Artist Facilities

Facility hire for professional glass artists & ceramicists at National Glass Centre

National Glass Centre is part of the University of Sunderland and a visitor centre, production house and contemporary gallery attracting 220K visitors per year.  Additionally it is home to around 130 students studying glass and ceramics at BA, MA and PhD levels who enjoy access to a huge range of ‘world class’ production facilities.

National Glass Centre is committed to supporting professional glass and ceramic artists in the production of their work through the provision of affordable access to our specialist facilities. This can be extremely useful to artists early in their careers when they may not have an established studio, the equipment they require, or for more established artists wishing to undertake projects that require access to larger equipment.

Our Hot Glass Studio is a diverse resource for glass artists, non-glass artists and designers.  Our team has many years of experience and is on hand to offer their making skills or to assist on production runs or special projects. We can also offer artistic support as well as provide information and share contacts in an effort to make your visit as productive as possible.

Our Hot Glass Studio comprises of three main areas:

Our Demonstration Studio offers a unique opportunity for large or small team production as well as special demonstrations to a visiting public or a target audience. Artists have found this a useful marketing tool for their own practice.

Our Combined Workspace is a flexible workspace with facilities for kiln forming and is ideal for group projects, outreach or workshops.

Our Education Workshop is a second workspace which is generally hired out for jewellery and stained glass making workshops.

To complement all our studios we have a Cold Workshop area with all basic cold working facilities for finishing or embellishing glass.

The following facilities are available to hire:

  • 2 x Hotshops

    SPECIAL OFFER – £170 + vat per day. Subject to availability. 7 days notice required. Max 3 days discounted hire per calendar month. Terms & conditions apply. 15kg of glass included, per booking, additional glass usage £3.70 + vat per kg. Standard Commercial rate £280.00 + vat per day. 30kg glass included, additional glass usage £3.70 + vat per kg.


    Two hotshops containing combined equipment. Access dependent on availability.

    4 x electric Falorni furnaces (running simultaneously)
    7 x glory holes (Ø300 x 600 -1 off, Ø400 x 600 – 5 off, Ø500 x 1000 – 1 off)
    2 x pipe warmers
    2 small pickup kilns
    2 x large top loading casting kilns (D50 X W90 X H48)
    7 x lehrs Largest (W60 x H100 x D90) smallest (W50 x H75 x D66)
    6 x blowing benches

    Standard Hire: 10am – 4.30pm, with a 30min lunch break – includes the following:

    1 x furnace. Pot holds approx 150 kgs Cristalica glass
    1 x blowing bench
    1 x annealing oven – 1 day included
    1 x shared pipe warmer
    1 x standard glory hole (Ø400 x 600mm, with split doors at Ø150 & 200mm)
    1 x Colour pick up kiln – shared
    1 x oxy-propane torch
    1 x compressed air line
    A limited selection of pipes, irons and blocks

    Also available:

    lehr hire – additional days £25 + vat per day.
    large oxy-propane torch £15 + vat per day
    small top-loader kiln £5 + vat per day
    additional glory holes £20 to £25 + vat per day
    large top loader kiln £25 + vat per day, £15 per day thereafter

  • Cold Working Facilities

    From £10.00 + vat per hour: charged in 1hr units (consumables not supplied)

    9.00 – 17.00 or £30 + vat per day if booked in advance.

    2 x Diamond saws: Ø 34cm blade
    1 x large diamond saw: Ø 50cm blade – by arrangement, T&C’s apply
    4 x linishers: assorted belts
    1 x Diamond pillar drill: Habit shank
    3 x sandblasters:
    1 x Guyson GT2 Side-loader W80xD70xH75
    1 x Guyson Front loader W75xD50xH60
    1 x Vixen – small Side-loader W70xD50xH25
    2 x Flatbed grinders: Ø 76cm:  80 -120 grits only
    3 x flatbed grinders: Ø 60cm
    1 x cerium oxide flatbed grinder:Ø 45cm – by arrangement, T&C’s apply
    1 x diamond flatbed: Ø 60cm – by  arrangement, T&C’s apply
    2 x Ø30” rociprolaps – by special arrangement
    5 x polishing lathes – max cork wheel Ø 40cm, felt/cerium oxide wheel (cerium oxide not supplied)
    3 x cutting lathes
    2 x engraving lathes
    3 x wax melting pot
    1 x vinamould melting pot
    1 x flexible drive
    1 x Suhner grinder and polisher

  • Kilns

    Please enquire for prices from £30.00 – 50.00 + vat per day

    1 x large glass casting kiln: W 1.30M x D 0.70 x H 0.70
    1 x very large flatbed lazer kiln: W 1.50M x D 1.2
    1 x large flatbed lazer  kiln:  W 1.50M x D 1.0
    2 x medium flatbed kilns: W 1.20M x D 0.95, & W 1.00 x D 0.70
    2 x large ceramic gas kiln

    25 +  small, medium and large casting kilns, plus 10 ceramic kilns

  • Lampworking Area and Waterjet Cutter

    Lampworking area:

    £20 half day (3.5 hrs), or rate £30 + vat per day (consumables not supplied)

    Payable in advance

    6 x workstations with torches


    Waterjet cutter: 

    Abrasive CNC Waterjet Cutting is a fast and efficient way to cut shapes out of glass and other materials that are impossible to cut by hand. The Waterjet cuts using a high pressure jet of water mixed with a garnet abrasive between 30,000 and 60,000psi. With a bit of creativity and imagination, all sorts of exciting things are possible!

    View our Waterjet Brochure here 


  • Silk Screen Printing Facilities

    £30 + vat per day (consumables not supplied).

    9.30am – 4.30pm. Payable in advance.

    1 x light table – W150cm x D150
    1 x UV exposure unit – W145cm x D 95
    1 x vacuum print table – W140cm x D 85
    1 x water-jet screen wash area

  • Mould-making Facilities for Glass and Ceramics

    £15 half day, or £30 +vat per day (consumables not supplied)

    9.30am – 4.30pm. Payable in advance

    Extensive plaster / molochite mould making facilities
    Vinamould melting pot
    Wax steaming out area
    Glaze mixing & spray facilities
    3 x plaster lathes
    1 x whirler / jigger-jolley
    Slip casting workshop
    Assorted ceramic facilities
    Drying cabinet

  • Important Information

    It is regretted that our facilities are not available for those with limited experience. Hirers are expected to be proficient in the use of all materials and equipment they intend to use. National Glass Centre facility hire does not include consumables or technical support unless agreed in advance.  Please let us know is you would like advice on sourcing materials or equipment.

    Prior to hire artists are expected to supply an electronic copy of a valid Public Liability Insurance with a minimum cover of £2M. If more than one person is working then a policy/s that covers both parties must be provided. Many artists subscribe to AN (Artists Newsletter) magazine which currently provides a suitable policy with an annual subscription (www.a-n.co.uk). There are many alternative insurers who are acceptable.

    All details on hire procedure, hire conditions and cancellation policy can be found here: National Glass Centre – Studio Hire Brochure

  • Contact us

    Studios and equipment may be hired 7 days a week, subject to availability.

    Please contact National Glass Centre Studio for enquiries about hiring:

    Studio Manager +44 (0)191 515 5507

    Tim Betterton: +44 (0)191 515 2117