A Luddite Convention: Making, Technology and Nature.


North Lands Glass Conferencein partnership with Edinburgh College of Art 

16th – 18th September 2016

Early Bird Deadline: 17th June

North Lands Creative Glass is a glass centre, located in a small fishing village in the North East Highlands of Scotland. It aims to support artists and designers who wish to work with glass, and to promote interdisciplinary projects around glass making. It is appreciated for its high standards, energy and international exchange. Its activities include work with schools, skills classes, artists’ residencies, symposia, international master classes and an annual conference. Recent yearly themes include: The Place and the Work in 2014, Extreme Glass: a focus on material and process in 2015. North Lands’ 2016 Master class leaders are artist Richard Wentworth, glass artist Colin Reid and David King from the USA.

Every year, North Lands hosts an international conference in Lybster, to focus on the wider cultural context in which glass artists work. In 2016, to celebrate its 20th anniversary, for one year only, the annual conference will be held in Edinburgh in partnership with Edinburgh College of Art. A Luddite Convention: Making, Technology and Nature highlights North Land’s themes, and also links to Edinburgh College of Arts new Digital Craft course. The conference theme connects ideas, formed during the industrial revolution, to our present technological time, considering our continued relationship with nature, materials, making and the body, in a progressive way. The emotive and often misused word Luddite still resonates today, perhaps because we value the idea of localized manufacturing, sustainable products, quality in our working life and manual skills. We still find intrinsic value in the relationship between making, materials and our bodies without wishing to romanticize this.

Speakers include the Berlin based designer Jerszy Seymour and Dries Verbruggen from Studio Unfold in Belgium, the historian and president of the William Morris Society Jan Marsh, a journalist and writer on contemporary Scottish artists Moira Jeffrey, and the editor Jonathan Openshaw who produced the book ‘Post Digital Artisans’. Artists with expert glass skills and knowledge who will be presenting include Jeffrey Sarmiento, Geoff Mann, Sibylle Peretti, Jane Bruce and North Lands Artistic Director Emma Woffenden. Panelists to join us on discussions about technique and glass education include Colin Reid, Catherine Colman, Jens Pfeifer and Petr Stanicky. Demonstration highlights include the Czech hot glass sculptor Martin Janecky and Scottish engravers Denis Mann who is best known for his Mastermind trophy, and Alison Kinnaird.

To coincide with the conference, Amanda Game is curating an exhibition of glass works by past masters, archival materials from North Lands, including photographs, film, and working notes, and newly commissioned glass works at Dovecot Gallery. This portrait of North Lands at 20 creatively explores exhibition making beyond the material and final glass object. It sets North Lands in context and looks to its future, through new commissions in glass and across media.

The exhibition and conference in Edinburgh aim to reach new audiences and promote North Land’s core ambitions and forge stronger links to the university and other organisations.  Contemporary Glass Society will hold two seminars at the conference and there will be further glass exhibitions from the Scottish Glass Society, ECA alumni, and Gallery Ten will present ‘The Cathedral Collection’ by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg.

For more information please see our website: