Amanda Simmons


I make kiln formed and cameo engraved glass vessels and sculpture from my studio in Corsock. Iím fascinated by the structures I can create using gravity whilst the glass heats in the kiln, the vessels becoming more complex as I experiment with the slumping method using custom hand-built suspension moulds. Iíve worked with glass for the past 10 years, studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Glass & Architecture at Central St Martinís School of Art & Design in London, before re-locating to Dumfries & Galloway in 2005.

The work I make incorporates many processes, including mould making, kiln firing, coldworking (working with diamond tools to shape and smooth) sandblasting and mark making the glass with diamond point engraving and a diamond wheel lathe. I construct the glass using layers of colour, mostly opaque glass, and recently with glass powders. My aim is to create complex, elusive work that has intense colour and pattern which reacts to the light it is placed in.

Recent work I have made comes from an intense time of research on residency at North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster (with Steve Klein and Richard Parrish, sponsored by Bullseye Glass).Looking intensely at patterns in dykes across the fields, local seabird life and found objects in the harbour at Lybster in Caithness, a direct contrast to the pastoral rural life in Dumfries and Galloway.

Iíve exhibited my work at COLLECT with Craft Scotland (the Crafts Council show for contemporary applied arts at the Saatchi Gallery in London) and became a member of Contemporary Applied Arts in 2011. A winner of the Gold Award for Innovation, Creativity and potential to export at Origin 2010, I  investigated the applied arts market in the USA (funded by the Crafts Council and UK Trade & Investment) visiting SOFA and Bullseye Glass.

Education 
2011
 In Place: Kilnformed glass in architecture Ė Residency at North Lands Creative Glass
2008  Masterclass with Jiri Harcuba and April Surgent, Glass Engraving, North Lands Creative Glass, Wick
2004-05  Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies Ė Glass and Architecture (Distinction) Central St Martinís College of Art & Design, London
2003  Fusing & Slumping, Mould Making, Glass Casting, Cold working Modules, Westminster College, London
2002  Stained Glass with Ray Bradley, Institute of Art, London
1996-04  BSc (Hons) Clinical Sciences (Perfusion) 
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology), Kings College London

Awards
2012
 Finalist in Emerge, International Kiln formed glass competition, Bullseye Glass, USA
2010  Gold Award winner at Origin 2010 Ė Crafts Council and UK Trade & Investment Award for Export
Commendation in the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition, Aesthetica Magazine
Craft Maker Award, Creative Scotland & Dumfries and Galloway Council
2009  Professional Development Grant from the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) to help attend Origin
ĎHighly Commendedí BCTF Award for Excellence at the British Craft Trade Fair
2008  Craft Makers Award, Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) & Dumfries and Galloway Council
2006  Craft Makers Award, Scottish Arts Council & Dumfries and Galloway Council

Selected Recent Exhibitions / Commissions
2012
  Emerge 2012, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, USA
Open Eye Gallery, Glass focus show, Edinburgh
Glass Medallions (International Festival of Glass) with Contemporary Glass Society, Ruskin Glass Museum
Glass Narratives, ZeST Contemporary Glass, London
Artist on Placement at the National Glass Centre (University of Sunderland) AA2A Scheme
Healing Spaces commission for Midpark Hospital, Dumfries (2 large cameo engraved vessels)
2011  Living with Glass, Vessel Gallery and Contemporary Glass Society, London
3 @ Circus with Contemporary Applied Arts, London (with Tanya Gomez and Sarah Moorhouse)
COLLECT 2011, Saatchi Gallery, London
Craft Revolution, Harley Gallery (Museumaker Project)
Trove, Scottish Glass Society, Perth Museum & Gallery
Present Collectables, CAA, London
Unite, Collins Gallery, Glasgow with Craftscotland
2010  Origin: The London Craft Fair
Lustre, Contemporary Craft Fair, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham University
Glass Quake II, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA, USA
Creative Christmas, ZeST Gallery, London
2009  Origin: The London Craft Fair
2008  Lustre, Contemporary Craft Fair, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham University
Homes & Interiors Scotland SECC Glasgow
Six of One Spotlight Show, Blackwell Arts & Crafts House
Gifted, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
2007  Art Hand Design, Lethaby Gallery, Central St Martinís, London

Publications/Articles/Press
2012
  American Craft, Scottish Craft Feature, June/July
2011  Crafts Arts International, no.82
Homes & Interiors Scotland, Feature on Scottish Glass makers, September
Glass Network (magazine for Contemporary Glass Society) Front cover image and article June
Glass Network - COLLECT 2011 review, September
Neues Glas (New Glass Magazine), spring
Homes & Interiors Scotland, June
2010  Craft & Design Magazine, Feature Interview, March/April
Maker of the Month Article at CraftScotland, August
Dumfries & Galloway Life, September
Bullseye Glass USA, Blog article on Gold Award at Origin
2009  Period Living, Craft highlight article, May
Homes & Gardens, Vessels featured, October
Glass Jewellery Ė article and images included in book by Yvonne Coffey
2008  Woman & Home Ė article looking at craftspeople turning their passion into a career, Nov
Featured vessel, Craft and Design Magazine
2007  Contemporary Details, The definitive Interior Design Sourcebook by Nonie Nieswand (Mitchell Beazley)

Exhibitions

Archive

2012

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