Hot Glass! is a groundbreaking
study day that provides a unique first-hand experience
into glassmaking. Participants will experience at
first-hand most of the processes fundamental to
forming fine glass, including blowing, pressing,
casting and hand-made paperweight making. They will
also visit a new museum, the first dedicated to
20th Century British Domestic Glass.
Hot Glass! is staged at Nazeing Glass Works, on
the Essex/Hertfordshire border, a short drive north from
M25, Junction 25. The company can trace its lineage from
17th century London and is still family-owned. It moved to
its current site in 1928 and is now Britain’s
second-largest fine glassworks, second only to Dartington.
Nazeing still makes a wide variety of
glassware, ranging through architectural and marine
lighting, railway and airport runway lenses,
laboratory glass and reproduction ‘Bristol’-blue
decanters and goblets.
Hot Glass! study days are held exclusively by
appointment all year-round, with extra staff brought in for
the day to demonstrate the full range of glassmaking
skills. A limited number of participants will be able form
pieces of glass themselves, which they can to take away at
the end of the day.
The day, spanning 10am-3.20pm, comprises:
•Welcome from Nazeing owner Stephen Pollock-Hill over tea
•50-minute talk on Nazeing & Glassmaking from
•Comprehensive factory tour with expert guides in parties
•Opportunity to make a piece of glass [numbers limited].
•Tour of Nazeing’s Museum of 20th Century British
•Talk on 20th Century British Glass from Andy
•Tea, biscuits & tour of Nazeing’s spacious factory
The most collected items from Nazeing’s
history are swirling pastel-tinted ranges of art glass
that it produced during the 1930s and ‘50s. These were
originally retailed through fashionable London stores
but are often mistaken today for the products of
Since the late-50s, when public taste switched towards
cooler Scandinavian styles, Nazeing has found its bread
& butter elsewhere; hand-pressed advertising ashtrays,
produced at the rate of 3 million annually during the 1970s
& ‘80s, for instance, and making stemware for BA’s
Nazeing has produced an astonishing variety of industrial,
pharmaceutical, lighting, glazing, architectural,
promotional, catering and domestic glassware, and bombproof
prison windows. Nazeing also developed a vitrified glass
for the nuclear industry. It has undertaken commissions for
hundreds of clients, including Nestlé, Avon, Woolworth and
the Royal Academy of Arts.
Nazeing’s Museum of 20th Century
British Domestic Glass is the brainchild of the
works’ owner, Stephen Pollock-Hill. Occupying three
former offices, its 800 examples represent Britain’s
leading 20th century glassworks and their designers
with a particular emphasis on the post-war era.
Stourbridge’s Big Four, [Webb, Webb Corbett, Royal Brierley
and Stuart], are all represented, as are the Northeastern
pressed makers, like Sowerby and Davidson. However, most
emphasis is placed on the output of Whitefriars,
Dartington, Kings Lynn/Wedgwood and, of course, Nazeing
itself, which produced several ranges for Dartington and
Wedgwood amongst others during the 1970s.
Whilst Stourbridge makers are served by their local
Broadfield House Glass Museum, Nazeing is the first museum
to concentrate on the glassware most commonly used in
British homes in the post-war era and a tour of its
exhibits kindles warm memories in most visitors.
Nazeing Glass is located about 5 miles north of
M25/Junction 25; half a mile east of Broxbourne mainline
railway station, off the B194. Warning: the main entrance
is not yet recognised by some sat-navs.
For further information about Hot Glass! contact
Andy McConnell at Glass Etc: 01797 22660 or via
For Nazeing Glass Works visit http://www.nazeing-glass.com.