Elke Westen Award

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to receive the Elke Westen Award which was a great help towards funding a week helping out at Quim and Txell Studio in Barcelona.

Meritxell Tembleque and Joaquim Falco met at the National Glass Centre of Spain in 1992 during their studies and eventually came to open their own studio and workshop in 2000, working collaboratively on projects to achieve their aim of expressing the creativity of nature through sculpture.  They are interested in the constant flow and change of nature and try to capture this in their work.

I contacted Quim and Txell as I was interested in finding out more about the techniques they use in their work; many of their pieces are made by fusing layers of float glass and cold working by hand, which creates an interesting surface texture and overall effect.  It was also a chance to practice my Spanish and learn more about the glass community in Spain.  Both Quim and Txell are very open to sharing their knowledge and skill and regularly open up their studio to people interested in working with glass and I found that the glass community and interest in the material is slowly growing.

Whilst helping in the studio I picked up lots of tips in mould making and cold working and was able to try out some techniques I don’t usually use in my own practice.  It was also a great chance to see how a working studio can function, it was a very relaxed space to work in compared to other workshops I have visited.

Leamy kiln

Overall, despite putting myself completely out of my comfort zone I had a great experience in Barcelona and was able to meet so many people whilst exploring a beautiful city, and learning lots about glass.  What could be better?!