For Eileen Gordon and Grant Donaldson, there's a fine line between work and play. Eileen's parents were glass engravers, and as a child she frequented the glass factories where they perfected their craft. She had hoped to follow in their footprints before discovering molten glass and the world of glassblowing.

After the two met, Grant left farming to take up the art of glassblowing, learning on the job. Shortly after marrying, the couple set up their studio in Red Hill, on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. With their sons, Hamish and Calum, they create a range of art glass — from vases, bowls and platters to outdoor sculptures and specially commissioned pieces.

Grant and Eileen live and work in an area that is rich in natural beauty, while just a short distance from renowned restaurants, wineries and cafes. They share their top spots for walking, wining and dining on the Mornington Peninsula.

1. Endeavour Fern Gully walk

Located a stone's throw from Gordon Studio, this 2-kilometre loop trail off Arthur's Seat Road is one of few surviving areas of unspoiled fern gully on red basaltic soil on the peninsula. 'The birdsong is like music and you feel like you're stepping back in time,' Eileen says.

2. Merricks Beach

Head to Western Port Bay for the steep strip of clean white sand that is Merricks Beach. Buffered by a long area of bushland, the beach overlooks nearby Phillip Island. Keen twitchers should keep an eye out for endangered red-capped plovers, which can be found in the low dunes framing the beach's northern section.

3. Flinders

Seaside town Flinders has a perfectly preserved streetscape, lined with excellent eateries, gourmet dining spots, antique shops and architect-designed homes. 'It's a great little town for taking visitors, with lots of interesting shops and galleries,' Eileen says. 'There are some wonderful eateries, including the Flinders Hotel, which is always a favourite.'

4. Fenian Wines

This family-owned and operated winery sits next door to the Gordon Studio gallery, amid the spectacular rolling landscape of Red Hill. 'We're big fans of Fenian and their live music events on the deck,' Grant enthuses. Drop into the intimate cellar door on a Sunday afternoon to sample their range.

"We don't need to go far for inspiration. Local flora and fauna, ocean, earth, sunsets and sunrises are all reflected in our glass."

— Eileen Gordon and Grant Donaldson, Gordon Studio Glassblowers


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