News | 25-11-2020

Bristol highlights glassmakers with Ken Stradling Collection exhibition

In a bid to defy Covid and celebrate handmade glass, Bristol’s Ken Stradling Collection is hosting the Fire and Ice exhibition, which will be viewable from the street, this December.

Passers-by will be able to enjoy the vivid coloured glass of Britain’s famous Whitefriars glassworks, alongside the bold, ice-white forms of mid-century Scandinavian glassmaking. The display will use the facade of 48 Park Row and will be on show from 15 December until 28 February 2021.

Fire and Ice showcases glass from the 1950s to the 1970s, a period of bold experiments which took glassmaking to new levels of sparkling originality. The Whitefriars factory became famous in the 19th century and is associated with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Its mastery in the field of colour saw the firm attain new heights of success in the 1950s, feeding the appetite for bright, optimistic colours in post-war British homes. In contrast, the glassmakers of Scandinavia took a different path, seeking inspiration from the frozen landscapes of their homelands.

In 1948 Ken Stradling joined the Bristol Guild of Applied Arts and began sourcing and selling new and innovative furnishings and objects. He also started a personal collection of 20th and 21st-century objects, including furniture, glass and ceramics. This collection, now managed by the Ken Stradling Trust, is housed at 48 Park Row, as is the Design Study Centre. On the ground floor, the Stradling Gallery hosts a regular programme of design-related exhibitions.

Visit the website:

Glassblowing at Bristol Blue Glass. Photo: Steve Fearn.

Other glass attractions in the city include glassblowers Bristol Blue Glass, who have revived the traditional art of creating the famous Bristol Blue glass, and Catriona R Mackenzie Glass, featuring sanctuary-inspired FRITH glassware. See more at:  CatMacKGlass.

Eryngii Jars by Catriona R MacKenzie Glass.

Main image: a mixture of glass from the Ken Stradling Collection, including pieces by Fulvio Bianco (blue/red stripes bottle); Ronald Stennett-Wilson (green candleholder); Pukeburg (clear candle holder with face) and Tamara Alladin (blue angular vase). Photographer: Stella Man.

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