Renato Perez stands in his Jam Factory studio surrounded by ocean icons. Shells, colourful anemones, corals, icebergs – all made from glass. His latest concept, the Shark Fin Glass, is a delicate, stemless wine holder with a fin-shaped dimple in its base. For every one that’s sold – either through Perez’s website or the Jam Factory’s Morphett Street shop – he’s donating part of the proceeds to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“Glass comes from sand,” he says, “It felt natural for me to imitate the fluidity of water in glass.” Perez is originally from Mexico (which, coincidentally, is home to one of the world’s most shark-infested beaches, Cancun). He arrived at Jam via Italy and The Sydney School of Arts, and is now in the second year of his associateship.
Every one of Perez’s works is hand-blown. The shark-fin design was born through experimentation – a process that’s strongly encouraged at Jam Factory. “I had the idea of making something coming out of the water,” he explains. He started playing with different techniques and, “The shark [shape] was perfect.”
The glass is made by first creating a sphere. Then, using a humble kitchen knife, Perez forms the dorsal shape. “It looks great with wine or some dark liquid and just the fin,” he says. Perez is already expanding the series, explaining he wants to make bowls with several fins, “just circling.” He’s also made an octopus-inspired bottle stopper and decanter.