British Glass Biennale Opens At Ruskin Centre Stourbridge

By 24 Hour Museum Editor, Jon Pratty | 25 August 2006
shows a photo of a man leaning across a work of art which consists of glass forms arranged upon a dark glass square

Biennale award winner Max Jacquard with his piece, For My Lost Loves 3. Photo: Simon Bruntnell

Glass sculptor Max Jacquard has won the main award at the British Glass Biennale, it was announced on 24 August 2006 at the Ruskin Glass Centre, Stourbridge. Also announced were the winners of the collaborative award, Iestyn Davies and Adrian Mulley.

Featuring 175 works by 101 artists, all British based, the Biennale highlights the extraordinary diversity and imagination of makers exploring the hundreds of ways glass can be manipulated, moulded and coloured to create tiny beads or vast sculptures.

Nestling within the Biennale is the International Festival of Glass, a four-day public festival celebrating the rich and dynamic world of glass from August 25 to 28, 2006.

shows a photo pf a brightly coloured glass construction which appears to mix cartoon drawing with neon light sculpture

Keith Brocklehurst, Matrix, 2006. Photo: Simon Bruntnell

The awards were judged by an expert panel comprised of Peter Layton, Jennifer Opie, Lucy Abel Smith, David Prytherch and Jackie Lee. The British Glass Biennale can be visited until September 17 2006.

The 2006 Biennale offered two separate £5,000 prizes: one for best in show; the other the 'Made Together Award' - a collaborative prize encouraging artists to work together across different media.

The Biennale traditionally introduces emerging new talent as well as established masters. Deborah Fladgate, Gillies Jones, Bob Crooks, Anne Brodie, Keiko Mukaide and Keith Brocklehurst are all to be found at the Biennale.

Each year, the show not only offers a clear illustration of the strength of the current British glass scene, but also reflects an extraordinarily wide range of styles and methods of glass-making.

shows a yellow ceramic bowl with small plastic flowers dotted along the sides

Marie Worre Hastrup Holm, Yellow Bloomin’ Bowl, 2006. Photo: Ester Segarra

Artists have been keen to utilise the latest techniques and technologies to achieve their art, and have pushed the boundaries with Computer Aided Design, LED lighting, neon and internal laser engraving.

Look out, for example, for Vanessa Cutler's creative use of water jet cutting in her blown sculptural piece 'Fingertips', and Iestyn Davies' use of LEDs for his 'Ice Chandelier'. Katherine Coleman and Alison Kinnaird, two of the country's top wheel engravers, have also produced technically accomplished work with particular attention to use of colour.

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