News | 20-12-2022

QEST supports two glass artists to progress their practice

Two glass artists have been awarded Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) Scholarships in the latest round of grants.

The successful entrants are Andrea Spencer and Laura Quinn.

Based in Northern Ireland, Andrea Spencer is a glass artist who finds inspiration in nature and investigates natural forms, which are either transformed into symbolic objects or abstracted to create artworks with a personal narrative. Using both traditional and innovative techniques of flameworking glass, her work possess qualities that reflect the intricacies of the natural world and contain elements that highlight its beauty and transience.

QEST funding will enable Andrea to develop her skills with master flameworker Eric Goldschmidt in Corning, New York, attend the International Flameworking Conference in New Jersey and undertake a research trip to Harvard University to study the internationally-acclaimed Ware Collection of Blaschka flameworked Glass Models. These experiences will enhance her existing knowledge and skills, allowing her to broaden the range of work she can produce at the torch and expand the range of workshops she can offer other artists.  Find out more about her work on her website.

Laura Quinn creates interactive glass sculptures that encourage the audience to reconsider their perceived constraints of the material. She combines traditional glass making techniques such as glass blowing and lampworking, with digital design technologies and alternative materials to create pieces that challenge the idea that glass is too fragile to touch. She has a BA in Glass Design from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, an MA in 3D Design Crafts from the Arts University Plymouth, plus experience working at Corning Museum of Glass, Olustvere Glass Studio, Estonia and LoCo Glass Studio. Laura currently works as a Glass Technical Tutor at the University for the Creative Arts in Surrey, and was selected to exhibit a new and ambitious body of work as part of Collect 2022.

Laura Quinn with her work at Collect Space 2022. Photo: Sylvain Deleu.

QEST funding will enable Laura to attend a glass blowing masterclass at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, US, with master glass blowers Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz, whose works are renowned for their precision of form and application of colour. This training will be vital in the continuation and development of her glass practice, and in future she plans to establish her own studio and work part time as an educator, sharing her skills with makers in the UK.

Read more about Laura Quinn’s collaboration on a fashion garment via this article in Glass Network digital. More information is available on her website.

The next funding application round for potential QEST scholars will be open from 9 January-12 February 2023. Visit the QEST website for more details.

Main image: Detail of Andrea Spencer’s ‘Hydrangea Mop’.

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