Training | 09-03-2024

Amanda Moriarty Prize: review of The Glass Hub Residency

Pratibha Mistry was the winner of the 2022 Contemporary Glass Society (CGS) Amanda Moriarty Prize, providing her with five days of glassmaking experience at The Glass Hub, based in Wiltshire, with tutors KT Yun and Helga Watkins-Baker. Now she has completed her residency, read on to find out about how this valuable training went.

(Left to right): Pratibha Mistry, KT Yun and Helga Watkins-Baker at The Glass Hub during Pratibha’s residency.

The Prize is awarded in memory of Amanda Moriarty, a long-serving CGS board member and Honorary Treasurer, who sadly passed away in 2017. It is a competition that enables one CGS member to achieve something unique and is available to established artists and up-and-coming makers, with the aim of promoting contemporary glass in the wider art world. The Prize enables one glass artist to fulfil a creative ambition or add to their technical skill set – a dream that would not be possible without this prize.

Pratibha Mistry is an MA graduate in Glass from UCA (Farnham), experienced in design making and with expertise in kiln-formed glass and cold working, focussing on biology-inspired installations.

This blown glass orb features iridised pate de verre intracellular structures.

She explained the background to the work she wanted to create at The Glass Hub: “Studying the mechanisms of mammalian disease at a molecular and intracellular level shaped my early scientific career. Revealing and probing these beautiful internal structures (mitochondria, golgi, nuclei, etc) left a lasting impression. To me they symbolise acceptance and resilience; we are all fundamentally made of the same stuff, we even accept when these constituents fail us and result in disease. I love to bring elements of these structures into my work and celebrate the unity we have with the natural world.”

Therefore, the residency focused on creating an experimental body of work to bring these microscopic structures to the forefront and relay the power of these organelles to transform life and contribute to human uniqueness.

“The residency allowed me the freedom to combine techniques such as pâte de verre, lampworking and casting with hot glass approaches,” Pratibha commented.

Enclosed, lampworked intracellular structures.

KT and Helga also benefitted from the experience, saying they looked forward to these residency days, as they gave them an opportunity to think outside of the box.

Here Pratibha describes her journey to create the new body of work, called ‘Orbs of Acceptance’:

 “On an icy January morning in 2023, I embarked on my first day at The Glass Hub. I received the warmest of welcomes! I was incredibly excited by this fantastic opportunity and we spent the first few hours drinking tea discussing ideas and how best to approach them. It was abundantly clear that both Helga and KT have a combined wealth of expertise and were open to innovative, experimental approaches.

“The Hub itself is a well equipped educational making place. By late morning I had started learning some basic lampworking skills with hard (borosilicate) and soft (Effetre and Glasma) glass stringers and rods. I soon learned how to control and exploit their properties.

Pate de verre cellular structures were applied to hot glass orbs.

“The afternoons were spent in the hot shop exploring methods to apply pre-made pâte de verre pieces onto hot little ‘orbs’ and blowing onto plaster models. The subsequent residency days continued in the same vein, combining pâte de verre structures, lampworked pieces and painting with stringers onto hot glass. Being an artist focused on kiln-based work,  it was insightful and valuable exploring these approaches.

“I also had the opportunity to cast cell-like structures and grow my coldworking skills. Who knew I’d enjoy the diamond saw so much! I made numerous pieces during the residency, each adding to my learning and allowing me to trial new, experimental colour combinations.

“Aside from the brilliance of The Glass Hub, both Helga and KT offered me the flexibility I needed to complete the residency, with plenty of reflection time between sessions. This really helped me get the best out of the residency and it also worked with the Hub’s busy workshop schedule and my busy life schedule.

“I am incredibly grateful for the growth opportunity both the CGS and The Glass Hub have afforded me. I feel I have developed a new confidence in my glass practice and I’m excited by the endless possibilities glass presents. It’s a phenomenal medium, supported by phenomenal people!”

KT and Helga added, “Pratibha was a joy to work with and really inspired us. The whole experience was an absolute pleasure. We wish Pratibha all the best in her next venture; her talents and creative style will always shine through.”;

CGS is grateful to The Glass Hub for kindly gifting the five glassmaking days in support of this prize. Anyone wishing to explore techniques in glass or interested in future residencies at the Glass Hub (subject to gaining funding) can find out more via

See more of Pratibha Mistry’s work via:

Main feature image: An organoid imprint created by Pratibha during her residency. All photos by the artist.

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