Isle of Wight Studio Glass celebrates 50 years
Marking a landmark 50 years in business in 2023, family-run Isle of Wight Studio Glass is celebrating with an anniversary exhibition event.
During the weekend of Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October 2023, renowned glassmaker Timothy Harris will make five unique contemporary pieces inspired by the ‘Undercliff’ design originated by his parents, renowned glass maker Michael, and his wife Elizabeth. There will also be 50 smaller pieces made to order and orders can be placed over the weekend.
Timothy will be joined by various other glassmakers for the special weekend, which will be hosted by TV celebrity glass experts and authors Andy McConnell and Mark Hill, of Antiques Roadshow fame. Andy will be in attendance on the Saturday and Mark will be there on the Sunday. (More details of how to book at the end of this article).
Currently run by Timothy, Isle of Wight Studio Glass was established by his late father, Michael (1933-1994), in 1973. Michael was a pioneer in British glassmaking and set up the Mdina Glass studio in 1969 in Malta with Eric Dobson before returning to the UK to found Isle of Wight Studio Glass.
Speaking about his early experience with glass, Timothy said, “I made my first piece of glass in my early teens, standing on a box in my father’s studio.” More than 45 years later, he is still making beautiful glass masterpieces and has just as much passion for the material at 62 years of age as he did back then.
Timothy completed his formal studies at Brierley Hill College of Glass Techniques & Technologies, returning to the Isle of Wight in 1980 to join his father’s successful studio.
In 1990, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Scholarship, in the foundation year of the charity. “America had strong glass movement which I wanted to witness and immerse myself in,” Timothy noted. “The QEST Scholarship enabled me to go to the Penland School of Craft, USA, which furthered my passion for the craft, learning from top glass artists.”
Timothy returned to Penland in 1991 to join the teaching faculty, then became artist in residence at Pilchuck Glass School, Washington.
He has since been recognised as one of the finest, most accomplished and innovative glass-makers in the UK.
“I joined my dad’s business at 17 years old and I’ve now made glass for longer than my dad ever did,” Timothy pointed out. “My dad was completely instrumental in my passion for glass making. As a small boy, I’d watch him and his team make bits of glass – I just wanted to be amongst the lads making glass.
Timothy has made many prestigious commissions, including pieces for the British Royal Family. His work can be found in the private collections, galleries, museums and retail outlets of many countries.
“I love that I can totally zone out and be with the material. I am still trying to be innovative and creative every day,” he concluded.
For anyone wishing to attend the 50th Anniversary weekend event, placed are limited. For more information and to book to attend, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Isle of Wight Studio Glass is at: Arreton Barns Craft Village, Arreton, Isle of Wight, PO30 3AA.
Image: Timothy Harris working with molten glass at Isle of Wight Studio Glass.