Gifted 20 has Christmas wrapped up

WORK by leading international, regional and local artists features in an annual selling exhibition at National Glass Centre.

Artwork available in Gifted 20 is by artists working in glass and ceramics, and due to Covid restrictions, this year’s exhibition will be online.

“The exhibition presents unique, high quality art from artists from around the world. Usually the exhibition is presented in National Glass Centre’s Balcony Gallery, but as we’re closed due to Covid, this year’s exhibition will start online. We hope that should restrictions be lifted in the coming weeks, the exhibition will take place as usual within the venue,” explained Julia Stephenson, Head of Arts at National Glass Centre.

“Gifted 20 is a perfect opportunity to buy exclusive, handmade art across a broad price range. We’re fortunate to have such a wonderful collection of prominent international and national artists, and Gifted is also a perfect showcase for more local glass and ceramic practitioners,” she added.

Gifted 20 features work from: Elizabeth Welch, Frances Spice, Stuart Ackroyd, Dokter & Misses, Lauren Frost, James Maskrey, and Jade Tapson.

Elizabeth Welch works from her studio in West Sussex where she creates incredibly detailed glass sculptures of animals; particularly bird, insect and marine life. Each piece is handmade using coloured glass rods. Her work is highly collectable, with additions made annually for customers to add to their collections.

Cornwall-based Frances Spice takes inspiration from her surroundings. She said: “The Cornish countryside plays a part in my work, although it may not be apparent when you first take a glance at my pieces, however, when you look closely you can see the inspiration lies deep within the detail.”

Stuart Ackroyd’s glassmaking career started at University of Sunderland, where he learned the basics on a BA (hons) course. He is now an award winning studio glass designer-maker based in Nottingham. Stuart’s designs begin with inspiration from the world around him, and after sketching out initial ideas the next stage is experimenting with hot glass and making 3D forms. These glass prototypes are then further refined to produce the final piece.

Artists from acclaimed international design company Dokter & Misses also feature in Gifted 20. The firm is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and its work has been exhibited in Basel, Dubai, London, New York and Miami

Closer to home Lauren Frost graduated with a glass and ceramics degree from University of Sunderland this year. Her ceramic practice is strongly influenced by a love for the natural environment. This collection of ceramics was fired in a protective fireclay box called a ‘saggar’ alongside natural materials including seaweed collected from Roker Beach.

James Maskrey works at National Glass Centre as a Senior Glass Technician. His artistic practice is based around making objects with narrative and his pieces are held in many public collections including The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Crafts Council, National Museum of Scotland and National Glass Centre.

Jade Tapson is an award-winning glass artist who is based in her studio at National Glass Centre. Jade creates intricate designs in which patterns transform through the controlled entrapment of air within glass. In addition to developing her own artistic practice, Jade teaches screen-printing courses.

To see the beautiful Gifted 20 artwork, go to www.sunderlandculture.org.uk/events/gifted-20/ Gifts can be delivered or ordered through click and collect.

* A range of festive gifts and treats is also available from National Glass Centre’s online shop – from beautiful baubles produced in the venue’s own studios, to exclusive glassware created by external artists, to jewellery handmade by local artists. To see the variety of gifts on offer, go to www.shop-nationalglasscentre.com