Amanda Simmons


Amanda makes thin walled, sculptural kilnformed and cameo engraved glass vessels. She is fascinated in the forms created by gravity within the kiln, the vessels becoming more complex as she perfects the slumping method. She combines these techniques with her interest in making marks in glass with diamond point engraving and a diamond wheel lathe. She is motivated by many everyday themes such as love, baking and the rugged hills of Dumfries and Galloway, but also draws on her biomedical sciences past life in the form of toxic botanicals and therapeutic drugs.

Recently her work has been informed by a new process she has developed through funded research into glass and light projections and their architectural use. A pre-cast slab of glass is used as a ‘colour slide’, projecting the coloured shadow onto a surface using a digital projector. Whilst photographing the projections, Amanda shifts the camera, injecting movement, whilst relating to the colours and patterns of light. This creates a 3D designing process which visualises the form, colour, texture and design of the glass vessels, making more fluid, dramatic marks whilst cameo engraving.

Her past technical and scientific careers help Amanda understand the vast procedural challenges of pushing kilnformed glass to its limits, variables of mass, heat, gravity and choice of glass all affect how the glass behaves in the slumping process, creating new colours from her mix of thin translucent and opaque glass choices. Her particular favourite element is coldworking; the physical aspects of making the glass from the kiln a finished piece, including engraving, grinding using diamonds and sandblasting.

Education 
2011 
 Residency at North Lands Creative Glass with Steve Klein and Richard Parrish (supported by Bullseye Glass)
2008  Masterclass with Jiri Harcuba and April Surgent, Glass Engraving, North Lands Creative Glass, Wick
2004  Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Studies – Glass and Architecture (Distinction) Central St Martin’s 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)
1992-96  BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology), Kings College London
Teaching
2011  Creative Business Advisor (for Crafts) by Dumfries & Galloway Council, to stimulate, strengthen and support the creative industries sector across the region
2011  Kilnformed Glass Vessels at Creative Glass Switzerland, Austria and England
2012  Masterclass in Kilnformed Glass Vessels at Warm Glass, Bristol

Awards
2010 
Gold Award winner at Origin 2010 – 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 09
‘Highly Commended’ 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

Exhibitions
2011
 Living with Glass, Vessel Gallery and Contemporary Glass Society, London
2011 COLLECT with Craftscotland 5-9 May, Saatchi Galleries
Trove, Scottish Glass Society, Perth Museum & Art Gallery
Unite, Collins Gallery, Glasgow with Craftscotland
Spring Contemporary Craft, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham
2010  Origin: The London Craft Fair
‘In the Making’ RBSA Gallery, Birmingham
Lustre, Contemporary Craft Fair, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham University
Glass Quake II, Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA, USA
The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Manchester
Creative Christmas, ZEST, Contemporary Glass Gallery
2009  Origin: The London Craft Fair
Glass in the Window II, Leeds Craft & Design Centre
Homes & Interiors Scotland SECC Glasgow, selected by CraftScotland
2008  Six of One, Spotlight Show at Blackwell Arts & Crafts House
Gifted, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Lustre, Contemporary Craft Fair, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham University
Scottish Glass Society Annual Exhibition, Peter Potter Gallery, Haddington
The Affordable Art Fair 2008-2010 (with Cafe-Jello Gallery)
Art Hand Design, Lethaby Gallery, Central St Martin’s
2007  Bowls of St Martin’s, Zest Contemporary Glass Gallery 
Winter Warmth, Park Gallery, Callendar House, Falkirk 

Commissions
2010
 Kiln formed glass bowls as trophies for the Rural Development Awards, Dumfries and Galloway
2008  Commission for Glass Bugs for Primary School Gates with Architectural Blacksmith Adam Booth, Cambridge
Commission for Creative Literature Award 2008, CREATE & Lockerbie Academy
Music Trophy for Contemporary Piano, Dumfries Music Festival
2007  Forres Enterprise Park Architectural Glass Commission, HIE Moray - Horizon Scotland, Forres, Scotland
Commission for Creative Literature Award, CREATE & Lockerbie Academy
2006  Vestry Hall Reception Feature Commission, Vestry Hall, Burngreave, Sheffield

Publications/Articles/Press
Feature on Contemporary Glass in Scotland, Homes & Interiors Scotland, September 2011
Neues Glas (New Glass Magazine), No 4 2011
Craft & Design Magazine, Feature Interview, March/April 2010
Maker of the Month Article at CraftScotland, August 2010
Dumfries & Galloway Life, September 2010
Bullseye Glass USA, Blog article on Gold Award at Origin 2010
Period Living, Craft highlight article, May issue 2009
Homes & Gardens, Vessels featured in October issue 2009
Glass Jewellery – article and images included in book by Yvonne Coffey 2009
Woman & Home – article looking at craftspeople turning their passion into a career Nov 2008
Featured vessel, Craft and Design Magazine 2008
Contemporary Details, The definitive Interior Design Sourcebook by Nonie Nieswand (Mitchell Beazley) 2007

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