Ron with his collection of handmade glass fish
Stevenage Art Society are very grateful to Richard's family for their generous gifts which have enabled to the Society to grow significantly and teach new glass skills to the community.
In 2019 Ron Walker sadly lost his son, Richard, who was very interested in pottery and glass work. Richard left behind both a potter’s wheel and a firing kiln and, after the pandemic, his family presented both pieces of equipment to the society in his name in February 2022.
As luck would have it, this coincided with a major breakdown of the pottery's main kiln, so the kiln was rapidly put into action firing the backlog of pottery.
However, Richard had also left a wealth of equipment and materials, of which a large proportion was glass for both Stained Glass construction and Glass Fusing. Ron, who shared his son’s enthusiasm with glass, joined the Society and formed a small group to practice and develop the skills of Glass Fusing and Slumping (moulding). The Society has also invested significantly in buying more glass and glass decorations, glass cutting tools and safety glasses.
This small group has blossomed, and in under a year, not only are there two glass sessions for members on a Thursday, but we are also running paid monthly workshops to teach others the processes of fusing the coloured glass into stunningly attractive pieces of art. These monthly sessions are open to the public to join.
We start with small flat pieces of glass and glue on cut up coloured glass shapes to make small plaques, coasters and jewellery. Larger flat multi-coloured glass plaques can also be slumped in moulds to form bowls or trays making the piece useful as well as decorative. After the pieces are made they are fired in Richard's kiln.
These sessions and workshops are generating a significant interest in the Society and is attracting many new members. Weekly Workshops are also held for members of the Society and monthly Workshops are held for both members and non-members. The sessions already planned in the future are fully booked with six attendees each session with two sessions a month. A great success for the society and thanks to a young man’s love of the art of glass.