‘Little known facts’ diorama by Tom Moore.

Made by Moore, Tom in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 2004.

This glass diorama, titled ‘Little known facts’, was made by Adelaide artist, Tom Moore, for entry into the 2004 Ranamok Glass Prize that toured Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Port Macquarie, Mount Gambier, Adelaide and Wagga Wagga. Its blown and hot worked glass components represent some of the imaginary friends that have characterised Moore’s work for the past ten years. A green ‘Plantbird’ balances upon a brown potato and blue balloon, signifying a strange, symbiotic relationship yet als...


Object No.


Physical Description

Glass diorama, 'Little Known Facts', glass, designed and made by Tom Moore, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 2004

A glass diorama consisting of a clear glass bell jar covering four fused forms in clear and coloured glass. The bell jar is decorated with two small branches in brown and green glass, and its exterior is scored with several circular marks. The four forms are fused together in a vertical sequence, commencing with a rock in clear glass, a balloon in blue glass, a sprouting potato in brown and green glass, and a bird in pale green glass.


No marks.



319 mm


144 mm



Moore makes his dioramas from hot blown glass - a complex and lengthy process that requires the help of at least one assistant. He begins by extracting a small quantity of molten glass from the furnace and blowing it into a bubble through a long hollow tube. He gives mass to the bubble by returning to the furnace to add further dips or 'gathers' of molten glass, until there is enough to make the desired object. The dome in 'Little Known Facts' was made in this process through four big gathers from the furnace.

Rocks, birds, balloons, potatoes and other components of Moore's dioramas are made and assembled in a single day. Each piece is blown from molten glass and is kept warm in an oven until assembly. The completed parts are then fused together individually by heating and joining the connection points.

Smaller components, including eyes, leaves and branches are formed in advance and are re-heated at the beginning of the day. They are later attached to the larger components as necessary. Apart from planning, pre-fabrication and final grinding, the hot process takes approximately four hours of continuous work between two people.

Moore sources his coloured glass from Gaffer Glass in New Zealand. The clear glass is melted at JamFactory from raw materials (about 70% sand) that have been mixed in Victoria to a recipe developed by Gaffer. The potatoes are made with a thin layer of beige glass in the core which is covered with a gather of clear glass, blown to size and sprinkled with a mixture of coloured glass powder. The dents, eyes and finally the shrubs are then added.


Moore, Tom 2004



The Ranamok Glass Prize was established in 1995 as an award for excellence and innovation in contemporary Australian and New Zealand studio glass. Ten years later, it has developed into a major event in the Australasian crafts calendar - 156 entries were submitted in 2004 and 40 were selected for the touring exhibition. The panel of expert judges for that year's prize included Robert Bell, Senior Curator of Australian and International Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia; Margot Osborne, an independent curator and writer and former gallery director of JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide; and Sue Walker, Director of the Victorian Tapestry Workshop who has been a member of various government arts committees.


Ranamok Glass Prize 2004


Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by Diana Laidlaw, 2005

Acquisition Date

8 September 2005

Cite this Object


'Little known facts' diorama by Tom Moore. 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 July 2018, <https://ma.as/348903>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/348903 |title='Little known facts' diorama by Tom Moore. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 July 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Store 1 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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