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Jewellery: Wearable Glass

Over the last three months I have been working on an exciting collaboration with two contemporary jewellers, Heather Woof and Kaz Robertson, undertaking residencies at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland. Eight jewellers were invited to work with four glass artists for the project, culminating in a touring exhibition. The jewellers have been using glass for the first time to create new experimental work and I have been working with them to facilitate their ideas using the waterjet cutter and kilns. The resulting pieces, along with examples of our individual work, are on show at the National Glass Centre exhibition space from 25th March – 1st October 2017.

Above: work in progress, NGC residency, Heather Woof and Kaz Robertson

National Glass Centre presents:

Jewellery: Wearable Glass

Preview: Friday 24 March, 6-8pm

Exhibition dates: 25 March – 1 October 2017

National Glass Centre presents a new national exhibition of glass jewellery made by bringing together four glass artists and eight of the UK’s most exciting jewellers.

Glass jewellery has a history going back to the Ancient Egyptians and in the 19th and early 20th century the famous artist René Lalique used glass to make jewellery. More recently it’s use in jewellery by artists has been limited. Through the exhibition Jewellery: Wearable Glass National Glass Centre aims to re-introduce audiences and artists to the amazing potential of glass as a wearable material.

As the country’s main centre for glass, National Glass Centre works closely with many leading artists who have a high level of expertise in using different techniques. James Maskrey works in hot glass, Angela Thwaites in cast glass, Ayako Tani in lamp worked glass and Joanne Mitchell works in kiln-formed and waterjet cut glass. These four artists have shared their expertise with the jewellers who have had ten days each to create experimental new work in glass.

Julia Stephenson, Head of Arts at National Glass Centre said: “Through this project the jewellers and artists specialising in glass have collaborated, sharing their skills and challenging what is accepted as standard practice in both jewellery and glass. Around forty years ago artists started to make radical new jewellery using ‘non-precious’ materials. This work had an enormous impact on how we consider and value jewellery today. As a result of the very specific skills required to work in glass there has been very little overlap between artists working in glass and those working in jewellery. We have aimed to begin to address this through our exhibition.”

This exciting new ‘wearable glass’ will be presented alongside the twelve artist’s more established work allowing the viewer to compare the difference between artist’s work in glass and jewellery and what happens when they are brought together.

The twelve artists have worked in the following groups:

Blown Glass - James Maskrey

Jeweller - Kate Haywood*

Jeweller - John Moore

Lampworked Glass - Ayako Tani

Jeweller - Chris Boland

Jeweller - Christopher Thompson-Royds

Waterjet & Kiln Formed Glass - Joanne Mitchell

Jeweller - Kaz Robertson

Jeweller - Heather Woof

Cast Glass - Angela Thwaites

Jeweller - Emmeline Hastings

Jeweller - Maud Traon

*Kate Haywood is a ceramist working mainly in porcelain. She was selected for this project as her work has strong connections with jewellery.


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