continued from ‘Louis Thompson Masterclass’
We started the first day with a simple cup making exercise ..except not just a simple cup, everyone was encouraged to let go a bit, and make their cup a bit different and unconventional. Louis’ demo produced a clear cup, torched in spots, and pushed in with his jacks, changing the interior space of the bubble. Students, following his lead, allowed their vessels to morph, some letting the cup collapse, some adding random bits and pulling …and a collection of Dali-esque pieces evolved. Everyone was then encouraged to start at the scary end of a 10 metre roll of blank wallpaper, and make marks, drawings, transferring the feel of what they liked in glass into 2d. The looser the drawings and marks were, the better, and it was fabulous to see how relaxed everyone became about the sketches. This was indeed, the feeling Louis was intent on them bringing back into the hotshop.
One by one they were then helped by Louis to work with some of their designs in the bench, to prototype and sketch in 3d, using hot glass. They worked in teams of three, all very able and confident glassblowers. Louis is as good a teacher as he is a maker, truly inspiring for all on the course. He was assisted by the talented James Devereux, who helped Louis cover the two benches. It was great to have his experienced and open minded instruction and the collaboration of ideas.
The day was nicely divided by a talk and presentation (while we ate lunch) from Louis, about his background and work; how he started and where he is now. The afternoon continued with ideas and sketches in glass.
The class was extended into an evening session, when we headed to James and Katie’s studio “Devereux and Huskie Glassworks” (a new glassblowing studio in Wiltshire) where we watched a fabulous demo by Louis, assisted by James and Katie. Food was brought in, (thanks to a certain Chinese takeaway I know well) and beer ready cooling, for when the glass finished. Louis treated us to a demo assisted by James and Katie. It was awesome to watch. We did film it and will have it available for viewing soon!
Neil Wilkin and another few familiar faces showed up to enjoy the evening. After a bit of food, and before any alcohol was consumed, everyone got a chance to pair up and make a collaborative piece …with no limits on size! Students shared techniques learned that day and created a combination of their ideas, moulded into one piece. This not only encouraged the sharing of ideas it also highlighted the importance of teamwork.
Sunday was a day of bringing together everything that had been learned the previous day. It was exciting to see how everyone had loosened up, and were experimenting more with the glass, dissolving the border between technical learning and what Louis had strived to teach everyone …No Limits!.
We hope everyone left us feeling as inspired as we do. Keep going with the unknown and the unusual in glass, as it’s through this that you will find your own style, and help keep British Glass fresh.