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As part of the Masterclasses that ran in January and February, Kirsteen took a group of students to Peter Layton’s London Glassblowing workshop to see how a glass studio operates. Not only were they welcomed by Peter himself, but students were able to see how a team of glassblowers can work collectively; through interacting and exchanging blowing irons, sharing skills and expertise, they were able to playfully shape the molten glass to create new patterns and textures.
The results were intricate and well mastered- they clearly showed how skills such as glass blowing can take years to develop. Working as part of a team, exchanging and interchanging roles- one minute an assistant, the next the blower was fascinating and showed great transferable skills.
Alongside this lay the Gallery where a number of colleagues working in the studio (such as Louis Thompson’s blown glass, above) can exhibit their work, in addition to some external artists such as Antony Scala. The work was predominantly blown, but this was not exclusive, and there were plenty of colourful fused glass threads (kiln work), inspiring work by Shelley Doolan and Anthony Scala’s calm cast glass (see below). It was interesting to discuss not only technique but prices and market for these objects- a good insight into life as a studio glass blower. A great trip!