Scott Benefield Cane Masterclass

Scott Benefield and Andrea Spencer arrived from Belfast on a Sunday night and were whisked through the high hedges and darkness to Stowford farm where they would spend the next week teaching at The Glass Hub.

Day 1.
The following morning Scott introduced our group of six keen students to the types of glass cane they were going to be pulling over the week. The first day – simple “veiled” cane. Colours were chosen, cut and heated up in the top loaders, ready to be picked up. The ladders were laid out, doors closed for draughts and Scott demonstrated a few hot and perfect pulls. Then it was our students’ turn. The speed, accuracy and single-handed style of Scott is both unique and authentically a Murano style. This was certainly challenging for the group, but the day ended with bundles of coloured canes ready for day two.

View Day 1 Photos on Flickr

Day 2
So how do you go about rolling up, round, lively and separate canes into a uniform sheet that curls obediently into the required cylinder? Scott showed us exactly how by lining up the canes on the kiln shelf, he takes a measurement with the pie dividers and while this is being heated, gathers and forms a collar to suit. The glass on the kiln shelf is heated, turned, squeezed with paddles and on reaching the perfect temperate (good to roll but not to stick) the canes are rolled and brushed clean before being blown into a beautiful black and white cane cup.
The rest of the day was spent learning not just the art of blowing out the cup, but also how to work as a team, communicating well and getting the necessary precision of timings.

View Day 2 Photos on Flickr

Day 3
Scott lines up seven white canes on the ribbed pastorelli and picks them up on one side of a large gather. He proceeds to heat and pull out the loveliest length of flat cane Piatina or “pin stripe” as he called it. Next pick-up is an evenly spaced roll of canes that is twisted to form the “Rete” cane and finally before the students got started, Scott demonstrates the gorgeous Ballotini cane, where the twist appeared looped like stitches inside.

Now students practiced some of these cane-pulling techniques to build up a library of canes. Only a short break for Scott, until the smell of roast lamb and curry permeates the hot shop as we prepare food for the evening’s demonstration. All of us enjoyed the most incredible demo’ by Scott that evening, assisted by Andrea, Katie Huskie and Emma Baker. James Devereux was on door duty only, as Scott produced a stunning incalmo platter with lip wrap and pinstripes.
We were joined by students from a range of backgrounds including skilled production blowers from Bristol Blue together with our own foundation students and more! After Scott, Dave from Bristol Blue got onto the bench and made a sword, then a wine glass, finishing off the evening of glass, food and wine with laughter and glass drama.

View Day 3 Photos on Flickr

Day 4
Scott starts the day with a demo’ of delicate cane pulling in blues, making a curvaceous hour glass shape. He was assisted by Ben, a recent graduate from Plymouth, who kindly stepped into Andrea’s place as she started her own “Form to Fuse” masterclass next door. A black, clear and pinstripe (Striche and Piatina) vase was created to inspire the group in the potentials of the technique. Students then pulled and blew as they entered the last furlong of the course, galloping towards the speed, fluidity and finesse shown by the master – Scott. The energy was intense, concentrated and focused with students finding their feet on the cane ladders, that were, literally, strewn across the floor for the pull.

View Day 4 Photos on Flickr

Day 5
Our final day and final demo as Scott shows us his system of making cane in a production style. A long tube of cane is cut into several sections and held in the kiln until required. Scott then blew up a beautiful vase to finish off his time in the bench as students got their final piece and pulls done. It was awe-inspiring how far the students had progressed and how much they absorbed of these incredible techniques originating in Venice centuries ago, crossed to America, discovered by Scott and now brought here from the shores of Northern Ireland. A brilliant week and a good end to our Northern Irish Masters’ classes. No doubt these skills will be spreading through Scotland and England in the years to come, keeping these ancient and important techniques really alive.

View Day 5 Photos on Flickr


Coming up… Scott Benefield Masterclass

We are really looking forward to sharing another five days with glass artist Scott Benefield as he guides us through the wonderful world of cane. Scott will be sharing his expertise at the Glass Hub over the five-day masterclass, ‘Introduction to Venetian Cane Techniques’ (16 – 20 October 2017). We have two places left so why not come and learn all about this exciting process from a real master.

Click here for more information and booking!

Scott is a multi-award winning artist, educator and writer and past president of the Glass Art Society (US). He has been a Fellow at the Creative Glass Center of America and an artist-in-residence at the National College of Art & Design (Ireland), North Lands Creative Glass (UK), Vrij Glas (Netherlands), Pittsburgh Glass Center, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Museum of Glass (US). His writing about studio glass has been published in numerous publications, including Glass Quarterly and the Glass Art Society Journal.

He is a master of Italian cane techniques and has taught cane workshops at the Penland School of Crafts, the Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the National College of Art and Design (Ireland), the Glass Furnace (Turkey) and as a visiting scholar at Osaka University of the Arts in 2009.

Scott Benefield Chairs the Jury at the British Glass Biennale

We are thrilled that Scott Benefield, who will be teaching with us this Autumn, has chaired the jury at this year’s prestigious British Glass Biennale. The jury have selected the pieces that will comprise the Biennale, an exhibition central to the International Festival of Glass, held every other year at the Ruskin Mill in Stourbridge. The 2017 exhibition, curated by Matt Durran, features work by 63 contemporary artists and will open to the public on August 25th.

Scott is a multi-award winning artist, educator and writer and past president of the Glass Art Society (US). He has been a Fellow at the Creative Glass Center of America and an artist-in-residence at the National College of Art & Design (Ireland), North Lands Creative Glass (UK), Vrij Glas (Netherlands), Pittsburgh Glass Center, the Corning Museum of Glass and the Tacoma Museum of Glass (US). His writing about studio glass has been published in numerous publications, including Glass Quarterly and the Glass Art Society Journal.

He is a master of Italian cane techniques and has taught cane workshops at the Penland School of Crafts, the Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the National College of Art and Design (Ireland), the Glass Furnace (Turkey) and as a visiting scholar at Osaka University of the Arts in 2009.

Scott will be sharing his expertise at the Glass Hub over the five-day masterclass, ‘Introduction to Venetian Cane Techniques’ (16 – 20 October 2017). If you would like to join us for this course please click here or contact us for more information.

The Freedom of the ‘One Off’ Masterclass with Joseph Harrington

The Glass Hub welcomed Joseph Harrington once again for a rather special masterclass – ‘The Freedom of the One-Off’. Joe has had a busy time recently – being represented by Bullseye Projects at Collect in February, chosen as Maker of the Week by the Crafts Council shortly afterwards, and then having a piece acquired by the V&A Museum for their Glass Gallery. So we were extremely excited to have Joe here to show students the techniques and methodology involved in his beautiful geologically inspired kiln cast pieces…..

Lisa Pettibone is Shaping up this November

Lisa Pettibone - Green Fold

We will soon be welcoming the talented master glass artist Lisa Pettibone back to The Glass Hub. Lisa returns this November to share her extensive knowledge of sculptural glass slumping.

After years of slumping glass, both kiln cast and fused pieces, she has discovered new ways to express form and volume that has occupied her artistic and technical thoughts for ten years or more. This involves careful temperature control and planning, allowing glass to fall into, onto and through objects in the kiln as well as making props and moulds. Letting shapes fall naturally with props can achieve a range of shapes, but we may extend this and actually go inside the kiln to manipulate hot glass too.

Lisa is unique in her approach to glass. Gravity, energy and tension are at the core of her work, and the results are beautiful, stretching glass, techniques and the imagination. We have a couple of places left on this brilliant 3-day workshop if you want to join Lisa and take your glassmaking to the next level.

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Summer School Extra Fun


What a blast! We have just come to the end of another brilliant Summer School here at The Glass Hub …our seventh in fact. On Monday we welcomed in our lovely group of eight students, five of whom are back for the second, third and even fourth time and on Friday we waved goodbye to eight lovely friends. The week really did fly by with not a moment wasted. this was our Summer School Extra for students who have some experience so we tried lots of interesting techniques. At the Glass Hub we run a hot glass studio alongside our warm glass studio so we are uniquely placed to practice techniques involving both hot and warm glass.

Among other glass explorations we made murrine by stacking sheet glass and tack fusing it. Then we took the fused glass into the hot shop and pulled into murine canes, and chopped up with our murine chopper into small slices. These elements were then re-incorporated back into fused work, with unique and striking results – – a fascinating insight into an ancient technique.

Students and glass alike were put through their paces and stretched, moulded and tweaked in so many ways. We also practiced glassblowing, reactive fusing, sandcasting, drop outs, kiln casting and much more. After so much work the glass gang managed some time to chill together …in the pub for a drink and a meal; at the campsite next to the river and at the Manor with a delicious cream tea. On Thursday evening while watching the talented James Devereux and Katie Huskie’s master demonstration we enjoyed a proper feast of a barbecue cooked up by the marvellous and invaluable Karen, with amazing puddings from our foundation student Sarah. Thank you everyone so much for making it such fantastic and exhausting fun. Have a look at some of the photos…

The Glass Hub Internship


Vacancy Title:  Glass School Intern


The Glass School Internship is an educational work placement opportunity suitable for individuals looking to gain experience in glassmaking and glass education, alongside developing their own work in a well-equipped glass studio.
The successful applicant will experience a variety of roles that will include ‘glass technician’ and ‘glass teaching assistant’. They will be trained in the proper operation and maintenance of glassmaking equipment as well as undertake real-world experience in the operation of a busy glass school.

The applicant will be given studio time to practice and develop their own work (negotiable depending on hours in training). They will also have health and safety training and the opportunity to attend specialist glassmaking courses for personal creative development throughout their internship.

As part of their training, interns can expect to handle many day-to-day responsibilities such as equipment maintenance and cleaning. They will be dealing with the general public and are therefore expected to be enthusiastic about engaging with people.

Applicants should have a strong work ethic and are expected to be self-motivated both on and off the clock. Interns are encouraged to participate in classes either as teachers, teaching assistants or students depending on their interests and abilities.

This internship may be suited to students who have completed their undergraduate study in glass (BA) and are looking to gain professional studio experience while developing their own work.



The Glass Hub
Stowford Manor Farm, Wingfield, Wilshire BA14 9LH

Duration of Internship: 10 months from September 2016 – July 2017

Hours: Hours will vary week to week but interns could work up to a maximum of 30 hours in a week when we are running 5-day schools, and some weekends (especially weekends when courses are running) alongside their personal studio time. The number of hours will vary according to age and experience.


Interns will receive £200 per calendar month, plus use of the glass studio and studio equipment for personal use (negotiable studio hours).


Accommodation is not included; however assistance in finding suitable accommodation will be given if required.


  • Glassmaking experience or a qualification in glassmaking (or related craft/Art) discipline.
  • No formal qualifications are required but an interest in learning new skills and a passion for glass essential
  • Fluent English speaking
  • Be able to lift up to 25kg
  • A full driving license and own car is essential as the school is in a rural location.

Applicants should:

  • Be able to work in both a hot glass and kiln room environment
  • Be reliable and punctual
  • Be able to work as part of a team
  • Have a positive attitude and strong work ethic
  • Enjoy working with their hands
  • Take instruction well
  • Have good communication skills
  • Be able to work in a public facing environment

Future Prospects:

  • Potential for further employment as glass technician/tutor for the right candidate
  • Exit interview and feedback from the employer to build on apprentice’s CV


How to Apply:

Applications by email.

Please send your CV, Artist Statement and up to 8 images of your work by email to Kim Wood You will receive a confirmation of your application or a request for further details within 72 hours.

Closing Date for Applications: June 30th 2016 for interviews in mid-July. More information and enquiries by email

Download PDF

Image above courtesy of Lucien West.

Angela Jarman and a World of Texture

Angela-Jarman-Masterclass-Day-2 (4)We launched into our Summer term here at The Glass Hub with a fantastic and completely sold-out kiln-glass masterclass with Angela Jarman. Always a great joy to have around she led nine students through a world of moulding and casting with a focus on surface texture and pattern.

Angela is a unique artist, her sensitive and imaginative work is powerful and dynamic, yet intricate and feminine. The first day of this exciting masterclass began with an introduction to the processes, an explanation of the techniques students would be exploring, and then everyone busying themselves making waxes from textured objects, and duplicates of small items they had brought. The emphasis was on the quickness and simplicity with which multiple items can be reproduced in wax using alginate and silicon master moulds, to produce new and intriguing forms.

Day 2 began with students taking the waxes from the former day, with explanations of further processes, modelling techniques, ways of building up components whilst keeping the sense of the “whole piece”. Angela gave a fascinating talk about her work and its development, describing where she has come from in her thought and physical /creative processes, to where she is now.   Students left that day exhausted but full of inspiration from this……it sometimes takes meeting and learning and being around someone who has turned hard work and talent into a success to remember what can be achieved if we try hard enough!

Day 3, as ever, was predictably the busiest and most frantic in the kiln room, with everyone with a massive refractory bucket list, all by 4 pm!!! Armed with cottling, boards, plaster, finishing off last minute details and picking the last bits of Angela’s well worked brain, students dipped, carved, boarded up, weighed out glass and eventually managed to get all moulds finished and into the kilns. A fantastic course, big thanks to Angela and of course the awesome TA Holly Hatt, who helps us out endlessly on more and more kiln courses.

Joseph Harrington and The Freedom of the One-Off

Joseph-Harrington-masterclass-students-2016We were so pleased to finally welcome Joseph Harrington through our doors at The Glass Hub. His work has always been so iconic for us, the rugged forms, natural tones and essence of landscape has always been a favourite, as well as his lovely nature to boot.

Using his direct approach with the modelling material the spirit lives on within the work. He seems to capture a sense of time and movement within a solid object, expressing an evolution of forms and a reaction of materials and energies acting upon each other. He has developed a unique working method using ice as a modelling medium. The ice is eroded and sculpted with salt then cast in glass, capturing a moment in time as the ice is melting. This thawing of ice provides a physical time frame to work within, heightening the importance of artistic judgment and decision-making.

Check out his stuff,

Joe has had a lot of experience in his relatively short career, working with the best in Britain, getting his Master’s degree and even running a class at Bullseye glass in Oregon, USA. This class at The Glass Hub was long awaited by ourselves and students alike and we were not disappointed. Joe arrived to a studio packed with everything (and more) that a kiln caster could desire. We had everything from salt, sand, a freezer full of ice blocks and even lard! …yes lard was on the shopping list.

Students began on Friday morning armed with clay on boards, sand and wax, ready to make an impression. Then followed a flurry of clay modelling …texture making using a whole variety of tools and materials including scrunched up papers and gritty sands. Our open casting moulds were being poured by the afternoon.

Saturday morning began with pulling the clay from the open cast moulds, followed an introduction to Joseph’s signature dish of lost ice sculpture – carving a block of ice, using salt, a blow torch and tools.

On our final day, students reviewed the results from Friday’s moulds and continued making ice sculptures and adding texture and form with bit of cold working. Joe led this class to a satisfying end leaving us all inspired and full of ideas. Something tells me it won’t just be food in the freezers at home soon. Check out some of the photos from his class in the album below.

Thanks once again Joe, and to Holly and Mylene for all their hard work and assistance.

Till the next time.

Come and explore something new!

kiln-carving-glass-iridescentCome and explore an exciting new way of working with glass and create stunning effects from simple techniques!

Kiln carving is a simple kiln forming process which adds texture and relief to glass. It refers to the “carving” effect given to the glass which takes place in the kiln during firing. We will look at the materials and techniques required to create these effects along with instruction on kiln firings and precise temperature control.

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Helga-Watkins-Baker helga-watkins-baker-vortices

About the Tutor: Helga Watkins-Baker has an MA in glass and undertook postgraduate studies in kiln techniques for glass at Central St. Martin’s. She has worked in glass education for a number of years, and in 2010 published ‘Kiln Forming Glass’ an in-depth guide to kiln processes for glass. She is co-director of The Glass Hub.

We still have space on next weeks ‘kiln carving’ class   …Book your place now!
View course and book online…