Visitors set to be blown away by new contemporary glass gallery
The Red House Glass Cone is set to launch the new Crystal Mile Contemporary Gallery and hot shop to the public on Friday (Aug 26), to coincide with this year's International Festival of Glass.
The studio is the project of glassmakers Bethany Wood and Elliot Walker. Visitors to the cone may recognise Elliot as the winner of series two of the Netflix show, Blown Away.
The pair first moved into the studio in November last year before being offered a two-month artist’s residency in America which took in the Corning Museum of Glass, the Pittsburgh Glass Centre and the Glass Artist Society Conference. The two worked with American glass blowers in teams of up to seven, allowing them to challenge themselves and try new techniques.
Since their return the pair have been extremely busy setting up the new Gallery and Hot Glass Studio which they hope will encourage and inspire a new generation to take up the art of glassblowing. Elliot, originally from the Black Country moved to London after qualifying at Wolverhampton University and was the winner of Netflix, Blown Away, series 2. Since the win both Bethany and Elliot have been desperate to set up their own gallery and hot shop and both agreed Stourbridge - in the shadow of the famous Red House Glass Cone - was the place to do this.
The hot glass studio will allow them to continue to make their own pieces while the exhibition space will allow them to showcase and sell their own work and studio glass by makers from the cone and across the globe. Both Bethany and Elliot are experienced glass makers and have in the past made pieces for cruise liners, film sets and glass collectors.
Over the festival weekend the new studio will be open offering live glass blowing demonstrations and the chance to book glass making courses. Elliott will be joined in his demonstrations by series 3 winner of Blown Away, John Moran on Friday 26th.
Saturday 27 August is a chance to watch hot glass demonstrations from Blowfish glass artists Bethany Wood, Katherine Huskie, Tim Rawlinson, Layne Rowe and Madeleine Hughes throughout the day.
Glassmaker Bethany Wood said:
“We've both been itching to set up our own hot glass studio and it's been really important to us that we provide this exhibition space not only for our own work but for other the talented glass makers. Our launch exhibition will see work by 14 different glass artists on display and available for purchase.
The Red House Glass Cone feels like the perfect place for us to set up our joint venture. We absolutely loved our time in the states working with larger groups of glass makers, but we're truly at home in a more intimate setting which allows us to work together, focusing on our own projects and showing people the art of glassmaking.
Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said:
It’s wonderful to welcome Bethany and Elliot to the cone and to see them launch their new studio and high-end exhibition space.
It’s great to see a new business setting up in the borough, and providing space for a wide range of glass artist to exhibit and sell their own work. I wish them all the best for their grand opening.
For more information about the schedule of events for the International Festival of Glass please see https://www.ifg.org.uk/exhibitions Or to book craft and glass fusing sessions at the Red House Glass Cone https://www.dudley.gov.uk/things-to-do/museums/red-house-glass-cone/