glass in miniature for the rest of my life and I will always be continually learning, I had found a passion that would keep me on the edge of discovery for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t wait to begin…

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