Fulbright Travelers Check In

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University of Sunderland poster for the visiting Fulbright Scholars.

Tim Tate and I have been powering through our stay here at the University of Sunderland in the beautiful northeast of England. This is a blog update of some of the adventure we have participated in whilst on our Fulbright Scholarship to the UK.

The University of Sunderland Glass Centre and the glass roof deck.

Kevin Petrie, Head of the Glass & Ceramics Department

We arrived on Thursday, met at the airport by the University’s head of the Glass and Ceramics Department, Kevin Petrie. Kevin took us on a whirlwind tour of the massive building complex. The centre, built in 1998, has a glass panel roof – where one is invited to walk across and watch the blowing facilities down below.

Tim Tate takes a walk on the glass.

The size, equipment and state-of-the-art facility was overwhelming. It was great to see some old friends that had come to DC in years past waving a welcoming hello from across the acreage of studio space. We would be coming back to the University after a couple workshops in town.

Some of the many huge kilns at the university.


Here I am wandering thru one the centre’s exhibition halls.

The beach in front of the hotel in Seaburn.

Our hotel could not have been better – sweeping views across the North Sea, with Seaburn beach in front of our hotel. Nice.

Creative Cohesion’s new studio and exhibition center in Sunderland.

The arts organization, Creative Cohesion, held a cocktail reception to welcome us and inaugurate the new hotshop at their new facility in Sunderland city centre . For those of you from DC, you might remember the organization and its many talented artists that participated in the 2006′s Glass 3 exhibit in Georgetown, organized by Artomatic. In 2009, many more artists from Sunderland participated in the Artomatic held near the Navy Yard/near the new Nationals Ballpark. The non-profit arts organization began over 10 years ago, initially designed as a way to help for glass artists coming from the university mature into professional artists. The success of the organization’s mission has expanded and now includes ceramic and visual arts, performance artists, and poets in its umbrella of services.

Our arrival coincided with the center’s celebration of the opening of their new hotshop – our workshop would be the first for the glass shop. Upon arrival – we see a familiar face – a poster of the UK artists working in Dave D’Orio’s DC Glasswork’s hotshop is in the window.

We saw some old friends in unexpected places…

Tim and I planned to do a few workshops to allow for collaboration between the DC & UK artists. The first up workshop was creating fused glass rollups.

The artists from Sunderland listen with intent.

The big burly electrician Richie tries fusing for the first time. And shows real talent.

The next day, the glass panels are placed onto the pastorellis and artist Roger Tye works the Bulls-eye glass into a rollup.

Roger Tye gets the glass into shape.

Click HERE to jump to video of the roll-up process by Jo Howell Photography and Maverickart

The next day, Tim Tate and I were welcomed at the University of Sunderland. We first gave a lecture about our work, the Washington Glass School & Studio and the Glass Secessionism movement.

Professor Tim Tate speaks about his work and influences.


Coming up soon – a posting or two about the workshops at the National Glass Center, touring around the area and the London Affordable Art Fair! Stay posted!

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