Spring 2021

The snowdrops are out so it must be Spring!  Time to plan for the year ahead and to share some of the work that has kept me busy for the last year too. Although I’ve been hardly anywhere myself, the transformation of our lives online has brought me in direct contact with people and places in all the continents of the globe. I’ve been to conferences and lectures, attended performances and films and followed artists’ lives via my little 14”screen in my small study – the virtual world is a life saver!

Snowdrops in the log pile March 2021

It is also inspiration for the Newsletter I edit every 3 months for the group of 60 or so glass artists in the UK, who are members of JustGlass.  I’ve also been the very happy purchaser of numerous artworks via #artistssupportpledge.  After a year in which I’ve completed a tapestry started in Crete in 1981, learned raku and got back into ceramics, it was time to do some glass!   Beginning with my old love of painting and stained glass I’m making some sampler panels to submit for the BSMGP 30cm2 online exhibition. This year it is their 100th anniversary and I’ve been a member since 1997. I’ve not finished these yet as the entry deadline is not until 31 March but here is the first made using the glass samples painted on my course with Jonathan Cooke a couple of years ago in Swansea. 

‘Sampler 1’ Jane Vincent 2021 Leaded stained and painted glass 30cm2

In 2021 the first exhibition I’m taking part in is the Contemporary Glass Society’s   A Postcard From…   the idea for the exhibitions comes from Alan J Poole – who amongst many other things is the editor of a monthly newsletter that keeps glass artists connected with what’s going on worldwide. Far more efficient than social media – just scroll through the document – then you can go and search for what you find online!  I have been making glass postcards for quite a few years using home produced decals and glass painting recreating the sepia cards of the Victorian times.  For this exhibition, however, I decided to make a postcard that reminded me of staying in a B&B by the seaside.  The only time I ever eat a ‘full English’ breakfast is in a bed and breakfast guest house, which has to be worked off by a long walk by the sea. If you are lucky the tide is out and has left all those little ridges that squidge under your toes and after I’ve played duck drake lardy cake a few times with varying success (skimming flat stones on the surface of the sea) I start to slip one or two pebbles into my pocket as a memento of the day.  After many decades when I can no longer remember where they’ve come from the pebbles are distributed around my garden to confuse future geologists or for others to find as keepsakes (note that I don’t take them from beaches where it says not to).

 My Postcard is called ‘No Eggsplanation Needed’ (with thanks to my 1970s Kevin Ayers album for the inspiration). Over to you to continue making up puns…

Glass Postcard – fused slumped glass with inclusions 10 x 15cm (this and the other Postcards in the exhibition are for sale on the CGS website.

In the last week of June – 21st to the 27th  2021 I’m pleased to be taking part in Bucks Art Weeks again. I’ve missed it for the last 2 years but have otherwise been a part of this annual event since 2004 in various locations and with different artists.   When I booked it I fully expected it to be online but serendipity falls on my side. It will be great to showcase my work and talk about it with some visitors as well as showing it online.  My focus this year is on exhibiting my growing portfolio of work that memorialises memories and emotions associated with particular events, objects and people.   There are some examples in my previous blogs.  Each small ‘Memory Block’ sculpture is made with a rusty nail kiln fired into a textured block of clear Dartington glass. Affixed to the nail, with copper wire, is a memento which has some significance – the first bubble I made in glass blowing, a gifted ceramic object from a friend and so on.  2020 has been a tumultuous year and there are several Memory Blocks remembering events including the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.  There are many stories to tell, not all personal to me, and once told they are contained within these signifiers as mementos and kept as a Memory Block. They aim to keep alive the memory and also celebrate those involved. 

The CGS has announced two more online exhibitions for the year, and Just Glass also have plans.  There is plenty to do and much to plan for but I do hope that many of the global online events will continue in future years.  It will be amazing when we can gather again to meet up but I will treasure for ever the shared experiences with glass artists made possible by CGS’s weekly talks, Just Glass bi-monthly chats and the Glass Art Society’s conferences and meet ups – the glass community is a wonderful family to be a part of … #buildingastrongerglasscommunity

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Just Glass Exhibition Recollection – Memories in Glass

Jane Vincent ‘Remembrance’

About the Exhibition – 21 January to 2 February 2020 at the Espacio Gallery 159 Bethnal Green Road London E2 7DG
Tuesday – Sunday 1.00pm – 7.00pm (closes 3pm on 2nd Feb)

‘Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.’  Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Just Glass’ latest show focuses on memory and recollection in all its diverse forms — everything from personal reminiscences to nostalgia, from the science of memory to the commemoration of moments in history. Each piece in the show has been inspired by memories and created in glass — expect to see a stunning range of glass art, including decorative and functional pieces, sculptural glass and wall-hung artwork, using a wide variety of glass-making methods.  The show will feature work from internationally renowned glass-makers as well as from emerging artists.

After extremely successful recent exhibitions in Hertford, Lyme Regis and Twickenham, we have chosen Espacio Gallery in Shoreditch, London, as our next venue. Espacio Gallery opened in 2012 in the heart of London’s East End art scene, just 100m from the top of Brick Lane. It was founded by a group of artists working across all contemporary visual arts media who wanted a space of their own especially designed to meet their needs. Just Glass are delighted to exhibit in such a vibrant venue.

As well as the main exhibition, Just Glass artists are also taking the opportunity to launch a gallery shop, featuring smaller decorative pieces that visitors can buy and immediately take away with them.


Participating Artists

Alison Allum, Carol Bayada, Philippa Beveridge, Sarah Brace, Phillipa Candy, Lynn Foster, Pam Fyvie, Hannah Gibson, Celia Goodman, Cheryl Gould, Belinda Salmon Harding, Su Herbert, Ingrid Hunter, Tlws Johnson, Ian Kirwan, Rebecca Laister, Jessie Lee, Julie Light, Joanna Lloyd, Jane Lyons, Caitlin Mackesy Davies, Brett Manley, Deborah Martin, Wendy Newhofer, Purnima Patel, Annie Ross, Cathryn Shilling, Angela Thwaites, Deborah Timperley, Mandy Treptow, Jane Vincent, Joanna Waddy, Anne White, Myra Wishart, Maria Zulueta.

I have three pieces of work in this show including ‘Glimpses of Northlands’ shown below in the flier and ‘Remembrance’ which I am thrilled to say has featured in Glasshouse/Glashaus Internationales Magazin fur Studioglas Dec 2019 and CRAFTS issue 282 Jan/Feb p16. I also have some screen prints in the gallery shop.

Summer 2019 (Part One) Wall to Wall Glass – Conferences, Festivals and Exhibitions!

This is the Summer of the Glass Nexus Forum & Highland Fling in Quatre Bras, Lybster Scotland, and the Biennale and International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge in England not to mention quite a few exhibitions in the offing.  This blog is part one because there’ll be so much to tell after we all get back from Caithness and the Midlands.

After last year’s successful residency ‘Seeking Stillness’ at North Lands Creative in Lybster I’ve been itching to get back to that inspirational part of The United Kingdom and to see if it still holds the same magic a year on without the same wonderful companions to share it with. I’m expecting midges and weather – we had neither last June (save a bit of storm Hector) but apart from that there’ll be a cacophony of glassy delights for two days. The programme is on the North Lands Creative Website and I’ll be posting about it on Instagram and Facebook – JaneVincentGlass.

The Stourbridge events begin with a series of Master Classes – including Blowpipe Chemistry at Wolverhampton Art College with Dr Jane Cook, Chief Scientist at Corning Museum of Glass ably assisted by Simon Eccles and Elliot Walker.     I think we are in for an exciting, experimental and potentially explosive four days

Jane Vincent ‘Trogoldyte Mignons’ Round and Round the Garden

Meanwhile five of the Askett Studio Artists, including myself, have joined together to show some fused glass garden sculptures in our exhibition ‘Round and Round the Garden’ at the Ruskin Glass Centre courtyard and gardens. This is the hub of the International Festival of Glass and will be bustling with exhibitors, visitors and performing artists. The Biennale begins on the 22nd and runs until 28th September and is a spectacular show of contemporary glass by UK artists and beyond. Running concurrently with the Biennale is the Contemporary Glass Society’s ‘Celestial Bodies’ exhibition. 126 representations of that theme playing homage to memories of the first landing on the moon and other extra-terrestrial events will be a sight to behold.  My own contribution is ‘Deep Space’, although it had many names during the making attributable to Star Trek or Pink Floyd which I thought might infringe copyright if used for the final title.

Jane Vincent Deep Space CGS Celestial Bodies

The International Festival of Glass, and our ‘Round and Round the Garden’ exhibition is on from 23 – 26 August at The Ruskin Glass Centre & Glasshouse Arts Centre, Wollaston Rd, Amblecote, Stourbridge DY8 4HF.

Hot on the heels of all that activity is my third exhibition this Summer ‘In Reading Gaol by Reading Town’ an exhibition of artworks inspired by Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol written following his incarceration in that prison from 1895 – 1897. My work, ‘He has fallen and cannot rise’, is inspired by the profound effects of the injustices wrought by time spent behind bars. Hanging from a central beam the work comprises individual pieces of glass cut to the shapes of prison walls and buildings reflecting the restricted views seen from the prison cell; each piece is printed with photographic decals and painted with extracts from the poem. 31 August – 15 September 10 – 6 daily. The Turbine House, Riverside Museum, Blakes Lock, Reading RG1 3EQ, In Reading Gaol by Reading Town curated by Jenny Halstead and Linda Saul.

Summer 2019 : Ex Libris

Ex Libris continues until June 29th #ideastore #churchillplace #canarywharf #towerhamlets

The second of my 5 exhibitions this year is in the Idea Store (the Library) in Canary Wharf London.  Last Summer 20 artists joined a residency at Wood Wharf and 12 of us have contributed to this show Ex Libris, developed, project managed and curated by Andrea Coltman who explains the background

About CWND Artist Residency……There is a distinct difference between an ‘Artist-in-Residence’, and an ‘Artists Residency’. The former is generally one artist who chronicles or compiles a journal of the time spent in the space. Artist Neville Gabie chronicled the transformation of East London in the run-up to the Olympics. “My role is to make what’s happening on the park behind the boardings visible to a wider audience that wouldn’t have that access,” he said “I’m trying to show the many jobs and tasks in hand which would otherwise go unseen.” The Artists Residency is a group who research, interact, develop and often respond to the immediate and surrounding space or to commonalities within the group. Following extensive research it is understood that the artist-led CWND Artists Residency was the first of its kind to be held on a construction site in the UK. The only ‘Artist Residency’ found actually based on a construction site was in New York, USA. The CWND Residency project selects artists through a vigorous application process, based on-site gathering research and resource materials to develop ideas. Selected artists are diverse in their practices, disciplines and backgrounds. This naturally leads to discourse within the peer group of residency artists, in turn giving rise to connections with other’s work, that by requirement, directly responds to the site. There is a structure to the residency that encourages and supports the artists in responding to the Canary Wharf Estate through their individual diverse artistic practices. This also often leads to collaborations. The ethos of the residency is to create a supportive environment for creative professionals with an input from construction site staff and external artists visiting to create a wide range of seminars, workshops with a peer led forums. Until now it has been self-funded. Considerations for future developments would be for external sponsorship’.

The theme of the Ex Libris is books and with that in mind I had lots of ideas about things I could make in glass – an open book, a shelf of books, a few pages of a book, a newspaper but in a public unsupervised space displaying accessible glass art presented safety concerns for the IdeaStore.  I thus chose to make a mixed media art book using no glass, but some plexiglass, and a small glass panel (displayed in a glass cabinet).   

Jane Vincent Dereliction 23x40cm June 2019

‘Dereliction’: Inspired by Brexit and the Extinction Rebellion protesters making the headlines, and the global business conducted at Canary Wharf this fold out art book takes a sideways look at the global businesses and city life of London. I like to use mixed media to create works that satirise or memorialise everyday life and this art book reflects the impact of years of neglect of our planet and its communities: as it starts to come home to roost the canary birds (some may be yellow hammers) are shown taking a sardonic view from their roof top perch dropping rose buds past the flailing European Union flag onto the streets below.      

Jane Vincent – Extract from ‘An Artist’s Notes in Glass’ (photo Sylvain Deleu 20 x33cm

An Artist’s Notes in Glass: Thinking back to the Residency and the sketch books we made I realized that mine were mostly of impressions or rubbings of the textures in the surfaces I encountered, especially in the towers including One Park Drive. I was especially interested in the marks that would be hidden forever once the building was clad in glass or internal walls plastered. I tried first to make a mould from these textures with the London clay that had been dug from the site but it was too sticky; instead I used playdough with some fairy liquid smeared on first to stop the concrete sucking out all the moisture from it.  All the moulds were made with the same square size.  Using lost wax method of glass casting I translated these moulds into glass, each one represents a page in the artist’s notebook delivering an accurate impression of marks found in the concrete & building fabric which, now covered by cladding or other building material, are no longer accessible to view.

 The other artists showing their work are Linda Saul; Angela Carol Stocker; Morna Hinton; Jenny Timmer; Chaz Howkins; Holly Drewett; Rosalind Barker; Julia Giles; Siǒn Webb ; Pamela Carr; Andrea Coltman  – have a look at Instagram @cwnd_artistresidency and @andrea_coltman to see our work.

The Exhibition at the Ideas Store in Canary Wharf finishes on 29 June 2019 – it’s open every day until then.  You can find us by coming out of the back entrance of Waitrose, turn left go over the footbridge and the Ideas Store (which is a library) is behind Starbucks –   Churchill Place, London E14 5RB : Monday – Thursday 9am to 9pm; Friday 9am to 6pm; Saturday 9am to 5pm           


9 – 14 April 2019 1pm to 7pm (5pm Sunday)

at Espacio Gallery 159, Bethnal Green Road, London E2 7DG

A collection of contemporary curiosities, an intriguing assemblage of art works – emanations from the human imagination creativity and wit: an emporium of the weird wonderful and fun. The works exist for themselves, carrying their own potent charge, provoking some deep stirring in the observers or probing their consciousness and questioning their understanding.

I’m excited to be taking part in this exhibition curated by Jenny Timmer who has invited twenty artists to show their work alongside her own in this CABINET of contemporary curiosities.
My own contribution is sixteen CANARY BIRDS made from found materials and wire. I’ve been making these little birds for a while; they are caricatures and a playful commentary on contemporary society, satirising and memorialising everyday life. The Canary Birds roosting at CABINET are mostly made from materials found on the footpaths at Wood Wharf, in Canary Wharf, where I spent a happy three weeks last Summer on an Artists Residency. In Canary Wharf luxury dwellings are built on top or alongside historical communities but the birds that inhabit the site stay true to their roosts, whilst others who fly in for a visit stand apart as flaneurs.
The idiosyncratic labelling for these little birds tells their story. … all for sale, except the occasional favourite not ready to fledge, and new birds are always arriving such as the Dorado Birds from Spain, and more Canary Birds – this time yellow ones.

                                      CABINET CANARY BIRDS
The Blue and Yellow Flaneur: Bold and hurried, BYF dashes back & forth. He skims the Wharf, strolling at fast pace between Banks.  The Frogmore Flaneur: FF wishes it were a swan – made from wood, swan feather & acorn from Frogmore House, Windsor, this poor relation has flown in for a visit, but is usually found wandering around the Mausoleum of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert speculating on the arrival of the new Sussexes. Worn down by age, FF will fade and crumble to dust (NFS).  The Effete Flaneur: Puffed up with head in the sand EF has absolutely no interest in anyone but himself, over indulging and strolling the posh shops of the Wharf. Too much largess to fly. The Aristocrat Flaneur: Aloof and strutting his stuff with his ample beak in the air AF is like a chameleon, changing hue for the company, a fair-weather friend but with a faded beauty.

Canary Bird Blue: A little blue wing and a crumpled tail CBB has been in the wars but still stands proud.
Canary Bird Ice: Hunched and chilled CBI emulates a flamingo except for the pink.
Canary Bird Metal: Frail and bent in body CBM is, like his tail, straight as a die.
Canary Bird Panic: CBP is constantly worried and scared by all rushing around without looking.
Canary Bird Grey: Solid, hard and steely CBG keeps his eye on all around his ample girth.
Canary Bird Foul: CBF is the brother of CBC and part of the Guinea Foul gang.
Canary Bird Either End: CBEE is in camouflage, never letting on which end is which.
Canary Bird Nail: CBN is sharp, quick and hard as nails, if she turns quickly, she can take out a flight of CB’s in one move.
Canary Bird Plastic Bert: CBPB is an old punk whose hair is long since gone leaving a flat top and a sparkly tail
Canary Bird ‘Nate: CBA has a laminate rear which protects his very short legs
Canary Bird Pteryl: CBP is very tall and languid; she keeps a second leg in a suitcase for emergences
Canary Bird Clear: Elegant and elderly, you can see right through CBC

NB – The birds are delicate and should be handled carefully and are not suitable for children of any age.

Follow the birds and other events on Instagram @janevincentglass or Twitter @abbeyrisestudio

All photos taken by Silvain Deleu 


Espacio Gallery
159 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG
Tel: 07815 319073
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 1-7pm, Sunday 1-5pm
Closed on Monday
Tube: Liverpool Street Station, Bethnal Green Station
Overground: Shoreditch High Street
Buses: 8, 388
Coming from East
Get the Central Line to Bethnal Green Tube Station. Walk Bethnal Green road to the nearest bus stop. Get the bus 8 or 388 towards Liverpool Street. Get off at Brick Lane bus stop and you’re there.
Coming from West
Get to Liverpool Street Tube Station. Leave the station towards Bishops Gate exit. Get the bus number 8 or 388 towards Shoreditch High Street. Get off at Brick Lane bus stop. Carry on walking ahead – you’re just 2 blocks away.
Coming on the Overground
Get off at Shoreditch High Street Overground Station. Walk Bethnal Green Road towards Brick Lane. The gallery is just a few blocks away from the station – about 5 minutes walk.

Post Script: I collect the materials and make these birds in my thinking time. Here is a summary of my biography so you can see what other directions my work follows.

About Jane Vincent
Jane has been working with glass as her primary artist medium since the early 1980’s when she began learning how to make stained glass windows at Battersea Adult Education classes. Discouraged from following a career in stained glass in the 1970s Jane graduated from Leicester University with a degree in Politics and followed an enjoyable career in the mobile telecommunications industry. A lover of all things technological, new and old, Jane was part of the European team that designed and launched GSM mobile phone roaming which now allows you to take your own mobile phone with you wherever you travel; for over 20 years her job took her all over Europe providing a chance to explore art in many cities, something that carried on after she moved into academia in 2003. Awarded a Doctorate in 2011 in sociology from the University of Surrey that explored emotions and mobile phones, Jane worked as a teacher and researcher on numerous international projects specialising in children and older people’s use of information and communications technologies, and especially mobile phones. Throughout this time Jane continued to attend adult education classes and studied part time at college and university leading to qualifications in stained glass, fine art and design and the first year of a degree in glass and ceramics. The offer of a scholarship for her PhD intervened but her academic studies have always informed her art and the two intertwine and overlap in serendipitous ways. Jane has exhibited her work every year since 1997 and has delivered commissions for stained glass windows and glass sculptural work.
In 2018 Jane was selected for two artists’ residencies: the first in North East Scotland was with North Lands Creative where she participated in a residency ‘Seeking Stillness’. In complete contrast the second residency was on a building site in the Canary Wharf Development in London.
Jane’s work in glass over the years has been made using many different approaches including glass blowing, leaded and copper foiled stained glass, and fused and kiln formed/cast glass. She also makes objects with found materials, especially metals and glass, that have a secondary meaning such as 28 glass wire birds representing each EU member country made after the Brexit vote. Jane’s sculptural work often has a mnemonic meme, and her stained-glass panels, in line with the tradition of this technique, tell a story in pictures, words and pattern, and sometimes incorporate contemporary technologies.


2 FEBRUARY TO 23 MARCH Tues to Sat 10 – 4 daily.

The day His Majesty the Shah of Persia came Dinner is the story behind ‘Below Stairs – The Meal’

Jointly researched, designed and made by Jane Vincent and Marilia Carvalho, ‘Below Stairs – The Meal’ commemorates the work of the household and estate staff at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury Buckinghamshire.

Among the royalty and political leaders who were visitors to Waddesdon Manor for House Parties and Dinners were His Majesty The Shah of Persia, Prince Edward and other members of the Royal Family, Churchill & Kitchener; their signatures can be seen in the Visitors’ Book in the archives at Windmill Hill. Whilst these eminent guests highlight the role of the Rothschilds and the House in the history of the UK, little is recorded of the part of the staff in ensuring these events passed successfully. ‘Below Stairs – The Meal’ provides a window into the lives of the staff of Waddesdon Manor by illustrating aspects of their work as they prepared to serve a meal for the House guests and their entourage during the visit of the Shah of Persia on 10 July 1890.  Most staff did not live at Waddesdon but came from London residences for the duration of the house party.  Six staircases served to keep them out of sight and male and female staff slept in separate wings of the House.

Each quarry (individual pane of glass) tells part of the story of the eventful visit of the Shah of Persia. He had expected Queen Victoria’s son, and future King, The Prince Edward to stay for the duration and when he did not The Shah became upset and refused to leave his room.  In the end a combination of tricks performed by the Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s poodle dog Poupon, and playing Martinet’s 1774 Marvellous Elephant musical automaton enticed him to join the guests and the visit passed off with success. Indeed, he was so entranced by the automaton that it was feared it would break as he called for it to be played again and again.


The border shows the Rothschild Wine Bottles seen in the cellar today, the Five Arrows of Waddesdon crest and the sand coloured patterns carved into the stone on the front wall of the House.

Starting top left:

Linen Book – records of all the linens in the house including bedding and kitchen cloth

Summer Garden Tea – Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild made a lot of contributions to Waddesdon village. His long term staff had pensions and accommodation after retirement.

Servants’ Room -Typical shared bedroom for servants with simple furniture

The State Bedroom – Alongside this room is a smaller room for the lady’s maid

Concordia Integritas Industria – Harmony Integrity Industry – the Rothschild Family motto

Cat and Dog tiles still seen today in the former kitchen now the café

Rothschild Ram from the door knob on the front of the house – these are seen throughout the House

Rothschild Wine in their signature  Imperial Size – can be seen today in the cellar or in the wine shop at Waddesdon Manor

Typical Menu from the Chef’s menu book – none of the menus from the 19th century survive so this one is bit later

Poupon the poodle performing a trick and a close up Poupon

QR code – which may have brought you to this page!

Jelly Moulds – Copper coloured and shapes from moulds on dresser shelf

Bakst Rats – Detail from The Sleeping Beauty: The Bad Fairy visits the Christening by Leon Bakst

The Visitors Book for 10 July 1898 showing The signature of His Majesty the Shah of Persia and a note of thanks for the hospitality written in Farsi  :  ‘Written to the Remembrance of the Palace of Ferdinand Rothschild in England 10 July 1880’.  Edward and George are sons of Queen Victoria and George her grandson

The Dining Room in which the dinner would have been held

Between the pictures of the rooms are the pattern of the stair case hand rails

Working in the fields on the Estate

The Home Farm Waddesdon Manor Estate

The Kitchen staff and Chef. Behind the lady on the left in this picture is the dresser with bottles, moulds and pans. There is a hatch and this panel is designed to fit that hatch space.  If you go for a coffee or tea at Waddesdon Manor today you can see everything in this 19th Century picture except the table, and the people now are the visitors and the waiters.

The panel is made using centuries old traditional leaded stained glass methods, and includes the contemporary techniques of fusing and photographic decals.  Some of the glass has been painted, and others have images of original photographs from the archives transferred and fired onto the glass. There is a QR code to link the viewer to the makers’ and Waddesdon Manor web sites.


With thanks to Pippa Shirley, Head of Collections Waddesdon Manor, The Rothschild Foundation and The National Trust


Waddesdon Manor Below Stairs – The Meal photo Sylvain Deleu

2018 A Summer of Residencies

This Summer I took a step into the unknown and joined two separate and completely different artist’ residencies in the UK. For the first I headed North, 647miles to be precise, to Caithness and the wonderful North Lands Creative at Lybster – the centre for glass excellence in Scotland and a leading contender for the best in the west. Ask a glass artist if they’ve been to North Lands and you’ll get either a wistful ‘I wish…’ or an eager ‘I want to go back’.
The residency I joined enabled 9 artists to work under the leadership of Steve Klein and Richard Parrish exploring the theme ‘Seeking Stillness’. What was lovely about the time together was the quiet mutual respect between the artists, allowing space to be ourselves and to explore and push the boundaries of our comfort zones. Round table chats started the day keeping us focused on the theme whilst learning from each other. Field trips in the minibus, food and more food – building up our appetite with fresh air and the walk down and up the Whaligoe Steps for one of Karen’s wonderful meals. Our visit to Latheronwheel for The Byre Project ‘Permeable Structures’ exhibition with exquisite work by Silvia Levenson, Emily Nachison, Michael Rogers and Karlyn Sutherland was very precious and special. Each day we presented a photo from the day before, such as these, that responded to our seeking stillness.

It was a time to explore oneself, find new personal directions in art and life and it was a privilege to be with Steve, Richard, Leslie, Lisa, Janet, Shelagh, Diane, Geoffrey, Miri, Pamela, and Murray for those 10 days. I came home brimming with ideas and a bag full of test pieces and kiln experiments and, thanks to Michael Boulton, some with glass painting. Later on, in the Autumn, at the Just Glass Seminar ‘Cut and Paste’ Amanda Simmonds told of how, 8 years on, she is still making new work from her time at Northlands with Steve and Richard – I certainly have enough to keep me inspired for many years to come.

Following my return from the remote and relative coolness of Caithness I began, in late July, a three-week residency in Wood Wharf building site Canary Wharf. In the heart of London’s business district built on the former docklands this new site is developing housing, offices, a primary school and more local amenities. After passing a compulsory online Health and Safety exam I arrived on site with 19 other artists where we donned our PPE – safety wellingtons, hat, goggles, fluorescent waistcoats and gloves and headed for the 37th floor by way of the builders’ lift that trundled up the outside of the tower. The adjacent circular tower will have 58 floors – about 27 had been built so we were able to look down on it. In contrast with my stay in Lybster where I could fall out of bed and be in the studio in 5 minutes, I had a daily 2hour commute to Canary Wharf which in 91F and no aircon on the Jubilee Line made for uncomfortable travel but it became part of the residency as I travelled among the smart suited city folk in my artist’s clobber. Our onsite workroom was windowless and in the basement 86 stairs down (at least not the 365 of Whaligoe) – but it was airconditioned – bliss! The CWND artist residency was a total contrast to Northlands. I was the only glass artist joining fine artists, sculptors, portrait painters, installation, sound and video artists, and ceramicists. Artists at different stages of their careers, some fresh from Wimbledon Art College and The Courthauld others studying at CAS or striking out in new directions. We had no studio facilities and no materials (apart from our own recording equipment and basic drawing materials) could be brought on site. It was quite liberating. I met with the project manager responsible for cladding the towers – this included the glass, I walked about the site within the ‘blue zone’ and watched others at work, toured around the site on a boat and walked about the business district. Using found materials from site I experimented with reflection, squares in construction, and made some wire birds with stones, broken ceramic and glass found in the crushed rubble used on the paths. Thanks to Andrea Coltman who organised the residency with the Canary Wharf Development Corporation – this was her third year – we also had a series of workshops and lectures from artists, as well as a tour of the outside art with the Canary Wharf Estate Curator. An exhibition of Glass was on show in one of the buildings although it was disappointingly presented in smeared plexiglass boxes or in poorly lit areas – a bit of a contrast to when I’d see the same glass in other venues such as Messums, or the Biennale in Stourbridge.

Any talk of Summer 2018 cannot pass without mention of the weather as it was hot, hot, hot for weeks. People said we had not   experienced such heat and drought since 1976; I remember that Summer particularly well as the weather broke with great ferocity when I was on a campsite in Wales such that we had to  shelter in a marquee from lightning strikes and rain. No such respite for 2018 although a couple of days of rain and overcast skies in Lybster were much appreciated to see a change in colours of the landscape which until then had been constantly bright in sun and cloudless skies. In London it was just hot but it’s breezy in the Docklands so we avoided the close humidity of the home counties. Now, writing this in early November, I’m wrapped in the warmth of one of Patti Nieman’s woollen scarves bought from her lovely workshop in Berriedale and Summer seems an age away. Now it’s time to plan for exhibitions of the work from the residencies and CWND will meet up in a couple of weeks to do just that.

The Summer of Residencies will be a hard act to follow but next year there are some important exhibitions coming up. There is the wonderful Biennale & International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge to look forward to, and the lovely team from the Contemporary Glass Society are continuing their Glorious Glass exhibitions as well as another at the IFG; London Glass Blowing are hosting an exhibition and there are more opportunities– all of which I’ll try for with my new work inspired by this year’s activities, about which more in the next blog


More information about Northlands Creative Glass and the CWND residencies can be found in Instagram and Twitter

Spring 2018 – Exhibitions and Glassy Days

Spring has eventually sprung and so has this season’s blog! Amidst the snow and the rain there has been more than an inkling of activity in the world of glass. The Just Glass exhibition at Orleans House finished with a flourish in January (& my sculpture ‘I♥You’ has a new home) and at the end of February CGS’s ‘Glorious Glass’ opened in Taunton Somerset. The first of a series of linked regional exhibitions in Great Britain, organised under the leadership of CGS by artists local to the venue, ‘Glorious Glass’ reached out to a new audience from its CICCIC performance arts venue in St Paul Street. 24 artists, including myself, at varying stages of their glass artist careers showed their work. I exhibited two stained glass panels of fish on a plate which proved popular. It never ceases to amaze me just how versatile a medium glass can be. Cut, pulled, blown, printed, layered, moulded, dropped, dripped, glued, balanced, lit, fused, polished, blasted, painted, leaded, immersed, etched and more… but above all loved. There was something for everyone and I particularly liked Fabrizia Bazzo’s work (left) and Rachel Woodman’s exquisite coloured nuggets like little amulets that could nestle in your hand.

Rachel Woodman photo Linda Morley

Alongside the adventures of exhibiting there have been some wonderful glassy days this Spring. Mark Holford kindly followed up his offer to the Askett Glass Artists to show us his private glass collection and a group of us enjoyed his talk about his acquisitions and lunch after in the heart of SW1. Inspired I dug out my accumulated glass collection and decided that at very least my Anthony Stern goblet deserves to be properly displayed. Hot on the heels of the collector visit was, appropriately, a hot glass day at Messums. I’d never been to this eclectic Wiltshire Gallery before and it was a lot of fun. Lovely café, art exhibitions and a day of hot glass performances. I think the organisers wondered if they would still have a barn at the finish with all the flames and heat flying. It was an exciting day and what a joy to watch Cathryn Shilling work with James Devereux and Katherine Huskie, see Dante Marioni

Dante Marioni & James Devereux

at work with consummate professionalism and skill, and to be consumed by the excitement of Elliot Walker as he made an impossible vessel possible. The day had started more calmly with what is probably one of the most understated skills – the making of a stemmed glass. We are so used to using them we have no idea how difficult it is to get it just right. Watching Cathryn guide and intervene as James and Katherine made her work prompted debate among those watching – who is the artist? Is it the same if you design and make it yourself as when someone makes it for you or with you? Rachel Woodman, responding to the topic at the Glorious Glass seminar in Taunton explained she didn’t make her own work anymore but worked with others to do so; she said after college she had done her apprenticeship in Sweden and made stems for glasses for many months, repetitively, and nothing else. Her excellence as a maker now enables her to instruct others to make work to her design and exacting standards but with the technical dexterity she no-longer enjoys. This is not work in the school of Woodman, or indeed Shilling, but work made in partnership sharing tools and instructions – an orchestrated and choreographed work with an artist practitioner as the conductor.
The final glassy day was spent with Jacque Pavlosky and Marilia Carvalho fellow artists in the Askett Glass Studio group. We first visited and scrutinised the exquisitely painted windows, Sunrise and Sunset, made by Clayton and Bell for 2 Temple Place c1895, where there is also a more traditional leaded roof light shown in the header above. Our walk to Glaziers Hall took us along the Thames Embankment and past the new wonders of London’s architecture on Blackfriars, Southwark and London Bridges – notable for the extensive use of reflective glass. Our day was rounded off by Professor Sarah Brown’s lecture on the East Window of York Minster – better to read her new book than I try to convey it all here.

As Summer comes there are more exhibitions, a residency and plans for the Winter to prepare for. I’ll have some work at Bucks Art Weeks as part of a large group show in Askett – you can check out the information on the Bucksartweeks.org.uk web site – 9 -24 June. Linked with the art weeks shows I’ll be running a workshop on the 24 June at WycombeMuseum.org.uk and later in the Autumn giving a couple of evening talks. You can find out about current activities via my Facebook.com page janevincentglass.





Article and images by Jane Vincent ©Jane Vincent except as noted

Winter 2017 Liquid to Solid – The Mutability of Glass … and more!

10 am – 5pm  Tues to Sundays 7 December 2017 to 21 January 2018 at the Stables Gallery, Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DJ

It’s a busy time of year – lots of opportunity to fill yourself to the brim with Christmas Fayre of all kinds. I headed off to Waddesdon Manor at the end of November (!) for their Christmas market and enjoyed chatting with Hazel Williams (hazelwilliams.net) about her laser cut designs in wood and perspex and then to Tony Davis (myvisibleobject.co.uk) about his laser cut metal sculptures – I’ve combined some from both into a Christmas mobile. Suzanne Raffellini had her lovely fused glass on show and all in all, what with a Christmas lunch in the restaurant, a tour of the  decorated rooms in the House and then the truly spectacular light show at the end and I was ready for the festive month.

December really is a big month for me – my latest contribution to academic knowledge was published – jointly edited with Leslie Haddon. Our edited volume ‘Smartphone Cultures’ is all about the ways in which this mobile technology and its apps have been produced, represented, regulated and incorporated into everyday life – you can ‘look inside’ the book on Amazon…
My work on smartphones and technologies and what people do with them often inspires my work, not least this little sculpture ‘Marconi’. Back in 2009 I gave a guest lecture at Falmouth University for the Porthcurno Museum, famous for its connection with Marconi and his early experiments; later I found out that Marconi had lived in Cookham, Berkshire where, using a frying pan as part of his kit, he had tried out radio wave transmissions across the Thames to Hedsor. Now I have no idea how he did it, he was housesitting for his Uncle who was in jail, and of course left the UK under a cloud of insider trading and other accusations. Nevertheless, we cannot avoid the important role he played in the advancement of telephones and mobile phones and this little sculpture 22x13x13cm represents the memories of Marconi, the frying pan, the transmission insulators, the dark cloak of mystery that surrounds him and the radio waves that carried the messages. ‘Marconi’ is one of 4 small kiln formed and glass/wire & nail sculptures that I am showing in the Just Glass exhibition:

Liquid to Solid – The Mutability of Glass.
10 am – 5pm Tues to Sunday
from 7 December 2017 to 21 January 2018
the Stables Gallery, Orleans House Gallery,
Riverside, Twickenham,TW1 3DJ

@Orleanshg FB OrleansHouseGallery 020 8831 6000

The Private View on the evening of the 7th December (6-8pm) combines with the Varsity Match nearby so it might be a scrum in more ways than one! All the work is for sale but as an exhibition alone it is worth a visit. Bring a flask as the Stables Café is not open although there are nearby cafes and restaurants in Twickenham and Richmond.
I’m really thrilled to be joining the Just Glass exhibiting artists and look forward to future exhibitions just-glass.co.uk

Memory Block II: Second Blowing  & Memory Block III: Happy Fish






Meanwhile my kiln has been hot this month as a group of ladies from the girl guiding Trefoil Guild came ‘round to my house for a craft evening – usually we sew or glue Christmas decorations but instead we made them from glass – and a coaster each too.

2018 brings not only the continuation of the Just Glass exhibition but also planning for Bucks Art Weeks (9-25 June 2018); the Glass Art Society in Murano in May, British Society of Master Glass Painters and Contemporary Glass Society events, and more exhibitions so who knows what inspiration will flow from all that excitement!

‘I ♥ you’

And finally – if you can’t make it to the Stables Gallery here is my Artist’s Statement for the work on show – any questions (and it is all for sale)

Email janevincentglass@abbeyrisestudio.co.uk

The nail in glass series of 28 pieces is about memory and is inspired by the Nkisi of the Kongo – a wooden block into which nails are driven each symbolic of a ritual action involving health, wealth, good fortune and other (some more sinister) matters. In my pieces the nail is permanently fired into the glass and the memory trigger is attached to the nail. They are intended to be triggers for emotions too; memories are complex and a simple object can invoke a chain of recollections and emotions. Some are glass, such as the blown vessel I made in a glass blowing evening classes or, in the case of the Marconi piece, ceramic objects I and a college friend made plus wire from a telecoms cable. The wire heart is instead of a nail and coiling it into the glass conveys the fragility and stability of loving relationships – a nail didn’t seem quite right when it comes to love.

(All images and content ©janevincent)



Autumn 2017: CGS Conference 14-15 October M-Shed Bristol

CONNECTIONS: Glancing backwards, seeing the present, focusing on the future

Anticipation for the conference had been building and it did not disappoint! What a wonderful weekend full to the brim with glass, glass and more glass – huge thanks to the organisers and everyone who attended to make it such an exciting two days.

M Shed

Bristol’s M- Shed was our venue and up on the second floor we had a view across to the Cathedral and down onto the activities below. Peter Layton opened the event with memories of the early days of studio glass – a theme to be continued. Peter is a linchpin of the contemporary studio glass movement and he is much respected internationally as well as in the UK, a good mentor for many. Following on from Peter was Colin Reid whose much loved outstanding work is the envy of all and anyone who visited the International Festival of Glass Biennale would have seen him win the people’s prize for his stunning sculpture. When he needs space to think he takes himself off on his sailing yacht for a few days of solitary reflection and ironically he missed the second day having to leave early to make the yacht safe from the incoming Ophelia. It is wonderful to have role models like Peter and Colin but we turned to Patricia Van Den Akker for hints on how to become one yourself, how to make the most of the your skills and be a good businessperson – a course is on offer to CGS members in 2018. Also the envy of many present is the skilful precision of Jade Tapson’s screen printed discs and in her talk she generously shared her technique. Seen at the Biennale I thought they were an adaptation of cane work similar to the technique used by Scott Benefield but I was completely wrong! Already after just one morning common themes were emerging about sharing vs secrecy, legacies and new techniques for the future.

David Reekie – the importance of foam in packaging your work

I attended the seminars after lunch: watching David Reekie show us how to pack our work was very therapeutic and quite a performance – lots of thick foam, 4mm ply, heavy cardboard boxes and duct tape are the ingredients – plus the odd platter by Max Jacquard and a sculpture or two of David’s to make it real.

Meanwhile Jacque Pavlosky shared the experiences of our Askett Studio Group to great effect resulting in a number of enquiries to join – it doesn’t quite work like that but it’s flattering. Susan Purser Hope gave us some great insights from her experiences of working with communities – schools, dementia groups, all sorts of situations. Nothing seemed too much trouble for Susan and I think it would be a lot of fun to be on one of her projects.

The Great Glass Drop got underway a little quicker than even the organisers expected as the boxes containing charity shop tumblers were enthusiastically chucked from the 2nd floor to the entrance hall below.The chuckers tried their best but in the end only a couple broke and there was more excitement surrounding the opening than for the drop.

Sunday dawned a sunny day, Bristol was not really awake as we started with Martin Donlin’s exhilarating talk about his stained glass, which, to me, has something of Patrick Heron and Marc Chagall in it, and it is just wonderful. His work is on a huge scale and he has grown his skills with the available technologies, ruefully admitting to missing working in lead. Tales of working with hydrofluoric acid at college made us cringe and fear for his longevity but without that careless youth the bravura of his design may well have been lost. We liked that he stays true to the materials of stained glass seeking out makers of antique glass to achieve the desired effects.

Contrasting Martin’s excellence in design and technique Andy McConnell shared his expertise of glass, talking particularly about scent bottles – providing masses of illustrations of glass from 50BC to the present day. His irreverent views and encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject was informative and amusing and if you wonder why there do not seem to be many scent bottles about it is because he probably has bought most of them! This brought us neatly onto the topic of collecting and the mysterious world of the Collector. What motivates them to buy the glass, what do they look for, where do they put it all, is there a secondary market? It is wonderful to have enthusiastic collectors like Alan J. Poole, Mark Holford, Mike Barnes and Andy McConnell but it was noted that the UK is very different from the US where glass makers are held in high regard and collecting is a big thing. This does mean the few collectors in the UK have rich pickings from the high quality work produced in the UK but the makers can struggle to find buyers, although it was noted UK glassmakers are not good at marketing themselves…

The last talk of the morning was by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg – I’d often wondered how they came up with their novel work, what motivated them and how they had managed to still be producing after all these years. A technical hitch at the start of their presentation gave more than a hint to their collaborative problem solving and their images a sense of their free spirit – they are not a couple who are contained or constrained by any boundaries. Life is for living in the present, for having fun and for respecting the hardship of others alongside your own good fortune. We’d have loved to see some images of their work but now we must go and look them up… and we are no nearer to knowing how they make it.

We continued the day at fast pace, not forgetting to spend time talking to the suppliers and buying from them – frames, glass, printing on glass, 3d printing with glass, new colours from bullseye and updates on spectrum and bullseye supply. Northlands the glass centre beyond Inverness was also there telling us about their opportunities.

Time to Share was a random group of CGS members, including me, who talked about their own work or someone else’s that was special to them. It was interesting to hear people’s stories and I enjoyed Sue Tinkler linking a little piece of glass that had inspired her to begin with her present work tutored by the maker of that first inspiration. We heard how themes of colour and textile design merge and appear in glass form, how new work comes out of adversity and how people step out of their comfort zone to try a new technique and to talk about it. My own contribution was my talisman, the little GAS2002 signet ring in glass cane work that I was awarded for making the winning fishing float in the Scariest to Fish category at the GAS conference installation in Amsterdam. GAS will be in Europe in Murano 2018 – hurrah!

Two more panel sessions in which we were able to ask suppliers and experts all kinds of questions filled us with lots more ideas, gave us solutions but also left us feeling a little depressed about the decline in wages for teaching . Tutors who had been teaching for many years are now earning less than when they started –  new approaches to transferring skills is clearly needed. Key themes from the second day were the important & growing role of suppliers in education now arts and crafts are diminishing in schools and colleges; pushing the limits of what glass can do and pushing at boundaries to achieve more by working out of your comfort zone such as working on a huge scale.

What is the next big thing in glass? Difficult to tell but certainly accessible projects for hobbyists, schools & communities are beginning to grow interest in the medium. Greater inclusion and diversity in the industry is needed – class appears less of an issue, more so ethnicity – something to think about as we were bar one an exclusively white western audience, although online exhibitions are more inclusive so maybe accessibility is the issue.

Overall it was a great two days – everyone was happy to talk, share their experiences, and wanted to learn more and we came back buzzing.
Now to the studio to document it all and get the ideas into the note books before time dilutes them.

And finally let us not forget the history of the Wharf where the M-Shed is located