Craft Scotland Conference - The Power of Glass

17 Nov - 18 Nov 2022

Photography by Neil Hanna

Glass artists and enthusiasts, curators and researchers joined us for the Craft Scotland Conference 2022 – The Power of Glass.


National Museum of Scotland
Auditorium, Level 1
Entry via Lothian Street
Lothian Street
Map Directions

Celebrating the essential role glass has, and will continue to have in society. 2022 marked the United Nations (UN)’s International Year of Glass.

The hybrid-format Craft Scotland Conference (Thurs 17 & Fri 18 Nov 2022) explored a key element of the UN’s celebration, the importance of art glass as a form of social and political commentary.

Glass artists, makers, and designers today are employing this visceral medium to explore complex issues and narratives that are pertinent to contemporary society.

The Craft Scotland Conference - The Power of Glass programme was guest curated by: 

  • Dr Jessamy Kelly (Lecturer in Glass, within the School of Design, at Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh) 
  • Sarah Rothwell (Senior Curator of Modern & Contemporary Design, in the Department of Global Arts, Cultures and Design at National Museums Scotland) 

Learn more about the Guest Curators.

Who joined us?

The Power of Glass brought together the international craft community to get inspired, make connections and share knowledge.  

  • Glass artists, designers, makers and enthusiasts 
  • Specialists in the fields of contemporary craft, art glass, and art history 
  • Art historians, academic researchers and students 
  • Curators, producers, art and culture professionals 
  • Those interested in contemporary craft and specifically art glass 
  • Those interested in culture’s role in social justice movements  

The Craft Scotland Conference 2022 was supported by Craft Scotland, in partnership with Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh), National Museums Scotland and North Lands Creative.  

Thanks to our sponsors and funders Creative Scotland, UN Year of Glass, Imagining Sustainable Glass Network, Creative Europe, Secret Speyside and RAFT research group. 

Learn more about the speakers.



DAY ONE: Glass Demo by Christopher Day & Social Event 


Date: 2pm - 5pm, Thurs 17 Nov 2022 

Address: Edinburgh College of Art, Glass Department, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF 

Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) hosted glass artist Christopher Day for a demonstration of glass blowing the afternoon of Thurs 17 Nov.

Creating highly personal works, Christopher Day’s intention is to discuss and investigate the treatment of black people in Britain and the United States of America. Much of his research has focused on the history of the slave trade in the Eighteenth Century and the Civil Rights Movement. 

Delegates also had the chance to meet and network in the breakout space.

DAY TWO: Symposium

Date: 9.30am – 5:30pm, Fri 18 Nov 2022 

Address: National Museum of Scotland, Auditorium, Level 1, Entry via Chambers Street, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF 

The Power of Glass, a symposium on Fri 18 Nov 2022, explored identity, social and political thought within art glass.  

This symposium brought together artists, makers, and researchers to share knowledge, inspire and educate on topics within art glass that range from diversity, identity, representation, sustainability and environmental concerns.  

  • Session 1: Equality, Diversity, and Identity explored through Glass Art with talks by Jeff Zimmer, Christopher Day, and Karen Donnellan & Suzanne Peck.  
  • Session 2: Climate Action, Responsible Consumption, and Sustainability in Glass Art & Design with talks by Pinkie Maclure, Atelier NL and Maria Sparre-Petersen.  
  • Closing Keynote: Dr Max Stewart discusses how we can ensure the future of glass education for all.  

Delegates heard from leading voices in art glass and accessed contemporary thought within an underrepresented field of art history.  

Delegates could also choose to attend the symposium in-person or remotely via Zoom. 

Those attending in-person were welcomed to attend a drinks reception after the symposium at ECA, Main Building reception. A chance to connect with fellow delegates, view recent RAFT research group posters, and enjoy refreshments.

North Lands Creative offered ISGNE bursaries for emerging artists to attend the Craft Scotland Conference - The Power of Glass. Open to members of Contemporary Glass Society, Scottish Glass Society and Glass Society of Ireland.




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