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Melting Pot: Hot Glass Gathering

A two-day international gathering of hot glass blowing expertise and innovation, with talks and live demonstrations from expert glass blowers including Netflix ‘Blown Away’ winner Elliot Walker.

Plymouth College of Art will host Melting Pot: Hot Glass Gathering, on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 March 2022, as part of the UK’s national celebrations for the United Nations-designated International Year of Glass.

Beginners and professionals in glass, as well as members of the public, are invited to experience the drama and beauty of hot glass, blown in real time by some of the world’s leading glass artists.

Organised and curated by Gayle Matthias, artist and Plymouth College of Art’s Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices, Melting Pot will bring together live-streamed and in person hot-glass demonstrations and lectures with some of the most exciting artists working in glass today.

Featured artists and studios will include Elliot Walker, this year's UK-based winner of the Netflix series 'Blown Away'; Wave Glass in Murano, Italy; Blowfish Glass founder Bethany Wood, and the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Melting Pot will also feature regional collaborations in England with the Contemporary Glass Society (which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022), Rhizome (a collective of Plymouth College of Art glass artist alumni), Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group, and Teign Valley Glass in Devon.

Friday 18 March | Tune in live on our YouTube from 10:30am to watch demonstrations in the Hot Glass Studios at Plymouth College of Art

10:30 - 11:30

Renowned glass artist Bethany Wood will be in Plymouth College of Art's hot glass studio to demonstrate novel techniques used in the making of her glass work.

(This session will also be live-streamed to Rietveld Academie and Teign Valley Glass)

11:45 - 14:45

Plymouth College of Art students and alumnus Colin Wilkes demonstrate glass blowing in a range of techniques in the hot glass studio.

16:00 - 18:00

Recent winner of the Netflix documentary series on glass blowing, Blown Away, glass artist Elliot Walker will be in the hot glass workshop to give a live demonstration of his process.

(This session will also be live-streamed to Rietveld Academie and Teign Valley Glass)

09:00 - 09:15

Plymouth College of Art Course Leader in BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices, Gayle Matthias will provide insight and inspiration for the development of Melting Pot: Hot Glass Gathering

09:15 - 10:15

The relevance of computer-aided design in studio glass - Talk and Q&A
Looking at the possibilities of using CAD CAM processes alongside traditional and historical glass skills, and the way in which PCA staff and students have incorporated it into their practice. Speakers include Ian Hankey, Principal Technician & Industrial Researcher at Plymouth College of Art; alumni Ben Bavin and Ian Palfrey.

11:45 - 12:45

Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, will provide remote demonstrations led by Jens Pfeifer, Head of the Large Glass Department and Marie De Bruyn, Studio Manager.

13:45 - 14:45

Teign Valley Glass, Bovey Tracey UK, offers virtual demonstrations of techniques in glass blowing led by glass artists Layne Rowe and Phil Atrill.

15:00 - 16:00

Nationally renowned glass artists Elliot Walker and Bethany Wood speak on and share their studio practice.

10:45 - 13:00

Livestream of hot glass demonstrations at Teign Valley Glass.

13:45 - 14:45

Livestream of glass workshops, with commentary and demos, at Wave Glass Factory.

15:00 - 18:00

Livestream of hot glass demonstrations at Teign Valley Glass.

Saturday 19 March | Tune in live on our YouTube from 10am to watch demonstrations in the Hot Glass Studios at Plymouth College of Art

10:00 - 11:30

Plymouth College of Art students and alumnus Colin Wilkes will be working in the hot glass workshop.

11:40 - 12:00

Plymouth College of Art students and alumni Colin Wilkes and Laura Quinn will be working in the hot glass workshop alongside Roberto Beltrami and alumnus Benjamin Lintell virtually attending, to demonstrate the Venetian glassmaking technique of sbruffi.

12:15 - 13:30

Demonstrations from Plymouth College of Art Alumni Colin Wilkes and Laura Quinn, adapting and experimenting with the sbruffi technique.

13:30 - 15:30

Andrew Collins will be making glass versions of trainers and shoes in the hot glass workshop. Andrew will demonstrate both two and three part mould blown glass techniques alongside other experimental approaches.

09:30 - 10:00

Significance of Venetian Glass - Talk and Q&A
Roberto Beltrami, Glass Master and Founder of Wave Glass, Murano, Venice in conversation with Benjamin Lintell, Glassblower at Wave Glass and Plymouth College of Art alumnus.

10:00 - 11:30

Masterclass in cinema

Roberto Beltrami - Glass Master and Founder of Wave Glass, Murano, Venice

Benjamin Lintell - Glassblower at Wave Glass, Murano, Venice

12:15 - 13:00

The Upcycled Glass Company: Rethinking glassmaking technologies and sustainable business models - Talk
Ian Hankey discusses his new community interest start-up, the Upcycled Glass Company, based in South Devon.

10:45 - 13:00

Livestream of hot glass demonstrations at Teign Valley Glass.

13:30 - 15:00

Livestream of hot glass demonstrations at Teign Valley Glass.

15:00 - 15:30

Create CIC - Talk
Jane Smith, Angela Hatherell and Helen Eastham from Create CIC will talk about the Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub - the aims and ethos of the project and their future plans. Camborne Contemporary Crafts Hub is a community facility providing workspaces, courses and equipment in all aspects of warm glass, as well as ceramics and jewellery. It is part of Camborne Town Deal and open to everyone, from community groups and school children to professional artists.

  • Tickets must be booked via Eventbrite for some of the events in the schedule (such as the Elliot Walker and Bethany Wood demonstrations), but most will be open to walk-ins and will not be ticketed.
  • All tickets will be free.
  • Attendance numbers will be monitored and may be subject to capacity limits, under the current government guidance and in accordance with Covid safe measures at the time of the event.
Elliot Walker c Simon Bruntnell
Elliot Walker
Visiting Artist
Glass Artist Elliot Walker has worked at the prestigious Red House Glass Cone, where he now has a studio, and Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing Studio, and in 2021 won the Netflix glass blowing competition series ‘Blown Away’.
Bethany Wood c Simon Bruntnell
Bethany Wood
Visiting Artist
Multidisciplinary artist Bethany Wood merges her two creative passions: painting and glassmaking, showcasing the fluidity of the material and using her own paintings as a reference in the hot shop.
Roberto Beltrami Chief production and Glass master 4 scaled
Roberto Beltrami
Visiting Artist
Roberto Beltrami is the youngest glass master in Murano. Together with his team, he produces handcrafted glass objects made in his furnace, WAVE MURANO GLASS.
Plymouth College of Art Alumnus Benjamin Lintell at Wave Murano Glass Venice
Benjamin Lintell
Visiting Artist & Alumni
Benjamin Lintell is an Artist and Glassblower creating glass art pieces in Venice, Italy and working for Wave Murano Glass.
Copy of Gayle Matthias
Gayle Matthias
Senior Lecturer & Subject Leader
Gayle Matthias is a Senior Lecturer & Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices at Plymouth College of Art. Gayle is also a Subject Tutor in the postgraduate centre, applying her experience at the V&A and Museum of Glass to undergraduate and MA specialisms including ceramics, glass, and sculpture.
Ian Hankey glass copy
Ian Hankey
Fab Lab Principal Technician
Ian is a master glassmaker with a background in CAD CAM, engineering, art and glass production. He has over 20 years’ experience teaching glassmaking at the Royal College of Art (RCA), Buckinghamshire University and Plymouth College of Art.
Ben Bavin
Ben Bavin
Glass Artist & Alumni
Ben Bavin is a contemporary glass artist with over 4 years experience blowing glass, graduating from a degree at Plymouth College of Art in 2021. Ben is known for his experimental approach to glass, combining CAD/CAM processes with traditional glass techniques.
Colin Wilkes
Colin Wilkes
Glass Artist & Alumni
Colin Wilkes is an award-winning glass artist specialising in glassblowing with a focus on sustainable practices. He has over 15 years of experience working with a range of different materials, from concrete to timber.
Ian Palfrey
Ian Palfrey
Glass Artist & Alumni
Ian Palfrey is a glass artist whose work reflects the use of technologies to design and 3D print his ideas before casting them in glass using a variation of the lost wax method, as well as glass blowing.
Laura Quinn visiting artist and alumni of Plymouth College of Art
Laura Quinn
Visiting Artist & Alumni
Laura Quinn is an Irish designer and glassblower. In 2015 she graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin with a BA (hons) in Glass Design & BA (hons) in Art History and Design. Laura completed her Masters at Plymouth College of Art with a first class honours in 2019.