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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.

Arts University Plymouth hosted 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, were 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 Arts University Plymouth’s Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices, Melting Pot brought 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 included 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 also featured regional collaborations in England with the Contemporary Glass Society (which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022), Rhizome (a collective of Arts University Plymouth glass artist alumni), Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group, and Teign Valley Glass in Devon.

Friday 18 March | Demonstrations in the Hot Glass Studios at Arts University Plymouth

Saturday 19 March | Demonstrations in the Hot Glass Studios at Arts University Plymouth

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 & Course Leader for BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices at Arts University Plymouth. 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 Arts University Plymouth.
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.