Conference 2015

Extreme Glass: a focus on material and process.

North Lands Creative Glass Extreme Glass Conference 2015

This year our conference further expands and contextualises our classes, which will examine the diverse materiality of glass and glassmaking techniques. Artists and designers are looking at the material afresh, investigating the basic science and tools, asking how far is it possible to push the idea of ‘the glassmaker’?

Speakers include those who have found innovation through materials and process and people who think about the importance of making. There will be practical workshops, seminars and opportunities for attendees to introduce themselves through presentations.

Our Conference begins on Friday 4th September at 2.00 pm with something new – an Object Seminar.  Delegates are invited to apply in advance to give a short presentation of 3-5 minutes on an object they have made or own. Objects should be within a hand held scale with the intention that they can be handled.  After the presentation the objects will be on display over the course of the Conference weekend.

This will be followed by a presentation on Developments in Glass 2015 and the Exhibition opening which will feature recent North Lands activities at 6.30 p.m.

As another new feature in our programme we would like to illustrate the quality and diversity of contemporary glass art and craft in Scotland. To do this we would like to invite Scottish and Scottish based artists to submit 1 – 3 images of their work together with a short statement in the form of a Haiku style poem describing their ideas, their work and/or their motivation. The successful entries will then be formed into a slide show which will be on display during the course of our Conference.

If you would like to submit works for either of these events, please contact Grace for further information: tel: +44(0)1593721229

Conference Presentations on Saturday and Sunday 5th & 6th September include:

Dr. Zoe Laughlin ‘Wonderstuff’
Materials perform. Stuff is constantly getting up to things. Matter is doing all of the time, at varying scales of time and space, in order to exist and generate the world of objects. Wonderstuff will be a demonstration-lead exploration of materials, where the micro is rendered macro, the inanimate is shown to be animate, and material science meets performance. This is your chance to witness some of the most extraordinary matter on earth; from shape-memory paperclips to magnetic liquids, non-Newtonian fluids and transparent concrete. 
Zoe Laughlin is co-founder/director of the Institute of Making and the Materials Library project. Working at the interface of the art, science, craft, design and engineering of materials, her work ranges from formal experiments with matter, to materials consultancy and large-scale public exhibitions, events and performance with partners including Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and the V&A. 

Jeroen Maes ‘Borderline’

This talk will give a short overview of a borderline approach on glass art exhibition making within the context of the glass museum GlazenHuis (Lommel, Belgium) which was founded in 2007. He will also comment on the initiation and the outcome of the first two editions of the successful International Glass Prize.
As Artistic Director, Jeroen Maes was in 2007 among the founders of the glass center GlazenHuis in Lommel, Belgium. From a theoretical and practical knowledge of old and new glass, of concept and technique, he made 19 heterogeneous exhibitions, including GlassWear, Tenuous Tenacity , The Taste of Glass, The Glass Canvas and 3 Solo Shows, the latter presenting Richard Meitner, the de la Torre Brothers and Petr Stanicky. Several times he confronted high-quality contemporary art and design with unique historical decorative and utility glass. On the initiative of the Charlotte van der Seijs Foundation Jeroen Maes developed the International Glass Prize, a triennial international competition for glass art and design (The Object 2012/ The Process 2015).

Angela Thwaites ‘Towards Content – kiln formed glass and other things’
Meaning does not arrive easily. This year’s title of ‘Extreme Glass’ made me consider the purpose and meaning of making with glass. Engagement with this particular material, its unique properties and processes are at the heart of my search for meaning and content in my practice.
Angela Thwaites is an internationally active artist, educator and author. Her artistic practice focuses not only on individual sculptures, but includes commissions and site responsive works, masterclasses in Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands. Angela has recently started a PhD study at the University of Sunderland. She was awarded British Council scholarships to study MA in Prague with Professor Stanislav Libensky.

Tord Boontje ‘Extremely Materialistic’
As a designer who is interested in bringing warmth, craftsmanship and romanticism back into industrial design, Tord Boontje works across a large spectrum of materials. In this talk he will focus on projects where he worked with glass, ceramics, wood and metal. This will include examples of materials and processes used in crafts practice as well as industry.
Tord set up his studio after leaving the RCA in 1994 and works in the field of lighting, graphics, textiles, ceramics, furniture, installation and interiors. Clients include Swarovski, Moroso, Philips, Habitat and Yamaha. His work can be found in his shop in Shoreditch as well as the collections of the V&A and MoMA.

Jerome Harrington ‘The glassmaker [without glass]’
“My current PhD addresses our contemporary relationship with manufacture processes, and the associated, well-documented sense of disconnection and estrangement. In order to investigate how making process is made visible I have created The Archive of Manufacture to collate ‘points of visibility’, the visual information available to us in the form of images, film and objects. I will explore how examples from The Archive describe process and in doing so, how they create ideas of material and objects. 
Within the research, I have been investigating how my own studio based making process can be ‘critical’ – how it can be used as an investigative method to find things out. This has involved a wide range of studio-based methods to ‘think’ about glass: the production of a Plasticine object, short videos, written texts and collaborative pedagogical projects.
Through the presentation of this current work, I aim to present a prevocational conception of the ‘glass-maker’, but one which I hope will open up new methods of ‘making’ for glass artists.”

James Maskrey ‘Narrating process’
James Maskrey has a career in glass spanning 25 years. He predominantly works in hot glass, often using a combination of processes to create everyday objects that regale tales ranging from elaborate hoaxes to historical facts. This presentation will map his journey as a creative maker, reflecting on his experiences and interests to reveal the ideas and inspiration behind his work. He works at the University of Sunderland where he gained his MA with distinction. His works can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Crafts Council, and further collections in the UK, Australia, Czech Republic and Germany.

There will be hands on sessions and demonstrations in the workshops including engraving, printing and a hotshop event.

Trips Out – As part of the Conference, you will be able to choose from guided trips to places of local interest either by foot or by mini-bus.

On the Monday following the Conference, we are offering an opportunity for attendees to participate in a day trip to the beautiful Scottish Island of Orkney. There will be 12 places available to join Steve and Angus on the minibus at a cost of £50 each. This is on a first come, first serve basis and anyone interested should contact

Conference Fee: £250

Reduced Fee for Master Class participants: £200

Reduced Fee for Students: £190

10% Discount for CGS and SGS members

Early Bird Discount of 15% extended to 30 June 2015

Fees include dinner on Friday and Saturday evening and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here to go to the Conference 2015 Booking Form.

For more details call Grace on +44 (0) 1593721229 or email