The Glasshouse and its Tree

The Glasshouse came into being in 1969 at 27 Neal Street, Covent Garden at the instigation of Sam Herman and with financial help from Graham Hughes. Together with some of the first graduates from the RCAís innovative glass department Sam Hermanís idea was Ďto establish a workshop that would act as a halfway house between college and the real world, and of creating a life in glass away from the industryí The team there underwent changes as individual members moved away either to live elsewhere, to open up their own workshops or to move abroad. When in 1976 the lease of Neal Street was up for renewal the GLC and Camden Council felt that it was not a suitable premises for a glass workshop and it was closed down. But with a £10,000 equipment grant from the Crafts Council combined with the strong will for survival of Glasshouse directors, the new premises of Long Acre opened in 1978, for many years thrived there and became the model for running an artistic glass business on an intimate scale There was always an educational side to activities, with courses organised for those interested in learning, and a willingness to take on apprentices for limited periods. In 1992 The Glasshouse was to move premises once again, this time to St. Albanís Place just near Islington Green, before it finally closed down in 1998. What is remarkable is that almost all who worked at the Glasshouse have in one way or another made a significant contribution to the world of glass, and each one in a very personal way. There is definitely no Glasshouse style, other than a common understanding that skill is the root of all artistic endeavours in this medium. The Glasshouse was set up as a hot workshop where teamwork is of the utmost importance. Its thirty year existence is a tribute to the team spirit which prevailed there through thick and thin. Many of those who either remained for longer periods or moved on did not stay with hot glass. This exhibition is proof of that as well as a timely reminder of the contribution made by the Glasshouse to the British glass scene.

Dan Klein
March 2008

Focus
Jacob Van Der Beugel - Ceramics
Bi-Me - Glass
Gillies-Jones - Glass
Bert Marsh - Wood
Carole Waller - Textiles

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