40 Years of Glass Making

Learn how National Glass Centre and the University of Sunderland lead the way in producing some of the best glass and ceramic artists across the world

By Arts Council England

Story curated by National Glass Centre

Unknown 2 (2022) by Joanna Manousis (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

The craft of glass

2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the University of Sunderland’s Glass and Ceramics department which is located inside of National Glass Centre. Over the past 40 years, Wearside has led the way in creating some of the best glass and ceramic artists across the world.

Architecture (5) (2013) by Faulkner BrownsArts Council England

The specialist course at The University of Sunderland utilises the wide ranging facilities at National Glass Centre, which include a nationally recognised glass production and exhibition centre as well as world-class production facilities.

Architecture (3) (2013) by Faulkner BrownsArts Council England

National Glass Centre also hosts a programme of international exhibitions and creative projects, along with some notable teaching staff and internationally renowned, high profile visiting artists and creators.

Architecture (4) (2013) by Faulkner BrownsArts Council England

The work featured below is from some of the most influential students and teaching staff to have worked and studied in the department.

Always Coming Home – Worlds Within Worlds Series 2 (Hi) (2019) by Angela Thwaites (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Angela Thwaites, Always Coming Home – Worlds Within Worlds Series 2, 2019

Thwaites graduated with a PHD from the University of Sunderland in 2018. Exhibiting frequently on a national and international basis, her artwork is visually varied and combines hand and digital processes to explore 3D form and structure translated into glass.

Kildonan Gold (Hi) (2016) by James Maskrey (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

James Maskrey, Kildonan Gold, 2016

Maskrey graduated with a distinction in his MA from the University of Sunderland and now works at the University supporting the delivery of the undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications as well as continuing his own artistic practice.

Deer (Hi) (2011) by Effie Burns (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Effie Burns, Deer, 2011

Having received her BA and MA from the University of Sunderland in the nineties, Effie Burns created Deer in 2016 as part of her ‘hand’ series that she developed during a fellowship with National Glass Centre.

Host II (Hi) (2014) by Joanne Mitchell (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Joanne Mitchell, Host II, 2014

Mitchell's work explores the metaphorical qualities of air and glass. Her practice combines the use of waterjet cutting and kiln-forming to control the form of air entrapment within the internal space of glass, a technique she developed during her PhD at University of Sunderland.

Torsion (1) (Hi) (2019) by Emma Baker (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Emma Baker, Torsion, 2019

Graduating from University of Sunderland in 2014, Baker’s training as a glassmaker underpins her artistic practice. With a focus on materiality and process, she works with themes of narrative and sentiment to create artworks in glass.

Shoal (Hi) (1998) by Laura Johnston (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Laura Johnston, Shoal, 1998

Johnston gained a PHD from the University of Sunderland in 1997 and has since completed many large-scale projects across the UK. A multidisciplinary approach enables her to collaborate with architects, engineers and other creatives in the creation of bespoke installations.

Dancing Goblet (Hi) (2021) by Sacha Delabre (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Sacha Delabre, Dancing Goblet, 2021

A recent graduate from 2021, Sacha Delabre has worked as studio assistants to artists including James Markey and Sir Antony Gormley. Sacha is dual nationality and grew up in France.

Winterreise (Hi) (2000) by Mike Davies (Photographed by David Wiiliams)Arts Council England

Mike Davis, Winterreise, 2000

Mike Davis is a U.K. based painter and artist in glass who studied Architectural Glass and the University of Sunderland. 

National Glass Centre (Exterior) (2021) by David AllanArts Council England

National Glass Centre continues to teach future world-leaders in glass art practice.
 
Visit the University of Sunderland’s website to find out more about the courses on offer in glass and ceramics. 

Credits: Story

This story was curated by National Glass Centre as part of Arts Council England's Northern Stories collection.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Igniting Inspiration
How Arts Council England are bringing creativity and culture to everyone's doorsteps
View theme
Google apps