Ben Dunnington


My overall interest has always been in the design and manufacture of objects that have a function; vase, candlestick, decanter. In the course of my career, the nature and physical size has varied greatly. From glass products produced in large batches for the interior accessories market, to bespoke one-off commissions, including lighting and chandelier work.
The batch production work has been sold widely by retailers in the UK and internationally including Liberty, Harrods, Conran Shop, Barneys, Gumps and many individual galleries and retailers. Ideas combining simple forms with colour have always been the basis for the objects and I have never wanted to involve complicated surface patterns in this respect.
Much of what I design and produce was influenced by my time at The Glasshouse, not only in terms of technique and production methods, but also with regards to an understanding of the market. It was an extremely creative environment, but also one with financial and economic pressures.
I worked as an assistant to the Directors, each having their own particular talents and interests; from free-blown forms, to pieces produced in moulds, to transforming sculptural ìblanksî downstairs in the cutting workshop.
I am extremely grateful for all the introductions to the buyers and collectors visiting the workshop and gallery from around the world. The manner in which to create a successful relationship and do business with such people, many of whom drive a hard bargain combined with a fierce attention to detail, has stood me in good stead to the present day.
The chance to work in my second year as assistant to Ronnie Wilkinson, ex Gaffer from Whitefriars, London, was a unique learning experience. Larger than life in both body and character he had a lifetime of master glassmaking skills at his disposal. It was a steep learning curve keeping up with the demands of the speed at which he worked, his jovial banter and, on the odd occasion, the tirade of personal insults. At The Glasshouse, he was responsible for the batch production of the ranges designed by the directors and producing the work for the restoration and commission areas of the business. This went on to influence my work in many ways, an example of which is the Tall Two Part Vase I presented in my graduate show at the RCA in 1993. The method for creating such a tall vase shape uses the same basic technique Ron had demonstrated to make the traditional Yard Of Ale (an unusual combination of free blown and un-annealed manual working of lead crystal glass). This design became something of a best-seller for me and Iím grateful for my time at The Glasshouse as a result.


Education 
1991-1993 Royal College Of Art, MA Course, Department Of Ceramics and Glass. 1985-1988 West Surrey College Of Art and Design, BA Three Dimensional Design
1984–1985 Epsom School of Art and Design, Pre-BA Foundation Year Diploma.

Experience
2005-Present Project Director, Lea International Ltd
1997-2005 Project Manager, Lea International Ltd, exhibition designers and contractors.
1995-2005 Tutor In Hot Glass, Department Of Ceramics And Glass, Royal College Of Art, London
1995-1997 Director, “Simon Moore London Ltd”, glass designers and manufacturers, Stockwell, London.
1993-1995 Self-employed glassmaking designer and manufacturer as “Ben Dunington Glass”, Stockwell, London.
1990 Glassmaking assistant, New York Renaissance Festival, New York, U.S.A.
1988-1990 Workshop and glassmaking assistant, The Glasshouse, Covent Garden, London

Exhibitions
1999 ‘Opening Exhibition’, Flow, London
1999 ‘Blown, Cut And Dried’, Crafts Council Gallery Shop, London
1998 ‘New Glass’ Georg Gausling Gallery, Marienfeld, Germany
1997 ‘Signs Of The Times’, Crafts Council London
1997 ‘Glass’, CAA, London
1996 ‘Living At Belsey’, Belsey Hall, Northumberland
1996 ‘Still Life’, Crafts Council, V&A Museum, London
1996 ‘New Member Showcase’, CAA, London
1995 ‘British Glass’, Liberty, London
1994 ‘New Glass’, Liberty, London

 

 

Exhibitions

Archive

2008

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