Kiln it – A Festival of Glass And Glass Making

The National Sculpture Factory is a place of production; a place where artworks are always becoming, and where artists delve into a wide variety of material enquiry and research.

Material Laboratories is our new programmatic strand that will focus on specific material researches and medium specific practices through an intensified series of Masterclasses, workshops, lectures and open discussion.

The first in the series will begin in October 2022 where we will present Kiln it – a festival of glass and glass making. Kiln it will be a series of 3 masterclasses featuring a variety of glass making techniques, and they will run in tandem with 3 online lectures by internationally renowned glass artists.


Painted Glass workshop with Debbie Dawson

8 & 9 October | 10 – 5 each day | €200

This two day masterclass will explore experimental painting and sandblasting on float glass. Day one we will use oxide and enamel paints with a variety of mark making tools and implements to create a series of abstract images on the surface of the glass. The glass is then fired in a kiln overnight.

Day two we will explore the sandblasting process where the surface of the glass is abraded to create tonal and textural elements. We will use a variety of resists, stencils and other materials to achieve expressive, gestural marks on the glass.

No prior experience necessary but please bring some drawings/images to use as inspiration.

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Pâte de Verre workshop with Sophie Longwill

15 & 16 October | 10 – 5 each day | €200

In this two day masterclass students will learn how to translate their ideas into paper-thin glass using methods inspired by the ancient technique of pâte de verre (glass paste). We will be experimenting with different tools and processes to add texture, pattern and surface details using finely ground glass powders to create unique and delicate artwork.

Students will learn:

  • Mould making and casting
  • Kiln schedules and programming for firing and slumping
  • Mixing glass powders to create a unique palette of colours
  • Powder printing using found objects and handmade stencils
  • Casting small found objects in glass
  • How to translate drawings and paintings into glass
  • Creating texture and patterns
  • How to create fusible elements such as stringers and wafers

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Glass Casting workshop with Eva Reddy

22 & 23 October | 10 – 5 each day | €200

This two day workshop is designed to introduce participants to the process of glass casting. It is designed for beginners, although any skill level can be accommodated – whether one wants to brush up on established glass casting skills or use the workshop as a starting point for working with the beautiful material of glass.

The workshop will focus on the mould making process for open-face glass casts, and the programming and set up of the kiln, as well as health and safety practices for working with glass. Included in this workshop will be demonstrations of safely working with glass, the mould making process, clay sculpting, kiln set-up and clean up, and mould divestment.

Participants will work through a set project, articulating responses from concept, design to realisation.

Book tickets via Eventbrite

This series of masterclasses is designed for practicing artists only but they need not have had any experience of working with glass.

All participants will be contacted ahead of time by the facilitator with an info pack about the workshop, and what to bring with you for the weekend. Lunch will be provided both days by the NSF.


A lecture with Matthew Szösz

October 5th | 6PM | online | free

Matthew Szösz is a practicing artist and educator known primarily for his inventive processes and innovative use of glass to explore the intersection of material, aesthetics, and the poetic.

Since receiving his MFA(Glass) from Rhode Island School of Design, been recognized internationally with awards such as the Irvine Borowsky Prize, the Jutta-Cuny Franz Prize, and a Tiffany Foundation Grant, and has completed residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass, Het Glazenhuis, the Danish Royal Academy, Toyama Institute for Glass Arts, Canberra Glassworks, Australia National University, Virginia Commonwealth University and others.

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A lecture with Sylvia Levenson

October 12th | 6PM | online | free

Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Silvia Levenson immigrated to Italy in 1981, during the “disappearances” of the Dirty War .

In 2004, Levenson received the Rakow Commission Award from the Corning Museum of Glass in 2008 she was a shortlisted nominee for the Bombay Sapphire Prize and in 2016 she received The Glass in Venice Award from Istituto Veneto, Venice, Italy.

Her work explores daily interpersonal relationships through installations and objects that state firmly what is usually felt or whispered.

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A lecture with Alison Lowry

October 19th | 6PM | online | free

Alison Lowry is a glass artist living and working from her studio, ‘Schoolhouse Glass’ in Saintfield, Co. Down in Northern Ireland. She graduated, as a mature student, in 2009 from the Ulster University with a First Class Honours degree in Art and Design.

Alison is interested in how objects tell stories. Objects- such as textiles- can have a personal resonance holding memory within them- the traces of the wearer, the maker and of the historical period they were created within. The fabric of our lives surrounds and envelops us, and it is this translation from textile into glass that has informed her practice.

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All workshop and lecture links found here –