Monday, November 23, 2009
It's official! Saint Gobain Glass UK (SGGUK) are sponsoring new work plus business start-up and development.
This is an amazing new development for me at such an early stage in my architectural glass career, and I feel immensely privileged. In fact it has carried me through a very tricky first few months after graduating when even though a few commissions are on the go, the cash isn't flowing yet! So business start up funding from SGGUK has really helped get my business going. I'm also working on 2 commissions for them, both at the main Eggborough manufacturing plant. The first is for their main meeting room, and is a collaboration with fellow University of Sunderland graduate Eleanor Bird who is also receiving sponsorship. The second commission will be sited in the floor to ceiling windows of the main reception area, and is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the factory. During our negotiations we had an amazing tour round the manufacturing plant which is vast (see pictures). We saw the whole float glass manufacturing process. SGGUK pride themselves on an amazing set of 'green credentials'. They are the only company to collect cullet (glass for recycling) from their clients and pay for it. They then recycle this into the manufacturing process. Only 0.002% of their production is waste. They also seem to be a very people-centred organisation. Their MD Dr Alan McLenaghan stresses that a great deal of their success is down to respecting their people and getting the culture right. So, they seem a very good comany to be associated with! Ive already had some very inspiring conversations with Alan who is obviously very passionate about glass. I'm looking forward to more, and to finding out about the new technologies they are developing.
Tomorrow I have a site visit and hope to get the final proposals for the first commission approved. More about the artworks I'm making for them in future posts...
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The installation of our Old Railway Line public art project has now been put back for a second time - until January! While things were pretty tight schedule-wise, and the first short delay was quite welcome, this does seem a long time to wait.
I'm now on with further research into health and safety issues to do with laying the glass strips into the ground. Our work has to be able to withstand vehicles driving over it, and the contractors need to have proof that the stuff we're asking them to install complies with health and safety regulations and is fit for purpose. With the etched paving slabs the supplier provides that information. With strips of glass that I've water-jet cut and am soon to be silvering it doesn't seem so straightforward. Hmmm... think I need to give my old tutor a ring - architectural glass artist Cate Watkinson of Watkinson Glass Associates.
Anyway, I had fun water-jet cutting the glass at the University of Sunderland's Glass dept. (see picture)