The Hot Glass Studio continues to be operated by Allister Malcolm, but the museum is no longer open
Allister Malcolm in the Hot Glass Studio
In November 2007 Allister Malcolm returned to the Hot Glass Studio with his business AM Glass. After his Studio Scholarship, Allister established a studio at Stuart Crystal’s Visitor Centre, before setting up at Himley Hall where he was based until November 2007. As well as producing a wide range of studio glass, Allister runs occasional glass workshops and lectures part-time at Wolverhampton University, in the glass department that he graduated from.
Over the years Allister has completed many commissions, most notably the “Open Mic” awards for the Edinburgh Festival for three years, and the London Law Society awards in 2003. He has also won several awards and commendations for his work, including the “New Designers in Business” award in 1997 which was presented by Prime Minister Tony Blair. Allister has worked with other studio glass artists and companies, including Blowzone and Jonathan Harris Studio Glass, and is constantly developing his own work which has a strong sense of design and colour. He exhibits nationally and internationally and has a growing client base in the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
About the Studio
Okra in the Hot Glass Studio
The Hot Glass Studio is sponsored by The Hulbert Group of Dudley.
"It is vital we support the local glassmaking tradition and provide opportunities for glassmakers of tomorrow to develop their expertise. There is an excellent opportunity for public exposure with a viewing area of the workshop, and it gives them a taste of commerce."
Graham Knowles, Managing Director of the Hulbert Group
When Broadfield House opened in 1980, it was decided to try and establish a glassmaking studio in the large barn adjacent to the main house. Using the prize money won from the Best Small Museum Award in 1981, the fabric of the barn was restored and a gas main installed. The space was first let to Okra Glass for a five-year period. The studio acted as an incubation unit for Richard Golding and Nicola Osborne, the founders of Okra Glass, allowing them to set up in the business world and develop their products, whilst also providing a visual spectacle for the Museum visitors. Okra were followed by Osiris Glass (later renamed Blowzone), run by Bill and Bev Davies, who ran the studio until the Museum was refurbished in 1994. Both Okra and Blowzone are now well respected names in studio glass who continue to develop their own unique styles.
Mulika Glass demonstration
In 1995 the way of running the studio was changed and it became known as the Scholarship Studio. The Museum bought all of the glassmaking equipment, with sponsorship from the Hulberts of Dudley, and advertised the facility as a one-year studio available to any glassblower graduating or graduated within the past three years from any British college or university. The Scholarship Studio has worked extremely well, enhancing the visitor experience and providing the artists with an audience ready to react to their products. From 2007 the running of the Hot Glass Studio has reverted to longer term leases rather than the annual scholarship. This shift is in acknowledgement of the increasing difficulties for those pursuing a career in glassmaking, regardless of age and experience. Rising costs of fuel and materials have put extra pressure on glassmakers. The studio offers an excellent opportunity for new glassmakers to establish their own business or for established glassmakers to re-examine their career and develop their skills.
Past Studio Occupants
1995/6 Hots Marks Glass Studio
The company was started in 1995 when Mark was the first recipient of the Scholarship Studio scheme, after graduating from Staffordshire University.
He was joined by Emma-Louise Kirkham in 1996 after she graduated from Sunderland University. They went on to set up a new studio at Himley Hall before being head hunted by the Glasmuseum Hoogeveen in the Netherlands to run their studio, which they still do today.
Their work can be seen in collections in the UK and the USA, and one of their most notable achievements was a commission to replicate glassware for the film Titanic by 20th Century Fox.
Punch bowl by Belle Walker
Belle Walker has now retired from glass but until recently ran her own studio in the local area. Her studio assistant Rob Marshall, also went on to open his own studio and is still making glass. Rob Marshall Glass, Stanstead Park Gardens Centre, Rowlands Castle, Hampshire, PO9 2DX Telephone: 023924 13122
1997/8 Everglassting Hot Glass Studio
Allister Malcolm and Susan Nixon held a joint scholarship but now work independently. Allister moved to his own studio at Himley Hall, but has now returned. Susan is based near Cheltenham and also teaches at Wolverhampton University. Susan and Allister both won impressive commissions during their scholarship year, including making the awards for the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 1999 and winning the Foreign & Commonwealth Office New Designers Award, respectively.
Allister Malcolm: www.allistermalcolm.com
Susan Nixon: www.susannixon.com