STUNNING creations made from glass are to feature in Glastonbury Abbey’s autumn exhibition.
It is timely as new research, led by the University of Reading, revealed earlier this year that finds at the Abbey provide the earliest archaeological evidence for Anglo-Saxon glass-making in Britain.
It found that glass furnaces at the Abbey date to Saxon Britain and are likely to be associated with the major rebuilding of the Abbey undertaken by King Ine, of Wessex.
Fragments of this important glass found at the Abbey are on daily display in the museum but now a special exhibition is to showcase contemporary glass creations by five contemporary Somerset artists.
Called Reflections On Glass, it will show the work of renowned artists Fabrizia Bazzo, Frank Grenier, Nina Gronw-Lewis, Rowan van der Holt and Sonja Klingler and will run from October 5 to January 27 2013
Mary Gryspeerdt, assistant curator, said: “The theme of glass has considerable relevance at Glastonbury Abbey, where window and vessel glass was being made as early as the seventh century and the medieval Abbey’s stained glass windows were among the finest in Europe.”
“Each of these artists brings a different perspective and approach to this highly adaptable medium.
Italian born Fabrizia Bazzo studied Fine Art at Plymouth and Somerset College and settled in Ilminster.
Her architectural glass is of the highest quality, winning numerous competitions, awards and commissions. Her stained glass designs range from naturalistic to abstract, with texture and vibrant colours being the hallmark of her innovative creations.
North Cadbury based artist, Frank Grenier, has been engraving glass for over 20 years. He studied under Simon Whistler, son of the famous glass engraver Lawrence Whistler, and has held exhibitions world-wide.
His work ranges from goblets to church windows and includes clear and coloured glass. Creating family heirlooms and bespoke presentation pieces has become his speciality.
Nina Gronw-Lewis works from her studio in Charlton Adam to make dramatic sand-blasted and kiln formed glass installations.
Her appliqué stained glass sculptures, mounted and framed in locally sourced wood using traditional carpentry techniques, are an unusual combination of media with an organic quality.
The work of North Somerset artist Rowan van der Holt reflects the power and beauty of nature in her glass pieces. She uses the ancient ‘lampwork’ technique to produce delicate and richly coloured sculptures, figurines and jewellery.
Rowan recently made five floral rings to celebrate the Olympics, each representing a different Continent, every flower and fruit carefully observed for botanical accuracy.
Hot glass maker, Sonja Klingler, works from a studio in Frome and has over 15 years experience as a glass blower. Her work ranges from commissioned pieces, restoration work and highly individual abstract glass sculptures. Sonja also runs glass workshops for all ages, where people can try glass blowing for themselves.