Stuart Akroyd gained a BA Honours Degree in Three Dimensional Design (Glass) at Sunderland Polytechnic in 1988, and specialised in glass blowing and cold cutting techniques at the International Glass Centre, Brierley Hill, West Midlands.

Stuart returned to Sunderland in 1991 to start his own business whilst also teaching part-time at the University in the Glass Department. After eight years he moved the business to a new site in Nottingham and expanded to include a new hot workshop, which has allowed him to increase his range of designs and techniques.

Stuart makes several ranges of production glass based on natural forms, and a dislike of symmetry. This theme continues into his one-off work where hot forms are twisted and stretched, then cold carved and polished creating vessels reminiscent of the flora and fauna of the ocean.

In 1999 the New Glass Magazine selected one of Stuart's one-off forms in their review of the 100 best pieces of glass made in the world that year.

Born 1972 in Kent.

BA Hons Three Dimensional Design University of Central Lancashire
1995 Northern Arts Bursary winner


'A retrospective future' City Art Gallery, Leeds 2001
'New Forms' Pallant House Gallery, Chichester 1999
'Fish and chips' British art and design festival, Hamburg 1998
Cowdy Gallery, Newent, Glos. 1997/8/9

Vibrant designs, encompassing subtle resonant colours and hues, kiln formed glass with metal inclusions. Elegant shallow bowls and freestanding curves. A contemporary range of interior mounted wall panels, table pieces and tiny jewellery forms.

Having relocated from the Cumbrian countryside to the Sussex coast, inspiration is taken from the iridescent blue of the lakes and the sea and the beautiful contrasts of colour found in the rugged Cumbrian Fells and the ever changing sunlight on the South Downs. This intermixed with the influences of artists such as Klimt and Macintosh.

Lara Aldridge works with her partner John Oakley. Each piece is created by fusing various metals and metal compounds; ranging from copper wire to gold dust and glass. A rich variety of colours and dynamics evolve in the firing process. Firing in excess of 1000 degrees centigrade, each piece having its own unique qualities. Bowls and curves are formed in two firings, the first to create the colour and design and the second 'slumping' at a lower temperature to form the shape of the piece. Each piece is hand ground and polished to give a highly finished quality.

Andrew Sanders and David Wallace work together in their small workshop producing an interestingly diverse range of studio glass, including perfume bottles, vases, bowls, drinking glasses, candlesticks and paperweights using recycled glass.

"I have been blowing glass for nearly twenty years now. Doesn't time fly. Obviously I have applied for loads of other jobs but never got past the interview stage. People should look past the scars, they fade with time.

Ritual burning is all part of the process, sometimes it can even add to the final piece. Put it in the annealer is a constant cry when they are taking you away. Most of the time the nurses are very sympathetic.

Seriously I never know quite what to say when I have to write an info bit, my gut instinct is to refuse and say that the glass speaks for itself but that is palpably untrue. You might really like it or hate it but it doesn't talk.

I make 3 dimensional things; it is just as important how they feel when you hold them as how they look with different lights coming through them. How heavy or light the pieces are and even what sort of a noise they make when you drop them on the floor."