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WAES glass-making courses in London

WAES offers a superb range of glass courses, from complete beginner up to advanced level for nationally recognised qualifications.

Offering part-time courses during daytime, evening and weekends our glass courses assist learners in career progression and provide a mixture of practical, hands-on experience with research and design skill development.

Click on the categories on the left to see our range of short courses and qualification courses, many suitable for beginners.

  • Create glass sculptures, glass jewellery and decorative objects
  • Spacious University-standard glass workshop
  • London's only glass-casting college
  • Inspiring and supportive adult learning environment

Methods and techniques taught in glass-making

Methods and techniques taught include fusing, with oxides, colouring, sand-blasting, enamels, slumping, open and closed casting, inclusions and cold-working processes to name just a few.

Of Westminster Adult Education Service's glass department, the last Ofsted in 2011 remarked 'Learners finished work is outstanding', and of the tuition: 'Teachers use their specialist skills and industry knowledge well to enrich learning'.

Contact us

For course enquiries or for further information please call our hotline number 020 7297 7297 or e-mail info@waes.ac.uk

Alternatively, please complete the form below with your contact details along with any specific course enquiries and we will be pleased to contact you with the information you require.

 
Westminster Adult Education Service is the only glass-casting college in London with facilities equipped to university standard including specialist industrial equipment. 

Glass design room

The glass design room is the main space where our teaching, idea development and presentations take place.

The facilities include a large smart board and housing all of cold-working equipment for grinding and polishing. Features of the glass design room include:

  • Pressure blaster sand blasting unit with silent compressor for surface decoration (sand-blasting)
  • Large and smal diamond saw machines for cutting large reservoirs of glass
  • Large flatbed grinder fed with silicon carbide grit for grinding flat and curved surfaces of glass
  • Water fed lathes with changeable wheel heads for grinding and polishing glass
  • Double diamond wheel bench mounted lathe for grinding and smoothing glass
  • Mini flatbed bench grinder with changeable diamond discs for grinding and smoothing glass
  • Three bench top bevelling machines for bevelling and grinding sheet or cast glass
  • Foot powered and smaller pendant drills for cutting, grinding and smoothing glass with changeable diamond burrs
  • Good working areas with large tables and sinks
  • Lockers and storage boxes provided for learners on qualification courses

Mould-making area

The mould-making area includes a plaster room where model and refractory mould-making takes place. Features include:

  • Specialist extraction units for all mould-making techniques and processes using dry and molten materials
  • Good working area for making with large table and sinks
  • Master mould-making area for melting of pourable rubbers 
  • Steaming area for lost wax processes
  • Six glass kilns including small front loading test kiln, top loading kiln, large flatbed fusing kiln, large front loading kiln, two large truck kilns for all fusing, slumping and casting requirements.
  • Availability of specialist casting glasses and materials to purchase from the college towards production of studio glass.

View the gallery tab to see photos of the glass workshop in use by our students and tutors.
Lining up a design on the large flatbed fusing kiln
Lining up a design on the large flatbed fusing kiln.
 
WAES glass student Jessie uses the large flatbed grinder in her work
A WAES student uses the large flatbed grinder for her work.
 
Demonstration of mould-making techniques in the plaster room
Demonstration of mould-making techniques in the plaster room.
 
The large truck casting kiln at the Lisson Grove glass workshop
The large truck casting kiln at the Lisson Grove glass workshop.
 
The finished piece: glass student work on display at the summer arts exhibition
Finished work on display at the WAES annual Perspectives art exhibition
 
Exhibition visitors admire WAES glass students' work
Exhibition visitors admire WAES glass students' work.
 
Intricate glass formations made by a WAES student
Intricate glass formations made by a WAES glass student.
 
A striking exhibit: glass work by WAES students at the summer arts exhibition
A striking piece; one WAES glass-making students lets their inspiration run wild.
 
One of the fantastic pieces created by a WAES glass-making student as a coloured shell.
One of the fantastic pieces created by a WAES glass-making student as a coloured shell.
 
An artistic solid piece down by a WAES glass-making student
 
A new and experimental  piece created by a WAES glass-making student as a coloured glass.
 
 
 

As she prepared to exhibit her work at Perspectives, the WAES summer arts exhibition, WAES glass-making student Jessie Sheffield explained how 'the beginnings and endings of all things' inspired her amazing glass pieces 

Jessie is one of two WAES creative arts students who progressed to study for a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art following their WAES courses.

 

 

Tell us how you came to study the art of glass-making.

Art, specifically sculpture, has always been what I wanted to do. A glass taster course changed everything for me - I bought a kiln, rented some workspace and set about seeing what I could do.

Casting glass is a very labour intensive process - you have to go through long winded methods that essentially haven’t changed for 3000 years, working with wax, sand and heat.

Getting the piece out of the kiln is just the start, then the hand grinding with grits for hours and hours to bring it back to shine begins. You either love it, or its not for you, but the facilities, quality of teaching and technical support in the glass department at WAES are second to none.

What will you be focussing on now that you have come to the end of your course?

I have been accepted to study for a Masters degree at the Royal College of Art starting this September, so that’s the next two years taken care of!

“The facilities, quality of teaching and technical support in the glass department at WAES are second to none.”


What was your inspiration behind this piece of art and what do you consider to be your key influences?

There are two strands that are always present, to greater or lesser degrees, in my practise, that of colour as a physical concept occupying its own space and the use of art as a means to communicate the increasingly complex ideas at the edges of our scientific understanding.

Before the King James bible, the considered ‘truth and science’ of the age was locked up in Latin and, not only could the average man not read, he certainly couldn’t read Latin and so this world knowledge was accessible in its entirety, only by a few. It was art, sculpture and reliefs, architecture and painting, that attempted to convey the core messages and the nature of the ideas to the people when the ‘study’ of it was beyond their grasp.

As the specialised and impenetrable language of quantum science becomes further removed from relate-able nature and our everyday comprehension, there needs to be a sharing of concepts, theories and ideas to those whose ability to comprehend them is no less but that do not have the ability to ‘read’ the language that it is written in. These ideas are what underpin my work.


 

Creatio ex Nihilo

‘Creatio ex Nihilo’ (above, left) by Jessie Sheffield. The name roughly means ‘something from nothing’. It is one of a pair - the other  being ‘nihil infinitum est’ (pictured above, right) – and together they roughly represent the beginnings and endings of all things.

Perspectives Exhibition

Jessie's stunning glass creations were featured at Perspectives, this WAES summer arts exhibition.

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