She will be discussing “Thomas & George Woodall (1849-1926) – Masters of Cameo”
I am an outreach presenter and tour guide for Dudley Museum Service. In my previous life, I was a research chemist so understand the chemistry of glass having worked on the synthesis of ‘zeolites’ (silica-based materials). I’m a Black Country ‘wench’ and have a strong industrial family heritage.
My talks focus on the historical development of the glass industry in Stourbridge, how the geology and geography impacted on the wealth and sociology of the area and its glassmakers, driven by the rivalry of our great Glass Dynasties.
My talk tells the story of ordinary local brothers, under the guidance of John Northwood and his burgeoning expertise in reproducing the cameo carving of The Portland Vase in 1876; they became Masters of their craft producing the finest cameo of all time.
From their early training at Stourbridge School of Art to the establishment of the Gem Cameo Team at Thomas Webb and Sons, we follow their professional and personal lives; the development of their techniques and the legacy of their pieces, that now command six figure sums at international auctions.
If you are new to Zoom, there are some instructions (including a video) here https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21AH8RVdwmKVbH1TY&cid=0355BD00CD0045BD&id=355BD00CD0045BD%21254758&parId=355BD00CD0045BD%21120011&o=OneUp for downloading it and on how to join a meeting.Tutorials
All Talks are recorded. To listen to CGS recorded talks ( these are only available to CGS members )
Log into CGS website with your password, or email The Contemporary Glass Society (cgs.org.uk)
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There are over 90 recorded Talks there.
Saints and Stones – Art and Archaeology Symposium
September 5th – 11th 2022
St Davids, Pembrokeshire
Co-ordinators: Linda Norris and Jane Bruce.
Applications are now open for a 7 day artists symposium inspired by the archaeology of Pembrokeshire.
Please note there will be no glass working facilities available, rather the symposium will focus on an experimental and open-minded approach to working, utilizing drawing, painting, writing and model making in a small group of ten artists. The event will encompass a balance of field trips into the Welsh environment and self-directed studio time. An integral, and important, component of the experience will be group communication, with each participant being encouraged to exchange points of view as both maker and viewer. The coming together with others of diverse backgrounds to explore the past and to consider the future is a perfect way to view the world and one’s work in a fresh light.
To apply please email a current cv together with a short statement outlining your interest in the symposium and 5 images of your work to Jane Bruce by May 10th at email@example.com
- To mark the United Nations International Year of Glass 2022, the Henry Moore Institute is delighted to present a major exhibition exploring glass as a material for sculpture.
- Glass sculpture will be on display from 1965 to the present day, by 16 artists including Claire Falkenstein, Mona Hatoum, Luke Jerram, Joseph Kosuth and Hew Locke.
- The exhibition explores glass through its three different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.
A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture will showcase the material properties of glass as a medium, and the ways in which artists have worked with or against these properties.
The exhibition is curated by the Henry Moore Institute’s Research Curator Dr Clare O’Dowd who says
“Glass is a mysterious and wonderful thing. Alongside its aesthetic qualities, the alchemical and secretive production processes involved in working with glass have rendered it an especially troublesome proposition for sculptors. The sculpture on display in this exhibition shows the breadth of ways sculptors have got to grips with the material. Interest in glass as a material for sculpture has never been greater. From the success of Netflix’s Blown Away series, to the UN’s support for the International Year of Glass and the development of this major exhibition, glass is truly having its moment in the spotlight.”
Glass is both a material and a state of matter. The heat of the furnace transforms grains of silica into molten lava, which can be stretched, flattened, moulded, blown or cast. When cooled from its molten state, glass takes on the qualities most readily associated with it, becoming transparent, reflective, fragile and ephemeral. As a material glass can be both entirely utilitarian, creating window panes, vessels and lenses, and richly expressive, becoming a vehicle for the most visionary experimentation and technical sophistication.
The capacity of glass to take on different surface textures, different colours and to change its shape and physical state with such abandon means that it is exceptionally difficult to categorise. Unlike stone or wood, there is no essential ‘truth’ to glass as a material. Even things we think we know about glass can turn out to be deceptions: it isn’t always transparent; it isn’t always fragile; it doesn’t always reflect light. Thus, when sculptors turn to glass, they are able to make it perform the most extraordinary feats.
This exhibition will highlight some of the ways artists have worked with glass, sometimes using its common properties, sometimes challenging them, and often whilst making profound underlying comments on issues of identity or human frailty. The exhibition explores glass through its three different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas, which roughly correspond to specific techniques such as cast glass, poured molten glass, and blown glass.
The expectations of material and subject are cleverly subverted in many of the sculptures, such as Alena Matějka’s weighty Magic Carpets 2004, or Elliot Walker’s highly illusionistic oranges. Other sculptures use the fragility of glass in a metaphoric sense to suggest the vulnerability of the human condition, ideas that are particularly prominent in Luke Jerram’s beautiful but dangerous glass microbes.
Glass has the capacity to render potentially ugly subjects as aesthetically beautiful objects: Mona Hatoum’s work in glass involves motifs of abjection or destruction that become deeply aesthetically pleasing when produced in glass. Subverting the decorative properties of glass – the ‘kitsch’ of traditional Murano decorative finishes, for example – can also be seen in recent work by Hew Locke and the De La Torre Brothers, which reflect upon issues of race and identity while rendering the decorative as grotesque. A disruptive approach to the everyday uses of glass, such as bottles and windows, can be seen in work by Claire Falkenstein and Joseph Kosuth in the exhibition.
The exhibition will also explore some of the collaborations between artists and master glassmakers that are key to many examples of glass sculpture, collaborations which are encapsulated in many of the works generously loaned by the National Glass Centre in Sunderland. Although a number of sculptors specialise in working with glass, more frequently artists turn to the skills and expertise of professionals in order to realise sculpture in glass. The exhibition will celebrate the input of skilled fabricators as well as the creativity of artists, and will demonstrate that glass is an infinitely variable material, used in imaginative and subversive ways by a diverse range of artists.
A State of Matter: Modern and Contemporary Glass Sculpture is part of the Henry Moore Institute’s ongoing programme of research into sculpture and its histories. A series of research events and activities accompanies the exhibition. Full details to be announced.