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Posted 10.06.16

Graduate Q&A: Large-scale glass forms with Alex Derry

By Sarah Packer

Glass student Alex Derry working in our studios.

Throughout our Graduate Shows 2016 we'll be publishing conversations with our most recent graduates about their work and their top tips for aspiring artists.

Second in the series, we sit down with glass graduate Alex Derry to talk scientific forms, keeping an open mind and finding inspiration...

Hi Alex, so tell us about your work in the Graduate Shows.

My work in the Graduate Shows is based on scientific forms – working with pre-made borosilicate forms and expressing them in hot glass.

I then use a range of ceramic oxides to colour the glass. I’ve often worked with large scale pieces, but for the Graduate Shows I have a significantly larger set of work on display – combining both size, colour and form.

Glass vessel by Alex Derry, BA (Hons) Contemporary Crafts

How has it been studying here at the college?

My time here has been incredible, when starting out three years ago I had no idea how helpful and open everyone would be.

"My advice would be; never give up, there may be times when you feel like your work is going nowhere, but you just need to keep pushing."

Being a glassblower here with state of the art facilities and a team of outstanding technicians and tutors at your disposal is incredible. You’re able to walk from one area to another and work across different disciplines with ease.

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, 16 kilns and individual studio space, our Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor.

The college is located in the heart of Plymouth, finding inspiration is easy with beaches, the city centre, parks, moorland and art galleries all within a 30 min walking radius or less!

I just feel at home at the college – it's one of the reasons I’m going on to do a Masters course here in September.

"My time here has been incredible, when starting out three years ago I had no idea how helpful and open everyone would be."

Great to hear we’ll be seeing more of you and your work. We also heard that you’ve secured a place at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle.

Yes, I’m heading out there at the start of July and staying for about a month to work with expert glass-makers from around the world.

It’s going to be an amazing experience and I’m really excited to experiment with new techniques and styles.

Borosilicate forms express in hot glass by Alex Derry.

Sounds like an exciting Summer! So what advice would you give aspiring artists?  

My advice would be; never give up, there may be times when you feel like your work is going nowhere, but you just need to keep pushing.

Try something new and get other’s opinions about your work. Secondly, learn to take criticism with an open mind – not everyone is going to like your work but as long as you do, that’s all that matters.

Keep up to date with Alex’s work:
Alexderryglass.co.uk
www.instagram.com/Alexderry_glass



See all of the fantastic work from our 500+ talented students across all levels at our Graduate Shows 2016, 11-24 June, free and open to all. See our event page for opening times.

The public can get involved too, with artwork available to purchase, film screenings and live presentations running throughout the duration of the show – including our unmissable Graduate Fashion Show, which takes place at The Red House (Plymouth School of Creative Arts), on June 21 and 22.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram, with #NowYouSeeUs16.

Press? Contact pbuchan@pca.ac.uk for high-res images, artist statements, press releases and more.