Art glass, the creation of sculpture, jewellery, trophies and other exhibition pieces by artists working in glass is enjoying an upsurge in popularity all over the world. Here in the UK, The Crystal Glass manufacturers who produce hand and machine made tableware of the type that led to the founding of our Company often have attached to them small furnaces used by artists and craftsmen to produce art or studio glass. This area of artistic endeavour is well supported by departments at colleges throughout the UK and by the Glass Sellers Company. Both the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and the Ruskin Glass Centre in Stourbridge have continuous exhibitions of the work of established artists and newcomers. Many private galleries display art glass, such as the Cowdy gallery in Newent, Glamorgan.
The Glass Sellers’ Art and Craft Awards are now presented every two years. Winners have included Alison Kinnaird MBE, Colin Reid, Max Jacquard, Anthony Scala, Katharine Coleman MBE and Richard Jackson. The thermoplastic qualities of glass, allied to the ability to introduce metal oxides for vivid and translucent colour, make it an ideal material for the creation of unique pieces. As a visit to an art glass gallery will show, the only limit to the possibilities for creativity in glass is the artist’s imagination.