Covid19 and our Glassblowing Courses

Unfortunately, for the time being we are unable to run our popular glassblowing sessions. At present we don’t know when we will be able to start our courses again. This is because the social distancing issues are still paramount.

Realistically, I don’t think it is likely that we will be able to begin teaching again until a vaccine, or satisfactory treatment is available. If social distancing is reduced to less than one metre, this could improve the situation.

Until now one of the features of the course has been that it is very “hands on”.

The way I teach glassblowing, there is some close contact between the tutor (me) and the student (you), because we are standing side by side for some of the time. We are handling the same glassblowing iron. This means that the risk is too high in the current climate.

I may be able to redesign the course so that it is less “hands-on”. We will announce this in due course if that becomes the best way to proceed. If you’ve already done a course with us, you would notice the difference. But if you haven’t, you wouldn’t. We’d still be looking to give you an outstanding experience. If you have a voucher or a booking already in the system, we are happy to extend these past the expiry date. If you would like any further information, please email us here

Opening Hours from June 15th 2020

We are happy to announce that the studio has survived the Covid19 outbreak with none of our staff catching the virus, and we have now switched on the furnace again. We will start working on orders on June 15th. However, for the time being the studio is only open by appointment. We will update this page when that situation changes. If you would like to make an appointment please email us, by clicking here

Packing Safely

Packing Safely

I always say to my students “If you want to be a glassmaker learn how to pack first” because packing safely is really the key to success.

My Packing History

I have been packing safely on and off for more than 40 years and shipping glass to more than 20 countries. I’ve never counted how many pieces of glass I have packed up. But I just worked out that the total must be more than 100,000! So far, I haven’t had a piece break in transit. That’s because I choose good packing materials and pack carefully. So are you wondering whether it would be safe for me to send your purchase to you? If so, the answer is that with a 100% track record of no breakages I’m not looking to cut any corners! Bubble wrap? No way, that’s entry level! ­­I moved up to Jiffy Foam in 1978 and haven’t looked back. There’s a reason it costs more!

When you pack, the key thing is to remember that the parcel is going to be handed by lots of people. There may be ten or twelve people on the way to its destination. I’d like to think that most of them would like it to arrive safely. But it’s probably fair to say that on occasions, they aren’t all as careful as you would like them to be. So the answer is to pack to a standard that takes this into consideration.

How I learnt to pack

I learnt to pack when I was at the University of Keele in the seventies, studying International Relations. Packing wasn’t a subject on the degree course. But I met a wonderful old lady who had worked in the Potteries all her life. She lived in a 17th Century cottage in Betley, Staffordshire. She used to tell me some fascinating anecdotes about the famous pottery designers, whom she’d known and the factories where she’d worked. I think she must have been born around 1900.

After a long career as a decorator in the potteries, she retired, to her cottage in Betley. When I knew her she must have been almost 80. She used travel by bus into Stoke to buy glazed whiteware from different potteries and carry it back to paint in her cottage. Then she would get on the bus and carry it to a pottery to be fired. So she really knew how to pack and she taught me the basics. I was lucky enough to make friends with her and used to buy her work to sell in my mother’s shop in Highgate. Packing safely was very important to her, and I was lucky to learn how to pack from her.

I do hope that if you had any worries about the safe passage of your purchase, that I have put your mind to rest. Happy browsing!