Graduate Charlotte Scurlock on her journey to Teign Valley Glass
Specialising in glass, Charlotte Scurlock graduated from BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices (formerly named BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts) at Plymouth College of Art in 2020. During this time, Charlotte has honed her craft, creating hand-blown glass, textiles and metalwork sculptures, using a combination of traditional and contemporary processes. Inspired by her experience as a holistic therapist, microscopic cells and anatomical structures influence the design and concepts of Charlotte’s work in glass today, with sustainable and responsibly-sourced materials at the heart of her practice.
Charlotte wanted to continue her creative studies years ago after completing an Extended Diploma in Art and Design at Plymouth College of Art, but decided to take some time out and study holistic therapies before applying to study BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts in 2017.
“I knew I was ready to challenge myself by studying at degree level and made a last minute decision to attend an Open Day. Having studied at the college before, I was familiar with the staff, but the craft, material and fabrication labs were definitely new to me! The facilities are fantastic and were probably the primary reason for choosing Plymouth College of Art, as well as the opportunity to develop specialist skills. Everything that I wanted was right there, so I went for it!”
“Having tutors and technicians that are also makers really makes a difference. The live brief opportunities we were given for projects were so beneficial to my creative practice. They really prepared me for industry or setting up my own business. The tutors’ and technicians' support and guidance have been invaluable. The course was a mix of practical and written modules, incorporating research into both.”
“All of these aspects have left me with the required knowledge to set up my own business in the future and apply for grants and loans, which are often needed when working in the creative industry as a self-employed maker.”
Since graduating, Charlotte returned to Plymouth College of Art as an alumni volunteer in the hotshop, helping to extend the hot shop opening hours for the students and provided the opportunity to make her own work while supporting the students. However, this was short-lived as her talents were recognised by Teign Valley Glass. Established in 1981 in Teignmouth, Devon, the glass blowing studio was originally set up to preserve the specialist techniques of Victorian glass makers while making handmade marbles for the House of Marbles, although it was soon obvious that the team had skills to make much more than marbles. Now a production glass studio and studio shop, Teign Valley Glass became its own enterprise and re-established itself in Bovey Tracey, selling giftware and studio glass, while also supplying galleries and American companies, with Charlotte recently landing herself a role at the studio.
“My role is split between glassworks assistant and retail assistant, this means some days I’m in the shop and some days I’m making in the studio. The retail role includes selling giftware and studio glass in the shop. As a glass making assistant, I help to make the glass for trade and the shop, gathering glass, applying colour and assisting the other makers. Some days I make my own pieces for the shops and others I work as a part of a team. Being in the hot shop is fast paced and challenging, we can make four or five different product lines in a day. As a production glass studio, we have large orders, which means meeting a high volume of demand. Timing and clear communication is critical when in production glass making as it’s so fast. There’s always something to do!”