International Glass Festival

Posted on: 18 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Attracting artists and enthusiasts from around the world, the largest glass festival in the UK takes place in the Midlands this summer.

Last seen in Stourbridge in 2006, the International Festival Of Glass returns this August with a full line-up of master classes, workshops and entertainment for the whole family.

Artists from Israel, Australia, America, Egypt, India and Germany converge in the glass quarter from 18th - 21st August, hosting a range of activities for established and beginner glass makers.

The actual festival begins on 22nd August. Running for four days, it includes a wide range of events, attractions, have-a-go sessions and exhibitions.

Stephen Beardsell's jewelled dress

Some of the highlights include: 'Tempesdade', based on Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' which uses shadow puppets and instruments made out of Portuguese glass; a one day symposium investigating how designers dream up their designs and the international sculpture garden which explores the themes of growth and cultural identity.

In addition, there will be large scale installations, heritage walks, lectures, narrowboat rides, street entertainment and festival ale.

The highlight of the festival begins on 22nd August - The British Glass Biennale exhibition - which features over 80 artists from across the UK exhibiting a diverse range of sculptures, installations, vessels and beads.

The Biennale exhibition is now the largest contemporary exhibition of its kind in the UK and attracts top collectors and enthusiasts from around the world. It runs until 28th September at the Ruskin Glass Centre in Amblecote.

Exhibitors from all parts of the UK will gather at the Crystal Leisure, bringing together antique and collectable glass from around the world from all periods.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view and buy all types of glass including Georgian, Art Noveau and Art Deco, Continental, pressed, paperweights, Whitefriars and other 20th century British and European designs.

Rachel Elliot's storm troubled sphereAmong the exhibitors at the fair will be Peter Adamson with a selection of Georgian drinking glasses, Robert Marris showing Powell and Irish Glass and Roger Harris and Leda Drucaroff exhibiting Gallé, Loetz and Daum.

In addition there will be several contemporary glass artists showing their own work, including Helen Millard, Vic Bamforth and Adam Aaronson.

An added attraction will be the sale of a private collection of over 40 pieces by contemporary makers, Gillies Jones. Included in the sale will be several items from the 2005 'Back to Black and White' exhibition, Aesculus vessels and some one-off specially commissioned examples.

The exhibition opens on 22nd August at the Ruskin Glass Centre, Amblecote and runs until 28th September.

To find out more about the festival masterclasses and events programme visit, email or call 01384 399410 and to find out more about the British Glass Biennale exhibition and artists submissions visit

Entry to the International Glass Festival is £5 for an adult and a one-day pass, £1 for children under 16. A four-day pass is £9.50 with masterclasses and workshops extra.

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