Dudley Council
Dudley Skyline

Virtual talks available now

We are now able to offer all our outreach sessions as virtual talks/webinars via your preferred platform. 

Webinar talks are the new way of socialising; connect with friends and family, learn something new about your local area.

What a fabulous lecture this evening...Kate certainly nailed it and her enthusiasm and knowledge of her subject came over extremely well. It was so enjoyable. Best wishes, Hazel. Romsley & Hunnington History Society.
  • Mary Stevens engraving a vase
  • Helen Millard Hummingbird cameo vase

Talks usually last about an hour plus time for questions and a chat - all are accompanied by Powerpoint slides. 

Choose a talk from below

Art of the Black Country

A talk taking you through old and new art, all of it depicting the Black Country and made in the Black Country. Five paintings and five pieces of glass. How and why were they made? What was the inspiration for the artist? What do you think about the pieces?

Cameo Glass

What is it? How is it made? How did cameo glass bring  fame and fortune to the streets of The Crystal Mile? This talk, starting with the 17th century rediscovery of a lost Roman art form, will show you the challenges faced and the rivalry engendered by the glass dynasties of Stourbridge in their attempts to reproduce Cameo glass. We will follow the story of Stourbridge Cameo from the 1876 reproduction of the Portland Vase, to the present day studio artists continuing development of the craft.

It's magic!

In ancient times glass making was viewed as mysterious and magical, referred to as 'The art feat and mystery of glass'. Glass has clever physical properties, it can easily be recycled and it does not deteriorate with age or use. It is the chemical properties that make it so unique. From architecture to optical glass, from oven ware to radiation - glass is magical.

Mastermind

Learn more about the Scottish glass artist, Denis Mann, who found fame by engraving the very first Mastermind Trophy in 1970. Discover some of his pieces in the Museum’s collection.

Masters of Cameo: George & Thomas Woodall

This talk tells the story of ordinary local brothers under the guidance of John Northwood and his burgeoning expertise in reproducing the cameo carving of The Portland Vase in 1876; they became Masters of their craft producing the finest cameo of all time. From early training at Stourbridge School of Art to the establishment of the Gem Cameo Team at Thos. Webb and Sons, we follow their professional and personal lives from the development of their techniques to the legacy of their pieces that now command five figure sums at International auctions

Meet the Designers

This talk describes how art and design developed in glassware. The elements of good design are functional, practical, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing and affordable. 

Starting 2500BC with glass beads found in Egypt and Assyria, we progress through Roman times, medieval glass, the glass-makers of Murano, George Ravenscroft right up to the 20th century designers. 

Stourbridge Glass: A History

A good introduction to the subject of Stourbridge Glass. This talk traces the roots of Stourbridge glassmakers back to the 8thC BC, from The Alabastron of Sargon II to their arrival in Stourbridge. It explores the hot side of the industry, the workings of our unique glass cones and the distinctions between the hot and cold side of the industry. This is a fascinating look at how the geology of Stourbridge shaped its history, its wealth and the health and working lives of its people.

Stourbridge Glassmakers: On the move

Stourbridge glassmakers throughout the centuries have moved on, but where to? And what have they accomplished? This talk explains how Stourbridge glassblowers rivalled any produced by the Venetians, how their skills revolutionised domestic cookware and how they circumvented obstacles and moved to practice their skills making beautiful bespoke objet-d’art thus seeking their fortunes in some surprising ways and places.

Stourbridge Glassmakers: Their history and their legacy

Learn of the growth of our glass industry from Medieval Forest Glass and the integration of expert Hugenot glassmakers, from the development of discrete industries making utility bottles, glasses, windows to the fine crystal tableware for which Stourbridge is renowned. Why did the industry diversify? How did the revolution of regulation, laws, taxes, materials, fashions and demand, change the industry? The ingenious artisans of Stourbridge faced those changes; mastered, honed and augmented their skills and their expertise and artistry has left a legacy that is celebrated worldwide. 

The French Connection

How is the Black Country linked to the Black Mountains in south-west France? How are the Stourbridge glassmakers influenced by Emile Galle, Daum Freres and Lalique? This talk will take you on historic quests and share amazing coincidences.

Women in the Glass Industry

Within the hot working factory conditions it was said that the only limitation to the glassblowers art is ‘the strength in his arm’ and the hot shops were considered at be an all male environment, women were not allowed. Archive sources and ladies who worked in the glass industry have helped uncover a fascinating account of this 'glass ceiling'. From the 1860's to the present day. This is a revealing talk showing changing attitudes and the struggles between Unions, Management and workers to allow women to do 'men’s work'.

Handling Sessions

This interactive session will introduce the marvellous magical material that is glass, its scientific properties and uses in everyday life as well as a basic introduction to how glass is made and the achievements of the local industry. This session is ideal for school classes, community or family groups and involves handling glass objects and looking at images.

We all thoroughly enjoyed meeting you last night and found your talk extremely interesting, I'm sure there are still industries where women are still patronised but at least we know the glass industry has moved on! I will certainly pass your details on to other groups, you are a most engaging and attractive speaker. Kind regards, Hagley Tangent Club
Thank you so much for the excellent talk on Cameo Glass you gave to our club's members last night. It was from beginning to end and the amount of interest you created was reflected in the large number of questions you had. Many thanks once again and very best wishes for continues success in your work. Pedmore Men's Club
  • £45 for the first hour, £22 per additional part hour.

    Mileage charged at 45p per mile on a round trip from The Red House Glass Cone (DY8 4AZ) 

  • To make a booking:

    Telephone - 01384 815571

  • Follow this link to online payments only AFTER you have been asked to do so by Museum staff.