Courses | 17-06-2023

QEST scholarships for four artists who work with glass

Four glass artists are among the 27 craftspeople awarded funding by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) to further their training and education. They are Lulu Harrison, Michèle Oberdieck,

Glass maker Lulu Harrison is a self-taught glass artist with an MA in Material Futures from Central Saint Martin’s. She creates glass artefacts inspired by primitive glass making and works with waste and local resources, ensuring she has as little impact on the environment as possible.

The 2023 QEST Scholarship will enable her to pioneer experimental and sustainable glassmaking using locally sourced and waste materials. She will receive one-on-one training from glass scientist and historical glass expert, Dr Chloe Duckworth, to develop her skills and knowledge in material science, the history of glassmaking, traditional craft and sustainability. The scholarship will support the development and promotion of this unique glassmaking approach, with the goal of achieving scalable production.

Michèle Oberdieck studied textiles at Glasgow School of Art before completing an MA in Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2016. She was selected for the European Prize for Applied Arts Exhibition in Belgium 2020, the Ireland Glass Biennale in 2019, and twice for Venice Glass Week.

In March 2023, she was chosen by the Crafts Council as one of 14 artists to exhibit at Collect Open in Somerset House.

With her 2023 QEST Scholarship Michèle plans to enhance her skill set and understanding of blown glass by taking courses in the UK, Germany and the US. She will learn new techniques, particularly in colour and cane making, which will be applied to the development of her glass ‘Fantasy Plants’ series.

A glass piece from Michèle’s ‘Fantasy Plants’ series.

Rachel Phillips trained in Architectural Stained Glass and since 2000 she has been creating commissioned work for a variety of buildings and contexts. Until 2019 she was specialist glass painting tutor at the Swansea School of Glass. More recently she has been developing work free from context or architecture as a way of exploring her creativity.

Rachel’s 2023 QEST Scholarship will support a series of bespoke masterclasses to enhance her creative development, equipping her for a new chapter in her artistic journey. She will enhance her skills in gilding, screen printing with silver and copper stains and layered enamels, glass engraving, glass bonding and more. She hopes to expand her creative output and help stained glass have more of a presence in contemporary art and craft exhibitions and publications.

Rachel Phillips will extend her stained glass practice with new creative skills.

Verity is a glass artist whose work is inspired by the shapes and textures of plants and other organisms. She uses various kilnforming techniques including cast glass and pate de verre and her practice is characterised by experimentation and curiosity.

Verity Pulford has been awarded several Arts Council of Wales (ACW) grants to develop her practice. She has recently been awarded a grant for the project ‘Mutualism’ and has received funding from ACW to attend a residency at Pilchuck Glass School in the US.

A 2023 QEST Scholarship will enable Verity to spend time enhancing her skills with Fiaz Elson at The Glass Foundry, where she will find ways to combine pate de verre and casting techniques to create larger-scale glass pieces, and experimenting with various glass types, colours, oxides and paints. She will also explore cold working methods for shaping and finishing the glass forms. In addition, she will spend time with Angela Thwaites developing her skills, knowledge and aesthetic aspirations related to casting glass. Techniques covered will include refractory investment moulds, burn out methods, core casting and lost wax.

Verity’s scholarship will enable her to gain experience with master glass makers.

QEST supports the training and education of talented and aspiring craftspeople through traditional college courses, vocational training, apprenticeships and one-to-one training with a master craftsperson. Its aim is to help support Britain’s cultural heritage and sustain vital skills in traditional and contemporary crafts.

QEST has two application periods each year for prospective scholars and apprentices. The next application period will be 10 July-14 August 2023. Find out more via the website.

Main image: Glass work by Lulu Harrison.

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