The Glass Sellers Art & Craft Award 2015 – What does winning mean?
Once again the Glass Sellers’ Company was delighted to work with the British Glass Biennale to present our awards for talent and originality in glass art. The awards were presented at the opening night of the sixth British Glass Biennale held in Stourbridge on 27 May 2015.
76 artists including 13 students were selected to exhibit and compete for our two awards.
The Glass Sellers’ jury had a very difficult task selecting from some of the exciting and technically challenging work to award our prizes. The jury looked for originality and talent in the use of glass as a medium of artistic expression. The awards were presented for the artistic and technical excellence of submissions. The winners were:
Glass Sellers’ Art & Craft Award 2015
Winner: Ruth Shelley for Indian Intarsia www.ruthshelley.co.uk
Runner-up: Nicholas Collins for Tumbling Blocks White www.nicholascollins.co.uk
Glass Sellers’ Art & Craft Student Award 2015
Winner: Haley Haddow for Orinoco Flow www.theglassdominion.com
Runner-up: Deborah Martin for Nude www.artiplicity.co.uk
Do the Glass Sellers’ prizes have value and what does winning mean to the artists? Talking to this year’s recipients they very definitely have enormous value. Here is what the winners have to say.
Will winning the Glass Sellers’ prize make a difference to you?
“Winning the prize has already increased my confidence, especially in making larger pieces. These involve higher costs for raw materials, greater investment of time and energy, and are more challenging to deliver successfully because of an increased risk of problems because of the technical complexity. The reward is more dramatic, desirable and bespoke work.”
“Being a runner up of the Glass Sellers’ prize will hopefully make a difference by publicising the work to a larger audience and I hope will open a few doors to some international exhibitions.”
“Yes, very much so personally. Approval at this level is always a huge positive to one’s self- confidence.”
“The impact of receiving the prize has been to put a focus on the future and where I go from here. Being a student, I have been concentrating on the learning process. But exhibiting at the Biennale and receiving the award encourages me to move forward as an artist.”
Will the prize money be useful? What will you use it for and is it allocated to a specific project or use?
“The prize money will come in very useful as coloured kiln glass is very expensive and experimenting with heat and mass has particular problems which can lead to a costly steep learning curve. It is important to have an extensive colour palette of glass to produce my statement, vibrant multi layered coloured vessels, in order that the initial fused panel to be thick enough to stretch to the floor of the kiln as heat is applied.
I will use the money in a variety of ways. Buying more glass for experiments and stock; replacing worn and broken equipment, such as a new kiln lid and diamond grinding disc, which are desperately needed; as well as having time for more experiments and paying for a stand at MADE LONDON. “
“The prize money will be very useful as I am in the middle of developing some glass furniture and the prize money will help me explore some interesting manufacturing processes.”
“I feel that 50% of any piece is completed outside of the kiln by achieving a really professional finish. In order to achieve this I will be investing in some more cold-working equipment.”
“Part of the prize money has already gone, with bargains to be had at the Dial Factory sale of frits during the Festival of Glass. I have a few ideas for projects, but there is also a lot to experiment with. I do feel a ‘blue’ period coming on – owing to an excess of that colour of frit!”
(NB: A frit is a ceramic composition that has been fused in a special fusing oven, quenched to form a glass, and granulated.)
What is more important to you – prize money or the prestige of winning a particular award?
“Initially I believe it has been the prestige of winning the award. It has been a huge boost to my confidence which in turn has enabled me to honestly face the true costs of producing my vessels. Until now this has been a real challenge.
Of course the money will come in very useful in bridging the gap between the increasing costs of production, producing further experiments, and realising the impact of this very generous and prestigious award through increased sales and recognition as a collectable glass artist.”
“As I said I am in the middle of developing some large scale pieces so the money could not have come at a better time. But this is the first prize I have ever won, so to have a prestigious award like this is also very nice.”
“While the prize money is very lovely to receive (thank you!), the prestige is far more valuable and something I will always have and cherish.”
“While receiving prize money is brilliant, winning the award itself has meant even more. Creating art is a personal affair but you never know what will happen when it is put into a public arena. Having recognition for your work is amazing and the excitement of getting the prize has been much more than I imagined.”