The Mayor gets industrially creative!

Glass blower, Scott Benefield, with Councillor Sam Cole, Mayor of Coleraine, Flowerfield Manager, Malcolm Murchieson and Art Students, Sarah and Ashleigh during a visit to the glass blowing facilities at Flowerfield on Thursday. CR17-411PL
Glass blower, Scott Benefield, with Councillor Sam Cole, Mayor of Coleraine, Flowerfield Manager, Malcolm Murchieson and Art Students, Sarah and Ashleigh during a visit to the glass blowing facilities at Flowerfield on Thursday. CR17-411PL

THE Creative Industries took another exciting step forward last week as Mayor of Coleraine Councillor Sam Cole had his first ever experience of blowing some hot glass at Flowerfield Arts Centre as part of a week-long series of hot glass workshops and demonstrations.

In fact, the first citizen displayed a remarkable talent – and within a few short minutes of arrival at Flowerfield, was actually blowing a piece of glass, with a little help from visiting glass artist Scott Benefield and Flowerfield artist in residence Catherine Keenan.

The award-winning Flowerfield Arts Centre welcomed an exciting week of Creative Industries activity in hot glass for visiting art students all last week, culminating in a series of glass blowing demonstrations open to the public.

The centre has a strong following for hot glass work, with fusing and slumping classes and one-day workshops regularly sold out in advance. Throughout Saturday, visitors of all ages came to the centre to watch Scott and Catherine blow a series of glass jugs, beaker and vases, while discussing their techniques and experience.

The workshops and events were funded by The Garfield Weston Trust, the University of Ulster and Causeway Coast Arts and provided University of Ulster students with an opportunity for a hands-on introduction to both ‘Lamp Working’ and ‘Glass Blowing’ techniques.

In addition, 5th and 6th form pupils from schools throughout the Causeway Coast with an interest in an art college further education had the chance to gain an insight into an arts career, both from the perspective of the artists and students.

Flowerfield’s current hot glass class, running for the next six weeks with tutor Natasha Duddy, is completely full, but watch this space for details of a series of workshops and classes being planned for August Craft Month and the autumn term, which starts in mid-September.