Laura Quinn

Laura Quinn

Medium: Glassblower

Discover the opportunity that took Laura's practice to the next level.

What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work?

At the moment I am developing a body of work which will be shown at a major event next year in London. The pieces will be interactive and aim to draw the audience in to touch, feel and move the glass forms. At the moment I can’t reveal which event the work will be in but keep an eye out on my social media for the announcement in late autumn!

What medium do you use in your practice and why?

I use a combination of traditional glass making techniques such as hot glass blowing and lampworking, as well as cold working processes in grinding and polishing to create my pieces.

What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start?

I am constantly inspired and influenced by creatives who embrace innovation in their practice. Iris Van Herpen has been a major influence for my work as she combines digital design and manufacturing in her wearable pieces. She considers form and flow, soft and hard, digital and analogue which have an utterly mesmerising effect.

If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement was getting to show my work at Collect in 2020. In 2019, my work was selected for the Ireland Glass Biennale and I was asked to speak as an Emerging Artist at the symposium held in conjunction with the biennale. The director of North Lands Creative was in the audience and afterwards approached and offered to show my work at Collect. I had just completed my masters at Plymouth College of Art in 2019 so to be asked to show my work at Collect was a major opportunity to take my practice to the next level.

What is the most indispensable item or tool in your studio?

My lampworking torch. I use my torch to create the majority of my work. It was only when I was selected for Rising Stars 2021 at the New Ashgate Gallery that I made the leap to invest in my own lampworking set up.  My submission was of a proposed work that I had been hoping to make for quite some time. Being selected was the final push for me to invest in my own workshop. I’m glad I did as I have spent every weekend since making glass at home and am now able to confidently accept commissions and invitations to make work for other shows.

Why Farnham as a place to practise your art / craft? What is it about being part of a town that is special?

I moved to Farnham in April 2020 to start my position as the Glass Technical Tutor at the University for the Creative Arts. The interconnectedness of the craft and creative community has been clear. I really look forward to when everything will be fully open again to visit and explore all that Farnham has to offer.

Can you share a craft ‘secret’ or your favourite hidden craft thing / space / memory?

Though I can’t find anything written on the subject, I was once told a factory secret about ‘Glass Blowers Brew’, which was a low alcohol ale that was provided to the glass blowers as they worked. Knowing they’d be more likely to drink ale than water, it helped them to stay hydrated during the hot and physically demanding workday. It was low enough alcohol to make sure they remained sober enough to work.

Being part of a community of makers is… 

…continually enriching, inspiring and grounding! Being part of a community of makers is being part of a local, national, and global community.