Communicating with Glass

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This was a course that we had dreamed, planned and prepared for, for over a year …and it was finally here. Mixing up art and craft, concept and material, artists with makers, and seeing what happened.  The content of the course was based on what we had learned from Luke Jerram during his residency with us at the Hub, and what he in turn had learned from us, about glass.  We discovered there was no hierarchy of concept over materiality, of art over craft. There is no right or wrong way to practice as an artist and maker …and with glassmaking at least – ideas can inform outcomes as much as glassmaking techniques can inspire ideas.

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Luke Jerram – Communicating with Glass

Notes on the Masterclass:

Luke Jerram – Communicating with Glass
with Luke Jerram, Louis Thompson and Max Jacquard
Friday 5th – Monday 8th June 2015

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This was a course that we had dreamed, planned and prepared for, for over a year …and it was finally here. Mixing up art and craft, concept and material, artists with makers, and seeing what happened.  The content of the course was based on what we had learned from Luke Jerram during his residency with us at the Hub, and what he in turn had learned from us, about glass.  We discovered there was no hierarchy of concept over materiality, of art over craft. There is no right or wrong way to practice as an artist and maker …and with glassmaking at least – ideas can inform outcomes as much as glassmaking techniques can inspire ideas. Continue reading

Great time at the IFG!

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We were delighted to take part in this year’s International Festival of Glass following an invitation from Simon Eccles at Wolverhampton University. He had asked us if we would like to find a leader and organise a masterclass to run at the Uni. Neil Wilkin had been on our mind to run a session at the Hub, so we asked him, and were very happy when he said yes. As ever the talented glassblower James Devereux was encouraging and supportive and offered to assist.  We are incredibly lucky to have Devereux & Huskie Glassworks as our neighbours.  James Devereux is one of the best makers in the country, and is continually enthusiastic and encouraging in all that we do here.

Our course was set to explore some of the glass-making techniques and qualities that make Neil’s career and working style so unique and especially on the potential to create better work through team effort. Neil is one of those makers who very much works with the glass, somehow getting it to move and behave in a tranquil, almost effortless manner. Expertise combined with a deep knowledge of the material and a simple belief in his abilities make Neil a maker like no other.  Teamed with James it would be a super-fuelled glass-making experience.

Read the full story…

Great time at the IFG!

IFG-18693703242

We were delighted to take part in this year’s International Festival of Glass following an invitation from Simon Eccles at Wolverhampton University. He had asked us if we would like to find a leader and organise a masterclass to run at the Uni. Neil Wilkin had been on our mind to run a session at the Hub, so we asked him, and were very happy when he said yes. As ever the talented glassblower James Devereux was encouraging and supportive and offered to assist. We are incredibly lucky to have Devereux & Huskie Glassworks as our neighbours. James Devereux is one of the best makers in the country, and is continually enthusiastic and encouraging in all that we do here.

In brief, the course would explore some of the glass-making techniques and qualities that make Neil’s career and working style so unique and especially on the potential to create better work through team effort. Neil is one of those makers who very much works with the glass, somehow getting it to move and behave in a tranquil, almost effortless manner. Expertise combined with a deep knowledge of the material and a simple belief in his abilities make Neil a maker like no other. Teamed with James it would be a super-fuelled glass-making experience.

We arrived in Stourbridge on Sunday to a lovely welcome dinner. Continue reading

Luke Jerram Day 10

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The Luke Jerram Residency began with a chance meeting in an airport, the Glass Hub and Luke all travelling back to Bristol from a CGS conference in Newcastle.  We had admired Luke’s work as he spoke, and when conversations began about residencies, and the hassle of flying to Pilchuck in the States, where he had been invited, it made sense to all three of us that using the Glass Hub as a place to reside, explore and experiment with glass, near Luke’s hometown of Bristol, made much more sense…… Continue reading

Luke Jerram Residency – Last Days


Our fantastic and inspirational residency with installation artist Luke Jerram is coming to an end with a masterclass coming up this weekend. “Luke Jerram – Communicating with Glass”.
The Glass Hub team agree that having Luke around has been an inspiration and we are delighted with how it has made us think differently about how we work with glass: We have been truly stretched, pulled and pushed beyond our usual limits whilst having fun and learning lots from Luke. We have benefitted enormously from Luke’s energy and vision as a non glass artist looking at the material from a different perspective. Luke’s background in contemporary, conceptual art and his approaches have given us a valuable insight into the world of ‘Art’ away from the ‘Craft Object’ based work we are used to

Luke has tried out quite a few techniques during the last few weeks. Using hot molten glass he has mummified a badger’s skull, his grandfather’s clock and a trumpet and is currently working on a life-sized human form wrapped in blankets, inspired by issues of homelessness.
Luke says “The whole experience has been one great highlight. It’s rare for me now to spend so long experimenting with materials and techniques. As well has discovering new processes, we’ve also had the opportunity to fail and make mistakes. We’ve learnt a lot from these mistakes as well!”

If you would like to take part in the masterclass “Communicating with Glass” there is one place remaining.

Luke Jerram Day 9

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With my car in the garage, we arranged for Sam (our teaching assistant at the Hub) to meet Helga, and I at Mike’s studio in Yate to collect a second slumping of Luke’s ‘sleeping figure’ from Mike’s kiln. The week before, Helga and I had gone out to Yate to set up the second firing with Mike, this time with a thicker gauge of 6mm glass. We were expecting a more stable result, but inevitably a heavier object to lift. For this firing we had decided on a cooler temperature with a slightly longer soak, and we were 100% certain the plaster body mould would not be coming out in one piece!

On this sunny, alternating with pouring down with rain day, we were anxious about the weight of this new piece and thought four weight-lifters would be better than three! This is not an object that will fit in the back of many cars. Sam had borrowed his Dad’s Renault van. Weirdly, Renaults seem the perfect size for carrying bodies around! This time, not only did we have to remove the glass figure (which we expected to be the last cast), we also had to remove the mould and the four boxes of bricks we had been using to raise the height of the kiln.

Arriving at the studio, we wound up the lid with less nerves this time, but because two variables (sheet thickness and temperature) had been altered, we were nonetheless unsure of what we would discover ..and up it came …to reveal the best one yet! The heavier glass had indeed fallen to make a more substantial edge, not paper thin as before, and the whole thing looked and felt stronger, as we had hoped. It was not as heavy or unmanageable as we had expected, and we found and lifted it from the edges securely straight away, but we really did need more than two people on the job.

We took it straight out to the van, the figure sliding safely onto its awaiting sponge foam bed, then called Luke to discuss the next step; “this is the last chance” …”is it going to be the last one?” Had we a larger budget, we would have loved to continue with just one more firing, one more to get it just right. This is a common dilemma faced by makers; budget and time often taking the parental controls from the drive for perfection. It was agreed this would be the last one and we reluctantly began to dispose of James Devereux’s plaster body into rubble sacks.

Now at the end of the residency, we pulled the final curtain on the sleeping figure, and began to remove the shell of plaster (chicken wire still bravely holding it together, but mould mix beginning to crumble) into rubble sacks and the bricks into boxes. We left Mike’s studio for the last time …on this project anyway.

Back to the hub: this time it was Sam’s turn to feel every pot hole and notice every little bump on the road. The sleeping figure was finally put to rest in the big barn adjacent to our studio. We were hiring this space for the duration of Luke’s residency, and were begging our landlord at the farm to find more space for storage long term. A note to those who are thinking of moving into large scale sculptures: have a very large storage space available!

KT Yun