A new era has begun for art glass in Whanganui with the opening of New Zealand Glassworks - Te Whare Tūhua o Te Ao.
"It's an open access studio for both professional artists and the greater community to experience and educate in art glass," manager Scott Redding says.
The facility opened on Thursday - five months after the privately run Chronicle Glass was purchased by the Whanganui District Council's charitable trust.
"It's going to bring a lot of tourists in. It's going to be great for the general community and it's going to be great support centre not just for glass artists but the whole arts sector here in Whanganui," Mr Redding says.
The council says the move is about retaining Whanganui's reputation as a national centre for glass art - particularly following the closure of the Wanganui Glass School last year.
The facility will be used by hot and kiln glass artists, UCOL design students and there will be a public gallery onsite exhibiting work from around the country.
"So we're bringing together the commercial side by having the retail aspect with the gallery, exhibitions and then allowing the space for both professionals and then that educational side for artists to develop further and then teach novices."
Mr Redding says the New Zealand glass scene is strong and that's why he moved back from Melbourne to lead the project.
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