Celebrating Bristol’s long history of making beautiful glass we are shining a spotlight on this exciting world of ‘fire and ice’.  The Ken Stradling Collection at 48 Park Row, Bristol are using their windows as the exhibition space. In this way the exhibition can be visited at any time of day and night during February. It is designed to be Covid-19 safe. A destination for Bristolians to walk to and view from the pavement.

The windows are a kaleidoscope of dazzling colours and tinsel tones to create sparkle. We have brought together the vivid coloured glass of Whitefriars, Britain’s most daring glassworks of the 20th century, and contrasted them with the bold ice white forms of mid-century Scandinavian glassmaking. The period from the 1950s to the 1970s was a period of bold experiments which took glassmaking to new levels of originality. The Whitefriars factory had become famous in the 19th century for vivid stained glass and its association with William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. But the firm soar to new heights of success when people post World War Two sought to fill their lives with optimism and colour. Whitefriars in the 1950s, provided joy through their brightly coloured objects for the home. Meanwhile, the glassmakers of Scandinavia took a different path, seeking inspiration from the frozen landscapes of their homelands.

The exciting tradition of glass blowing continues in Bristol, and along our collection of the 20th century glass we are showcasing some 21st-century glass blower: Julia Donnelly, Catriona R MacKenzie based at Centrespace Studios, and Bristol Blue Glass.

Visit the exhibition or follow the links below to explore their work:

Gypsy necklace. Julia Donnelly

Glass jewellery maker Julia Donnelly writes about her love of glass and her background as a glass blower at Peter Layton’s studio in Bermondsey here on our blog.

Instagram: @juliamakesglass

Catriona R MacKenzie produces her work using hot glass techniques when the glass is fiery and molten and then carves into the cold glass to produce ice like textures. Many of her pieces embrace the colours, tactility and sanctuary found from walking in the wilds of Scotland where she is from, and these subtly appear within her contemporary glass pieces. The ethos of her FRITH Glassware is to create luxurious glass pieces that are a pleasure to own and a comfort to hold.

Instagram: Art Glass: @catmackglass; FRITH: @frith_glass; Jewellery: @catmackjewel

Bristol Blue Glass ‘is proud to be carrying on the tradition in the fabulous city of Bristol and with the exception of a few technological improvements, our way of blowing glass hasn’t changed much in 500 years, making each piece of glass unique.’ Visit the Bristol Blue Glass website for more information about the world of hot glass, and their online shop.

Octopus. (Image: Bristol Blue Glass)

Twitter: @BristolGlass

Instagram: @bristolblueglass

Facebook: @bristol.glass