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The 2010 celebrations for the 400th anniversary of glassmaking in Scotland are well under way with lots going on across Scotland.
They began with the publication of a book - Scotland's Glass. It's the first book to cover the whole history of glass in Scotland and is aimed very much at the general reader - easy to read (we hope!) and with lots of beautiful illustrations.
We have also published a booklet - sponsored by Bonhams - detailing all the glass related places to go to across the country, from places to see glass, to makers of all types. You can access this on-line from the website here. It has been distributed to museums, libraries and various other places across the world.
The big, big event takes place this October (1-4) when we are holding a conference at Edinburgh College of Art. There will be a host of speakers from the UK and overseas as well as demonstrations of glass making. It is the biggest conference on glass ever to be held in the UK. We have some fantastic speakers lined up. Jill Turnbull, an expert on the history of Scottish glass, will be tracing the decline and fall of the industry. The influence of Scotland abroad will be tackled by Eric Hilton, an important Steuben designer who trained at ECA. Paperweights will feature in several talks and demonstrations. The influence of Venetian glass on modern glass in Scotland will also be shown through talks and demonstrations, and Denis Mann - engraver of the Mastermind Trophy - will be engraving on the lathe installed by Helen Monro Turner, the lady who gave the glass department at ECA its international reputation and taught more than one generation of glassmakers their craft. There is so much going on during the conference, it is difficult to get over just how amazing it is going, but all the details are on this website. We have to say a big thanks to the Glass Manufacturers Educational Trust who have generously given the conference sponsorship.
The glass gallery at the Museum of Edinburgh (formerly Huntly House) is called the Edinburgh Room. It has been closed for 20 years, but is open to the public throughout this year to celebrate 2010. They are also planning a display of glass from Lauriston Castle there. This is a marvellous opportunity to see some of the finest glass made in Edinburgh, so do make sure to visit if you can.
Aberdeen has just opened a new exhibition of their glass for 2010. The have a lovely, and very fine, collection of Scottish glass. From Jacobite glass to some of the best contemporary makers, this is a jewel in the North.
Kelvingrove will be opening their new glass display on August 28. It is an extraordinary collection of Scottish glass dating from the 18th century to the present day. This is a terrific opportunity to see some glass which has not been on display for a generation. Indeed, some of the contemporary pieces have never been on public display before. Go and glory in a rare set of 18th century glasses, one of the earliest bottles made in the west, exquisite pieces by Walton and Monart, and much, much more.
And if Monart is your enthusiasm, don't forget to make a visit to Perth. Their displays may be dated (although they are hoping to get funds to redisplay their wonderful glass collection), but they have a huge collection there and it is well worth a detour to see.
Keep watching this space for further updates and surprises.
With additional sponsorship from:
Scottish Glass Society and The Glass Association
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