2014

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With the success of the exhibition for the Dylan Thomas International Glass Competition, the CGS thought it would be a good idea to highlight all those who entered the competition in order be able to view works online. The CGS worked in conjunction with UWTSD, to highlight those that entered work.

Central to the University’s celebration of the centenary of Dylan’s birth, the University is launching an international competition for glass artists in order to encourage excellence in the areas of glass.

The new transformed University has a unique relationship with Wales’ greatest English language poet both in the geographical location of its campuses – in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Swansea – and also in its commitment to the performing and creative arts.

Swansea has a long history in the field of glass. The course founder, Howard Martin was invited in 1935 to run an evening class at what was then Swansea Art College, two years after he and his cousin Hubert Thomas had successfully set up the firm of Martin & Thomas. After the war the course developed into the Architectural Stained Glass Department and has prospered ever since. The University’s Swansea School of Glass has an international reputation and practitioners from around the world are invited to participate in this competition.

HARMONY : The theme for the competition

Glass artists worldwide were invited to submit designs for a 40cm x 40cm decorative or stained glass panel in response to the word "Harmony". During May 2014, a judging panel shortlisted works to be exhibited at Swansea Waterfront Museum in July 2014. At the opening a prize award of £1000 was to be presented to the winner with the panel being exhibited for the next year at the Dylan Thomas Centre and then becoming part of the Swansea School of Glass Collection.

All of the work exhibited will form part of a centenary catalogue with a view to a subsequent publication celebrating both of these international awards. It is anticipated that the winning artist will be invited to be commissioned by the University for a combined piece of work as an on-going tribute to Dylan Thomas.

The CGS online show was launched on the 30th of July 2014.

The Contemporary Glass Society was thrilled to be take part in the fabulous four day arts extravaganza on 17th – 20th July 2014 at Art in Action.

The event is definitely a highlight of the UK’s arts calendar; 25,000 visitors visit the Oxfordshire site over four days to learn, buy and enjoy, exhibitions, classes and performances of 400 demonstrating artists, teachers, musicians and performers. As you would expect CGS’ stand was at the heart of the Glass activity, situated in the glass marquee alongside the demonstration stage.

Visitors will have seen that we held a Free Prize Draw. Each day one lucky person stood to win one of four exquisite pieces of work from our members.

The 4 works below were very generously donated by the following artists. We would like to thank the artists that so kindly gave us work.

Anthony Wassell- Blue Green vessel
Scott Benefield- Three small vessels
Vic Bamforth- Sommercalmos Bottle
Stewart Hearne- Oval Encalmo Bowl

We are absolutely delighted to launch this exhibition. It is one of a kind.

43 glass artists from the USA have been selected for this show. The aim being for them to not only share their work with us, but hopefully connect with our international audience and also demonstrate their level of skill to our members and collectors.

It is an open show, the artists selected can be CGS members or non-members. All juried selections have been made by the Contemporary Glass Society Board.

The CGS also encouraged a response from those artists who are attended the 2014 GAS Conference in the USA.

We think you will agree that the depth and quality of the work shown really makes this show unique and we are very happy to be hosting these artists.

American glass has maintained a strong and prolific platform within the context of contemporary glass, since the first prominent phase began there in 1962. The then-ceramics professor Harvey Littleton and chemist Dominick Labino thus started the beginnings of what was to become the contemporary glassblowing movement. The impetus for the movement consisted of their two workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art, during which they began experimenting with melting glass in a small furnace and creating blown glass art. Littleton and Labino were the first to make molten glass feasible for artists in private studios.

The growth of studio art glass led to the formation of glass schools and art studios located across the country. The largest concentrations of glass artists are located in Seattle, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. San Francisco, Los Angeles/Orange County and Corning, NY, also have sizable concentrations of artists working in glass.

Thank you to all those that entered work and took time to respond. We hope you enjoy the exhibition.

The show was launched on 21st June 2014,

This is the first show we have held that celebrates the technique of water jet cutting. Although water jet cutting has long been used for a variety of materials, over recent years water jet cutting has revolutionised the glass industry and is now being explored by artists as a way to interpret precise and intricate ideas within glass.

The CGS invited both non members and members from the UK and abroad, to apply for this show. The result is this dazzling array of finely-crafted work of 20 glass artists from around the globe.

Artists included orginate from Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, The USA, Norway, Spain and Wales.

Renowned Glass artist Vanessa Cutler also kindly assisted in the selection and curation of the work shown. Vanessa's work is concerned with pushing the parameters of water jet cutting technology and she is considered a specialist in her field.

We asked her to highlight her thoughts on the process of water jet cutting and it's current use within glass art:

"As someone who encountered the water jet process about 20yrs ago its application has developed now into something that glass artists can now really apply effectively and innovatively into their work.

The use of water jet cutting has now become established within the glass artists toolkit. As digital technology plays an increasing role in the development of ideas the use of such machinery is becoming easier to access, by knowing the types of files and not being shy in giving it a go artists are now displaying its aesthetical and mechanical application. Aesthetical in terms of following exactly as the artists intentions, the ability to draw and reproduce the forms required. Mechanical in terms of accuracy and repeatability.

As more artists have explored the process other have followed opening and enabling exploration and new areas of interpretation across all areas of glass. The process has fed into kiln-forming, hot glass application as well as the architectural, allowing size and scale to be exploited. Throughout he world the process is being used from the repetition of shapes for efficiency in cutting for architectural projects through the limited runs, production pieces to the one-off’s that demonstrate the artists ideas rather that the technical ability of just one process. This process is part of the tool kit and this exhibition of works just the process demonstrate how it is being applied and that it is available to anyone in all fields of glass. "

The show was launched in May 2014.

With all the recent storms and flooding we have experienced recently, we thought it would be appropriate to find a way to celebrate the unique drama of weather and the elements that we have witnessed this year!

So what better way than to hold an exhibition that is packed full of work influenced by the forces of nature: storms, rain, wind, clouds, the sun, or the elements- water, fire, earth and air.

'On Stormy Ground' explores the various ways in which weather and the seasons have inspired some of our glass artists. From storms on raging seas to coastlines worn by wind and rain, these artists have responded to weather and other natural forces, through a range of techniques and styles.

Some of the works in this exhibition use weather to directly translate a mood or state. Others impart more subtly the preoccupation of human sensibility to natural forces, while some mirror the spiritual significance that weather holds them.

33 members have been selected for this spring exhibition and it certainly reveals the breadth and diversity of work here at the CGS!

Anyone interested in the changing effects of weather should find the diversity of works fascinating.

Thank you so much to all those submitted work and please do apply for our next show which will be advertised soon.

The show was launched on Mar 30th 2014.

"Taking Shape: moulds and forming"- Launched on 23rd January 2014

This latest exhibition explores glass artists whose work depends on forming methods- by exploring 3-dimensional form.

Some artists use moulds in their work as part of their process, or that have developed a way to shape and form glass in a particular way using moulding or tooling. The pieces in this glass exhibition will reflect the intentions that truly explore shape and form through the carefully considered part played in the production of a mould to realise a piece.

Moulds can be made from a variety of materials, from wood, paper to stainless steel, pottery, clay, or plaster and silica. Even found objects can be used such as tree bark, pieces of ceramic etc.

One of the subtle and intruiging aspects of the use of moulds in glassmaking is that the artist will put almost as much, if not more, energy and pasison into crafting the shape through the mould. The starting point is the shape created or carved by them.

This is a juried show as with all CGS shows.

24 artists were selected from a number of entries. Thank you so much to all those that submitted work.