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Vicky Higginson Loco Glass Amanda Simmons

Designs Gallery is delighted to present the work of three glass artists who each in their different ways combine traditional techniques with superlative contemporary craft skills. Their work has been selected both for its beauty and to demonstrate different technical and creative approaches to working with glass.

Vicky Higginson

Vicky’s work combines hot- and cold-working, with glass forms handblown and worked into using cutting, carving and engraving techniques to create vessels which explore relationships between form, pattern and colour. Vicky’s practice combines her interest in design, particularly Japanese, Scandinavian and mid-century, with her love of the material. Her recent work has been driven by an exploration of the properties of glass, working with layers of colour, pattern, texture and transparency. Her pieces evolve through experimentation with process and material and investigate its ability to transmit or absorb light, mimic other materials or retain its unique properties. Mark-making on the glass is gestural and idiosyncratic, using cold-working tools in an expressive way. Vicky Higginson studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and completed a Masters in Glass at the University of Sunderland in 2011. Since then she has been living and working in Edinburgh, has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won many prestigious awards. She has worked with renowned artists including James Maskrey, the De La Torre brothers, Louis Thompson and Richard Slee.

Shino teabowls, incalmo glass

Linear vessels, interior engraving and blown glass. Photo: M. Ostromecka

Shino vase, incalmo glass

Loco Glass

Colin and Louise Hawkins have worked together since 1998, making hand blown functional pieces for the home as well as one-off commissions and major works for exhibitions. Vivid coloured bottles, vases and bowls with clean contemporary lines delight the eye, demonstrating Loco Glass’ appreciation of the possibilities and challenges that working with glass brings. Their combined training and experience is extensive. Louise graduated in Design at Goldsmiths College London before studying at the International Glass Centre, Sunderland, while Colin trained in Glass at Sunderland University and the Royal College of Art, London. Before setting up their own studio in Cirencester, they both worked in the studios of some of the masters of British Glassmaking. The freeblown pieces for sale in this exhibition include bottles, vases and bowls.

Pod Vases, frosted, satin finish

Fruit bottles

Amanda Simmons

Photo: Colin Hattersley

Amanda uses the kiln formed glass process to create her forms and coldworking processes to shape and mark the glass, resulting in pieces of intense colour and subtle patterning. From her large platters and wall pieces to the smallest vessel Amanda, pushes the material to its extreme, playing with its inherent tensile qualities in the kiln and also its absolute fragility. Originally trained in Biomedical and Clinical sciences, Amanda retrained in Glass & Architecture at Central St Martin’s School of Art & Design, London. Working from her studio in Dumfries & Galloway, Amanda shows her pieces in prestigious galleries and exhibitions in the UK and USA. The pieces made for this exhibition are informed by a residency at Lyth Arts Centre, Caithness where Amanda worked with the Environmental Research Institute based in Thurso investigating the impact of sustainable energy on sea life and the peat restoration programmes in the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland. These influences are represented in this exhibition together with Amanda’s light, fluid feather motif inspired by the nesting swallows closer to home. Coupled with wall pieces and vessels, will be a table setting of cups, coasters, and plates - all functional pieces for the home.

Mini Catotelm, 2017, Kilnformed Glass Vessels

Catotelm II, 2017, Kilnformed Glass Vessels

Profile for Designs Gallery & Cafe

British Studio Glass  

New autumn exhibition at Designs Gallery featuring work of 3 glass artists, Amanda Simmons, Vicky Higginson and Loco Glass

British Studio Glass  

New autumn exhibition at Designs Gallery featuring work of 3 glass artists, Amanda Simmons, Vicky Higginson and Loco Glass