Nelson glass artist, Roz Speirs, with some of the work she will be selling at the annual Art Expo Nelson this weekend at the Trafalgar Centre. Photo: Kate Russell.

Roz proves anyone can ‘art’


Roz Speirs never thought she would be an artist.

With a career in sales and marketing, the Nelson woman only ever dreamed of a leading a life as a creative professional.

But when Roz’s husband decided to have a garage clear out four years ago, things changed.

“He suggested that we get rid of my languishing art supplies that I’d brought from Scotland when I emigrated to New Zealand in 2002,” she says. “I said ‘no’. I had a creative itch that I needed to scratch, I just hadn’t found the right medium yet.”

But Roz soon discovered the world of fused glass and “fell in love”.

“I find traditional forms of art quite frustrating. But with glass, you’re working with colour, texture and form. One of the most exciting things about working with glass is that it involves both art and science.”

Roz started out with a small microwave kiln and enrolled herself in an array of courses and workshops to make sure glass was the “right thing” for her, before investing in a bigger kiln.

Now, she produces a mixture of functional and decorative pieces, such as bowls, suncatchers and artworks, under the name ‘Clarity Glass’ and will be selling them at this weekend’s Art Expo Nelson at the Trafalgar Centre alongside over 100 other artists.

This will be Roz’s third time doing the annual three-day expo and she says it’s a “great way” for her to get exposure to thousands of keen art buyers.

“The advantage of the expo is that people get to see everything under one roof. As an art buyer, it’s the best place to go. It’s such a cool environment with the music and café. You can take your time and relax.”

Event manager Nic Foster says there will also be artists are from outside the region – some of them exhibiting in Nelson for the first time.

“This is a great opportunity for art buyers to see new works by artists from outside the area, but many of our local artists have also been creating new pieces especially for the show,” he says.

Art Expo Nelson will be held at the Trafalgar Centre from Friday 31 August – Sunday 2 September, from 10am. Entry is $5 for adults, children under 15 free.