Bank Glass Gallery hosts pop-up art shop and calls on Hunter locals to buy local at Christmas

VISUAL APPEAL: Glass jelly babies made by Lee Howes are among locally-made artisan items that will be on sale at the Bank Glass Gallery pop-up event on Thursday.

VISUAL APPEAL: Glass jelly babies made by Lee Howes are among locally-made artisan items that will be on sale at the Bank Glass Gallery pop-up event on Thursday.

LEE Howes has a firm Christmas shopping message for Novocastrians.

Buy local: "Look for something that's a one-off that an artist has poured their heart and soul into, that you won't see anywhere else," says Lee Howes, holding one of the Australian of the Year awards she crafts. Pictures: Simone De Peak.

Buy local: "Look for something that's a one-off that an artist has poured their heart and soul into, that you won't see anywhere else," says Lee Howes, holding one of the Australian of the Year awards she crafts. Pictures: Simone De Peak.

“It drives me nuts that people go and buy things from China when there are so many local artists who are talented - we need to showcase and support them,” says the glass artist commissioned to make 36 statuettes for the upcoming Australian Of The Year Awards.

On Thursday, Mrs Howes will stage a pop-up art shop at her Bank Glass Gallery at 564 Hunter Street from 5.30pm to 9pm. The event will showcase her nature-inspired glassware and Hunter artists Jackie Smallcombe (jewellery), Leah Fawthrop (textiles) and Dave Newcombe (photography), who will all attend.

Ms Fawthrop said as the region’s industrial clout dissipated, the rise of the mini maker continued: “Bespoke design is alive and growing and supporting local makers mean unique gifts,” she said.   

Mrs Howes has grown what began as a hobby to a thriving business and remains “addicted” to “versatile and intrinsic” glass. 

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