Zeynep Korun Glass Studio Electric Furnace 38

Latest News

Crafts graduate explores prestigious Corning Museum of Glass in New York

Zeynep Korun graduated BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices in 2023 and hasn’t slowed down her glass practice since completing her studies.
<p dir="ltr">We spoke to Turkish-born graduate and glass artist <a href="https://www.instagram.com/zeynep.crafts/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Zeynep Korun</a> less than a year after she graduated to hear the importance of working hard to advance your craft and her plans to open a glass studio in Izmir, Turkey. Zeynep has a deep connection to her country and culture. Since catching the ‘glass bug’, she has been blowing glass with passion and patience, taking inspiration from Turkish motifs and impactful events that have taken place in Turkey.<br /></p> <p dir="ltr">Zeynep studied BA (Hons) Craft &amp; Material Practices, a core part of Arts University Plymouth’s portfolio of courses, graduating in 2023 and during her studies took part in the hot glass blowing event <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/posts/looking-back-on-melting-pot-hot-glass-gathering">Melting Pot</a>, featured as one of our own <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/posts/playful-and-sorrowful-landscapes-craft-material-practices-ones-to-watch-2023">Ones To Watch</a> talented graduates last year and was featured in <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/posts/arts-university-plymouth-graduates-featured-in-contemporary-glass-society-graduate-review-2023">Contemporary Glass Society’s Graduate Review</a>, winning Runner Up for her vessel and collarpiece. Students on BA (Hons) Craft &amp; Material Practices, situated in Arts University Plymouth’s dedicated hot and warm glass studios, benefit from an electric glass furnace, the first of its kind in an educational institution in the UK and highly experienced glass-specific technical and academic support.<br /></p>
Zeynep Korun Glass Studio Electric Furnace 14

Zeynep Korun

<p>Zeynep has just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime experience attending classes at the prestigious Corning Museum of Glass in New York so we wanted to find out how she found the experience and what life has been like as a practising glass artist.</p>
<p dir="ltr">I applied for two consecutive one-week classes at the CMOG through their website and I was luckily accepted for both.<br /></p>
Zeynep Korun Crafts 2023 Denial

'Denial' by Zeynep Korun, 2023

<p dir="ltr">I had an absolutely unforgettable time at CMOG. Classes started between 8 and 9am and we were allowed to work until 11pm every single day. This was by far the most intensive practice time I’ve had in a glassblowing studio and it significantly helped me improve my skills. All the people who work and study there were so incredibly nice and helpful, which made this experience especially enjoyable.<br /></p> <p dir="ltr">I was with Artist in Residence <a href="https://people.cmog.org/bio/dan-friday" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Dan Friday</a> for the first week, where I learned sculptural techniques. I then took <a href="https://people.cmog.org/bio/william-gudenrath" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Bill Gundenrath</a>’s workshop on Venetian techniques for the second week. Glass sculpting and Venetian-style glass blowing are considered complete opposites in terms of scale and technique, but attending both workshops helped me focus on multiple aspects of glass blowing which in turn made me a lot more confident as a glass blower. <br /></p> <p dir="ltr">Meeting Dan and Bill, who are known to be great glass blowers, was a great opportunity on its own. They were both super friendly and they were amazing as teachers. I’m incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know these beautiful people and broaden my glass network. I still keep in touch with them and it makes me feel more like a part of the glass-blowing community.<br /></p>
Zeynep Korun700

Zeynep Korun's Vessel & Collar piece

<p dir="ltr">Being featured as a runner-up in the CGS Graduate Review was an absolute confidence booster. I literally got confirmation that what I am trying to accomplish is being recognized as worthy. This gave me the courage to work even harder on myself and believe in my capacity to produce recognizable work.<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">At the moment, I’m focussing on improving my technique and learning as much as possible, hence I am mostly inspired by innovative yet skilful works. I try to take inspiration from each glass blower I know of, but the first names that come to mind are Elliot Walker (who I met during the Melting Pot event at Arts University Plymouth), Bill Gudenrath, Dan Friday, Karen Willenbrink Johnsen and Neil Edwards.<br /></p> <p dir="ltr">Currently, I am really interested in putting glass rings with patterns onto blown vessels and I first had this idea when I was thinking of innovative ways to showcase both my love of pattern-making and my abilities as a glass blower.<br /></p>
Zeynep Korun Glass Studio Electric Furnace 29

Zeynep Korun using Arts University Plymouth's electrical glass furnace

<p dir="ltr">Since graduating, I’ve attended a workshop with Matthew Urban at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul which I received a scholarship for, where I significantly improved my cane-pulling skills. Currently, I’m busy opening a glass-blowing studio in Izmir, Turkey, where I’m from, where I will be teaching glass-blowing while also producing one-of-a-kind commercial work. If everything goes to plan, the studio will be open before the end of 2024!<br /></p>
<p dir="ltr">My advice would definitely be to work on your skill set. I did voluntary work for Teign Valley Glass in Bovey Tracey and London Glassblowing in London, which has given me a taste for what it's like to work in the industry while also improving my skills and broadening my network. I do believe that it’s super important to put yourself out there and meet as many people as possible from the glass community while taking every opportunity to showcase that you are willing to work hard. Applying for appropriate opportunities where you can introduce yourself and your work is an absolute must. <br /></p> <p dir="ltr">All in all, I highly believe that putting as much time as possible into learning this craft, while not hesitating to introduce yourself to important people and showing off that enthusiasm, will open you up to opportunities you might never have even known about. When I attended the London Glassblowing studio, I was offered a work experience placement just because I showed so much enthusiasm. I had the time of my life there, and met incredible glass blowers such as Tim Rawlinson, Peter Layton, Bruce Marks and Louis Thompson.<sup></sup></p>
Zeynep Korun Crafts 2023 Clear engraved vase

Clear engraved vase by Zeynep Korun, 2023

<p dir="ltr">Besides opening my glass blowing studio, I have applied for another scholarship at Istanbul's Glass Furnace this summer. If I get accepted, it’ll be the third time I’ve been there on a scholarship. I am super excited about the possibility of learning from such successful glassblowers once again, I just can’t get enough!<br /></p>

<p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/ba-hons-craft-material-practices">BA (Hons) Craft &amp; Material Practices</a> at Arts University Plymouth is an ever-evolving course at the forefront of thinking and making, with an increasing emphasis on ways that people in the UK’s craft industry can live harmoniously within natural and fabricated environments that support a healthy ecosystem. Visit our next <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/open-days">Open Day</a> to find out more.<br /></p>