Now relocated and established at a new home in Arreton, Isle of Wight Studio Glass has a state of the art studio where you can watch their wonderful glass creations being brought to life. Founded in a converted stone barn in St Lawrence in 1973 by Michael Harris and his wife Elizabeth, the studio is now run by their son Timothy and the business moved to Arreton Barns Craft Village in 2013.
Isle of Wight Studio Glass is sold in some very prestigious galleries and shops and Timothy Harris's one-off pieces are especially collectable. To buy them you have to be a member of the Collectors Club, which also entitles you to attend Isle of Wight Studio Glass Studio Collectors days and buy the pieces that are created at them. These happen in the early autumn.
Isle of Wight Studio Glass was one of the first to work with silver and 22ct gold leaf applied to the surface of the glass and now almost every collection has it incorporated in the glass. There are around 25 different lines available at any one time with collections being archived and revived over the years.
Since moving inland Timothy has created new designs that echo the different landscape, notably 'Arreton Valley', done as a series for the Collector's Club, and 'Stratum'; although 'Featherspray' is inspired by the spray from the back of a boat. Each piece is signed and numbered on the bottom and is supplied with a certificate of authenticity personally signed by Timothy.
The gallery and shop at the studio is full of stunning glass work, including the glass fused 'pictures' that Elizabeth makes from the glass waste and offcuts. All are one offs, some are pictorial and others are abstract and prices range from £35 to £250.
Art Glass can be bought from the studio and from the shop. Take home a little memento for less than £10 or fall in love with one of the largest and most intricate pieces that retail for up to £1,000. Or you might marvel at the more experimental pieces with complex glass making techniques that create tactile surfaces in relief.
A brand new addition is the Studio Glass Museum attached to the shop area, where you can see the history of art glass making on the Isle of Wight. Work representing most of the glass makers who have made or are still making art glass on the Isle of Wight are here.
All around the wall of the museum is IW Studio Glass, from Michael Harris's first pieces at college in the 1960s, through the Medina Glass that he made in Malta from 1967 to 1971 and on to the inspirational pieces that have been created since the family moved to the Island.
Other glass artists such as Martin Evans of Glory Art Glass, Paul Critchley of Diamond Isle Glass and Michael Rayner of Alum Bay Glass, many of whom worked with Michael Harris, are represented in the museum.
Upstairs are art deco and art nouveau pieces in opalescent, clear and Vaseline glass along with a seating area and an open plan area where talks on art glass will be taking place in the future.
The Studio is open seven days a week from 10am till 4pm and it is free to watch the glass creations being made, with demonstrations throughout the day in the summer season.