The festival

Unless specified, all exhibitions take place over the festival weekend of 23-26 August 2024.

The Gathering of Goddess Dolls, Penelope Jane Ross. Photo Simon Bruntnell
Falling for Gold, Layne Rowe. Photo by Sylvain Deleu
Particle, Anthony Scala. Photo by Ester Segarra
Ocean, Fiaz Elson. Photo Sylvain Deleu
On Reflection, Keith Cummings. Photo by Simon Bruntnell

BRITISH GLASS BIENNALE 2024

The British Glass Biennale is the flagship exhibition of the International Festival of Glass. It features work selected by jury from 121 contemporary artists who are living and working in the UK, plus British makers living and working abroad. The Biennale celebrates their creativity, innovation and technical skill with 38% of artists appearing for the first time. Come and vote for the People’s Prize winner; children can vote for the Young Collectors’ Award and win a piece of contemporary glass to start their own collection. Winners of the voting categories will be announced on 28 September.

Springtime in California beads by Joan Keller
Toil by Ayako Tani
Crosshatched Leaf Bead, Olga Alianova
Allister Malcolm - Nuturing Growth
Pansy Necklace, Jolene Wolfe

INTERNATIONAL BEAD BIENNALE 2024

Celebrate the beautiful world of beadmaking with miniature masterpieces made especially for the exhibition by 43 artists from around the world. A glorious mix of beautiful, quirky and ingenious.

Flame work by Etsuko Ichikawa
Tavs Jorgensen tracing
Ayako Tani in the studio
Work by Zhenning Li
Ghost by Ayako Tani

LINES, THREADS AND TRACES

Can glass be used as a kind of canvas or ink? Dr Ayako Tani has carefully curated an exhibition which interprets the different uses of lines for artistic expression. Displaying a wide variety of techniques, from engraved marks on a vase to molten glass stretched in the air and fleeting shadows of glass projected on the wall, you can observe how the making process, especially the artist’s bodily action, might be present in the shapes and the marks on/of/by/with glass.

CONTEMPORARY GLASS SOCIETY – THANKS FOR THE MEMORY

This exhibition of small works by members of the Contemporary Glass Society honours the 20 years of partnership between the CGS and the International Festival of Glass. Members were invited to create a small treasure full of memories to celebrate this amazing journey.  All work is for sale from £50, £75 or £100. Selling starts at 5pm Friday. Get ready to bid for the piece you want, they are always hotly contested.

Grateful thanks to Alan J Poole and Mark Holford for sponsoring the artists’ prizes.

JUST GLASS – COMING OF AGE

Just Glass – Coming of Age showcases the work of forty-eight artists working in kiln-formed glass in this exciting and ground-breaking exhibition. Their work celebrates the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Just Glass collective formed to support glass artists who have learned or taught in UK adult education institutions, a source of tuition that has never been more valued as opportunities to study glass at UK universities diminish. All the work being exhibited has been made since August 2022 and is shown here for the first time.

The artists in this exhibition range from those who have been working with glass for less than a year through to others who have progressed to studying glass at doctoral level, become professional glass artists and teachers, or have continued to enjoy attending adult education art classes for several decades. Exhibiting artist and Honorary member, Angela Thwaites writes in the introduction of our 2022 book ‘Just Glass Brought to Light’:

“The teaching of glass in adult education has broadened and strengthened the field of art glass in the UK enormously. Without the need for prior experience either in art or materials, institutions like Richmond Art School provide open, flexible access for learning and experimenting with glass. Specialist facilities, teaching and technical support enable a wide range of students to engage with and develop in-depth knowledge, skill and commitment to working with glass.”

Come and enjoy their journey in glass and see how adult education enables creativity for people at all stages of their lives. You will have the opportunity to meet some of the artists, share glassy chat and buy their work.

BRITISH SOCIETY OF MASTER GLASS PAINTERS – INSPIRED BY WILLIAM MORRIS

The British Society of Master Glass Painters are showcasing a selection of panels that have all been inspired by the life and work of William Morris. Members of the Society were invited to make a new glass panel 30cm x 30cm using traditional or contemporary techniques. By studying the past we can look at the craft afresh and communicate it to a modern audience.

The exhibition has kindly been sponsored by Sanderson, who hold the Morris & Co. Archive.

Golden Nodule Stone, Jeremy Sinkus USA
Laura Kramer, USA
Encapsulated, Balazs Telegdi. Hungary

FIFTEEN X FIFTEEN

This unique showcase features the captivating work of 30 glass artists from around the globe, each presenting a stunning sculpture limited to a maximum of 15 cm x 15 cm x 15 cm format. Featuring work by Jeremy Sinkus and Laura Kramer from the USA and Balazs Telegdi from Hungary.

Head over to Blowfish Gallery’s Instagram page where the exhibiting artists have been announced!

Fragile by Linda Norris
Growing the Void 2 by Maria Scarognina

No Place Like Home – The Broken Home Collective



Silvia Levenson, Alison Lowry, Linda Norris, Maria Scarognina, Olga Turetska

No Place Like Home is a collaborative installation by Broken Home Collective. This installation arose from a workshop at Silvia’s studio in Italy in February 2024 where all the artists came together to share ideas and experiences.

An estimated 160,000 children in England are currently living in households where domestic abuse is taking place (statistic from Women’s Aid, 2024) These statistics are replicated all over the world. Using art to draw attention to this issue is the aim of the Broken Home Collective. Although we come from all over Europe, the epidemic of violence against women remains the same. Art can encourage dialogue, enabling us to talk about things we might find uncomfortable to say otherwise, it can help us to think in a different way and can help us to understand what another person may be going through.

This installation will be accompanied by a presentation on Friday 23 August.

CONTEMPORARY GLASS SOCIETY CGS: NEW HORIZONS

The New Horizons exhibition will showcase both traditional methods of glass making along with modern techniques, all producing contemporary work that challenges and explores the boundaries of glass. All the work on show will either be made especially for the exhibition or is work which has been made since 2022 but has not been previously exhibited. Consequently, New Horizons provides a unique opportunity to experience work never seen before in public.

A diverse range of glass making processes from hot glass, casting, kiln formed, pâte de verre, lampworking, neon, and stained glass will be represented by the following artists: Anthony Amoako Attam, Emma Baker, Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg, Heike Brachlow, Sarah Brown, Karen Browning, Penny Carter, James Devereux, Catherine Dunstan, Fiaz Elson, Dominic Fondé , Richard Jackson, Verity Pulford, Susan Purser Hope, Laura Quinn, Tim Rawlinson, Opal Seabrook, Ruth Shelley, Angela Thwaites, and Brian Waugh.

This cornucopia of glass work reflects the dynamism and sheer talent of contemporary glass in this country and demonstrates how glass makers continue to develop and challenge our understanding of glass as an artistic medium.

General Office & CGS Present: Glass Beginnings: Graduates of 2024

General Office Gallery in association with The Contemporary Glass Society (CGS) present an exhibition for new graduates working in glass . This exhibition features works by emerging glass artists graduating from a British or Irish accredited course in 2024 or a n accredited MA or PhD course in 2023. The exhibition offers a great opportunity for these emerging makers to be exposed to an international audience during the weeks of the International Glass Festival and beyond.

The exhibition will feature works by Dorothy Chan, Charis Constantinou, Roberta De Caro, Jiayun Ding, Maria Donnai, Nancy Farrington, Jo Guile, Suzie Lavender, Sophie Longwill, Kit Martin, Liz Waugh McManus, Lorna McNamara and Bethan Yates.