Stourbridge International Festival of Glass

Creative Studio

Brilliant day out at the 6th Stourbridge International Festival of Glass.

Twenty eight of us ventured south to enjoy a celebration of glass – artists work; demonstrations; open studios; workshops; the local glass industry and glass heritage; and goods for sale.

The main attraction was the British Glass Biennale in the Glasshouse Arts Centre. This featured 122 pieces created by 77 artists – truly inspiring craftmanship. My favourite exhibit here was a beautiful bowl decorated with black crows.

The glass blowing demonstration I watched was intriguing – not much actual blowing, but plenty of manipulating the hot glass. I think he made a stemmed vase but as soon as he’d finished, it was put into a cooling furnace, an annealer, so that the glass cooled slowly to stop it from cracking or shattering. The process was fascinating to watch and with all the furnaces lit – hot!

Other favourites for me were the ‘wish you were here’ glass postcards, 150 of them, each made by individual members of the Contemporary Glass Society. And the finds from the 2012 Nexus Heritage archaeological digs revealing the 300 year history of the Ruskin Centre site.

And then there was a delicious lunch, chilli beans and rice, and of course …….coffee and cake!