Glass workshop in Plymouth College of Art

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Melting Pot: Hot Glass Gathering

Plymouth College of Art is playing host to international glass blowing symposium, Melting Pot, taking place on March 18 and 19 2022, as part of the UK's national celebrations for the United Nations-designated International Year of Glass.

Plymouth College of Art is hosting, 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 hot-glass demonstrations and lectures, in person and remotely, 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 and the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Elliot Walker c Simon Bruntnell low res

Elliot Walker © Simon Bruntnell

Gayle Matthias said: “Plymouth College of Art is one of the few remaining Higher Education institutions in the UK where glassblowing techniques can be studied, which makes it vital that we join the international celebrations planned for the UN International Year of Glass. Melting Pot will join a global programme of activities that include congresses, industrial fairs, artistic exhibitions and books designed to highlight and celebrate glass technologies' significant contribution to advancements in the arts and sciences. This is a very exciting opportunity to open our doors and show off some of the drama and beauty of this mesmerising art form.”

Benjamin Lintell and Liz Simms in Plymouth College of Art

Benjamin Lintell and Liz Simms using the glass facilities at Plymouth College of Art

Plymouth College of Art’s hot glass workshops and Plymouth Art Cinema at Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place, Plymouth, PL4 8AT, will act as the hub for a variety of activities, including hot-glass demonstrations by Elliott Walker and Bethany Wood, as well as live-streamed demonstrations from international glass partners in Italy and the Netherlands.

Melting Pot will also feature regional collaborations in England with the Contemporary Glass Society (which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022), Rhizome (an artist collective which includes Plymouth College of Art alumni), Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group, and Teign Valley Glass in Devon. Teign Valley Glass, located in the Old Pottery, Pottery Rd, Bovey Tracey TQ13 9DS, will open its studio doors for the weekend to a wide range of glassblowers, who will demonstrate their skills in-situ and via a live streaming link to Plymouth College of Art.

Elliot Walker and Bethany Wood c Simon Bruntnell

Elliot Walker and Bethany Wood © Simon Bruntnell

With a range of activities for anybody who would like to see hot glass blowing, from professionals and students to members of the public, some events will be open to walk-in on the day while others such as the Elliot Walker and Bethany Wood demonstrations must be booked on Eventbrite in advance. All tickets will be free of charge, with a full event schedule due to be published on the Plymouth College of Art website ahead of the event: https://www.plymouthart.ac.uk/melting-pot

Still life with Lemons Elliot Walker

Still Life with Lemons by Elliot Walker

Make! Craft! Live! is a season of nationwide exhibitions, learning events, fairs, and digital activities that celebrates the value of craft to empower, enrich and connect our society. Running from October 2021 to October 2022, this marks 50 years of the Crafts Council and will be delivered through craft activities taking place at venues across the UK such as craft studios, museums, galleries, schools and community centres.

With a wide range of design studios and workshops that include specialist facilities for glass, ceramics, metal and wood, alongside rapid digital prototyping facilities in Fab Lab Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art offers a range of courses that give students the opportunity to reinvent craft for the 21st century, including BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices, MA Craft & Material Practices and MA Glass. To tour the facilities and see why Plymouth College of Art is uniquely placed to support a rich cross-disciplinary practice, visit the next on campus Open Days on Saturday 26 March or Saturday 18 June 2022.