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The world of glass set for showcase at international festival

The world of glass is set to be showcased through an international festival.

Glass artists Eliot Walker and Bethany Wood in their new studio with pieces Sheeple and Si a mmolten landscape
Glass artists Eliot Walker and Bethany Wood in their new studio with pieces Sheeple and Si a mmolten landscape

Staff at the Red House Glass Cone, in Wordsley, Stourbridge, are gearing up for a busy four days of activities as part of this year's International Festival of Glass.

Running from August 26 to 30, there will be exhibitions, talks, craft activities, glass-making demonstrations and the launch of a new and exhibition space are on offer at the Red House Glass Cone.

The highlight for the site will be the launch of the Crystal Mile Contemporary Gallery and Hot Shop by glass artists Bethany Wood and Elliot Walker on Friday, August 26.

The new studio will be home to the pair, while the gallery will allow them to display their own work as well as selling studio glass made at the cone and from makers across the globe.

Both Bethany and Elliot are experienced glass makers and have in the past made pieces for cruise liners, film sets and glass collectors.

Artist Amy Cushing will present her exhibition British Glass Biennale. Photo: International Festival of Glass

Over the weekend, visitors will be able to see live glass blowing demonstrations and get the chance to book glass-making courses.

They can view exhibitions such as British Glass Bienniale, a collection of the most interesting, diverse and outstanding glass art made in the UK in the last three years.

There will also be an oriental feel to the festival as it welcomes Expanding Horizons, an invitational exhibition by 34 artists from Korea, Japan and China.

The festival committee spent over two years researching artists and selected work it considered to have technical excellence and creative expression across a range of different glass techniques.

People attending will be able to blow their own glass goblet with Sung-Hwan Hong and Annaliisa Alastalo. Photo: International Festival of Glass
People attending the festival will able to make their own Traditional Korean Norigae. Photo: International Festival of Glass
The Korean style of Hot Hanbok and Cool Glass will be demonstrated at a fashion show.. Photo: International Festival of Glass

A number of these will be on display, as well as demonstrations and opportunities to learn Korean techniques for glass blowing.

There will be a Contemporary Glass Society exhibition. Photo: International Festival of Glass

The Contemporary Glass Society has been celebrating the Commonwealth Games by exhibiting small unique glass works by 100 members to represent the diversity and richness of the 54 countries that make up the Commonwealth.

Artists were requested to take an imaginative magical mystery tour and create a postcard portraying their uniqueness as a small piece of glass holiday memorabilia.

Another highlight will be a presentation of Plasma art by American artist Wayne Strattman.

Wayne's plasma light art sculptures are made from flameworked borosilicate glass.

The air is then evacuated from the hollow glass forms, which are then filled with inert gases, then electrified with a high voltage, high frequency power supply, the gases form glowing light and filaments of plasma.

Wayne Strattman will give a presentation of plasma Art. Photo: International Festival of Glass

Councillor Simon Phipps, Dudley Counci's cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "We’re so glad to be participating once again in this year’s International Festival of Glass.

"There’s a huge programme of events and activities, with the cone offering craft sessions, workshops, exhibitions, tours and talks.

"Whether you’re a glass aficionado or just want something fun to do with the family, it’s a perfect day out."

In addition to the new gallery opening, the Red House Glass Cone will be holding a number of glass fusing, glass blowing and craft workshops and there will also be a chance to take a tour of the site

There will be an tntroduction to Glassblowing with Martin Andrews. Photo: International Festival of Glass

The historic cone is currently closed to visitors while awaiting refurbishment works, however it will be specially opened up to limited groups for safe and informative tours.

Other events over the weekend will include a pop-up exhibition of glass makers, a talk on local art, family craft exhibitions and the chance to learn about making a lotus flower and papyrus art.

For more information about the schedule of events for the International Festival of Glass, go to

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