World-renowned glass maker Edmond Byrne has visited De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to inspire students to unleash and share their creative talents.
Edmond, who has exhibited his work across the globe, spent the day with Design Crafts students to encourage them to pursue glass art as a career.
He gave a lecture on his career progression and his work style, hosted a two-hour hot glass workshop and ran tutorials for students.
Edmond’s advice to students was to do all they could to show their work and ‘get noticed in the art world'.
He said: “It’s been an honour to be at De Montfort University and to pass on my skills to inspire the next generation.
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“I wanted to get the message across that students need to be exposing their work to influencers as soon as they can. I urged them to apply to competitions and awards as the judges will be the types of people they want seeing and talking about their work.
“It’s about getting your work out there and getting yourself noticed.”
Edmond showed students how to explore colour and texture while blowing glass into moulds made from a variety of textured materials, such as clay, fabrics, wood, and metal.
He has exhibited in the British Glass Biennale, the UK’s leading exhibition of excellence in contemporary glass, as well as the Saatchi, Flow and Oliver Sears Galleries in London. His work has also been shown at various galleries in Germany, Belgium and the USA.
Edmond added: “I enjoyed showing students how glass is such a diverse material. You start with a blob and can use your imagination to create just about anything.
“I wanted to show students that they can be creative in quite a simple way. It doesn’t always have to be technical; creativity doesn’t have to be complicated.”
Joe Knowles, 18, a first-year Design Crafts student, said he would definitely be pursuing glassworks further as a future career.
He said: “It’s great that we can learn from Edmond with his level of high level of expertise. It was really interesting to hear about his career; he told us all about how to approach galleries, how to sell artwork, and how you can adapt your style of work for different markets.
“I learnt so much about professional practice and it was fascinating to see the speed at which Edmond worked. He just looked so relaxed and at ease while working in the hot shop.”
Georgina White, 21, a second-year Design Crafts student, agreed that Edmond’s visit had opened new doors when considering career options.
She said: “I’ve only really started to get into glass this year but this has made me look at things differently. It’s been a really good experience, Edmond not only talked to us but showed us the different styles of his work; it’s been very hands-on.
“He shared all his secrets with us; it’s fantastic he could give us so much industry insight.”
Bee Griffiths, a third-year Design Crafts student, added: “I thought it was very informative, we learnt about how his career progressed from his own degree and he gave us some great advice.”
Jill Ellinsworth, DMU’s Glass Technical Instructor, said Edmond was one of many guest artists invited to share their expertise with students as part of the three-year degree course.
She said: “It’s great for the students to learn from someone with so much expertise. They enthusiastically got involved in the workshop and asked lots of questions so they could learn even more.
“We like to expose students to as many artists as we can as it gives them a wider knowledge and appreciation of the industry.”
Posted on Tuesday 16th January 2018